Arsenal can save millions and promote perfect Martin Odegaard challenger after successful summer

Arsenal have the perfect successor to Martin Odegaard already at the club
-Credit: (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

There are hopes that Arsenal will look to strengthen their squad with multiple summer acquisitions in another major spend for the club. However, understands that the chances of another record-breaking window are slim with a focus on improving the depth over any Declan Rice-type transfer moves.

Arsenal spent more than they ever have before in the summer of 2023 and despite the serious investment of the last few years, there are still several deficiencies in the group. Where the ceiling might struggle to be raised, the floor certainly can.

Up top, in central midfield and defence, the Gunners are looking at potential players who could add competitive quality and offer Mikel Arteta more efficient rotation to help compete across the four tournaments the club are involved in. However, one position remains a standout regarding the starting quality and the backup’s level.

Martin Odegaard started more games than plenty of his peers, only missing a small section of the campaign due to a hip injury and concussion. The two players currently playing understudy to the club captain are Emile Smith Rowe and Fabio Vieira.

Neither appear likely to be part of the squad next season with any assurance and could be sold depending on the offers which come forth throughout the window. However, the scope to replace them with a player who could match or come close to Odegaard’s world-class talent is slim.

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Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala stand out as two potential candidates but the former is not expected to leave Bayer Leverkusen until 2025 while Musiala has a £100million-plus price tag which would be out of the Gunners’ range. Signing players for the sake of signing players is never advised and Arteta has offered up a recent answer to an alternative approach.

“There’s always a pathway and when we make decisions on those kinds of players it’s always to keep an eye on them and see,” Arteta said in October of last year. “Can we evolve the squad in that way and the first thing that we do is look internally.”

This was in response to a question asked the Arsenal manager about Charlie Patino who sadly looks set to depart this summer. However, after an impressive season, a second senior appearance for the club and now a couple of goals for England’s under-17s this summer, Ethan Nwaneri could indeed be the next player to follow in the likes of Bukayo Saka’s footsteps.

Nwaneri is the standout youth academy graduate and agreed on a lucrative first professional contract as Arsenal batted away interest from several top clubs to keep him in their ranks. An attacking midfielder, Nwaneri could be the perfect player to come through and offer Arteta quality and rotation for Odegaard.

It will be a gradual process, as it so often is with Arteta, but Nwaneri has time on his side. The pre-season will be his biggest so far with a chance to get minutes playing in America with his senior teammates.