Arsenal set for surprise £65m transfer repeat after three-year strategy keeps critics guessing

Arsenal could yet again deliver a surprise transfer after three years of shocks
-Credit: (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal typically find their planned transfer business being well-prepared for with news of key targets emerging well ahead of the deals being done. Fans were aware of the marquee summer move for Declan Rice several months before it finally went down and the same could be said for Gabriel Jesus the summer before.

However, sporting director Edu Gaspar, who leads the work in the market, has a habit of surprising supporters and providing plenty of need for research and discussion of some deals. For the past three successive years, Arsenal have spent close to £150million on players who few predicted nor saw coming.

In 2021, with all the focus on the return of William Saliba and the need to add midfielders and forwards Arsenal decided to agree to a £50million deal with Ben White, loaning out the Frenchman instead to Marseille for the season. Despite the debates which raged after the move, both decisions can now be looked back on with plenty of reverence.

In 2022, only days before the deal was announced, Arsenal agreed to a £34million deal with FC Porto for Fabio Vieira. As opposed to Ben White, this deal has sadly not had the same impact with injuries forming a big part of the reason behind the lack of consistency and opportunity for Vieira of late but recent reports suggest issues go further than that and a summer sale has not been ruled out.

Lastly, in 2023 Arsenal signed Kai Havertz for £65million and made him one of the club’s top earners. No one expected this deal and many wrote it off early as a potential flop of the season but in the end, it has been anything but with the German becoming the established centre-forward for an Arsenal side which scored a club record-breaking 91 Premier League goals.

With that in mind, it is very possible that for a fourth season running the Gunners may again sign a player which few have any idea the club are even considering. There is a need to strengthen centre-forward, the wide areas, central midfield, and defence (specifically left-back potentially) and backup goalkeeper.

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The names circulating right now are Benjamin Sesko, Bruno Guimaraes, Justin Bijlow, Viktor Gyokeres, Nico Williams, Alexander Isak, Jorrel Hato and Ferdi Kadioglu. It is certain that more will emerge, but after June 30 when the new Profit and Sustainability period opens.

Arsenal are expected to make David Raya’s move from Brentford permanent so a potential surprise could be a U-turn in this regard. Equally, Aaron Ramsdale remaining at the club for another season might be equally as unlikely.

There are plenty of chances for the summer to offer fans a reason for excitement and there is always something unpredictable that can emerge. What perhaps will not be a surprise is that the business is not guaranteed to be completed early with two summer tournaments in Europe and in North America.