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Conor Gallagher to Arsenal transfer can solve Declan Rice problem and prove Mikel Arteta right again

Conor Gallagher
-Credit: (Image: Harry Langer)


Arsenal have been here before. An area of Mikel Arteta's team needs adding too and once again, the Gunners are planning a raid on Chelsea for one of their players.

A new midfielder is on Edu Gaspar's transfer list this summer as one of the many improvements expected to be made for the 2024/25 season. Real Sociedad star Martin Zubimendi and Everton's Amadou Onana have both been mentioned as potential targets but no move has come close to happening yet.

Just over a week since the transfer window opened, a new name has been tipped to join the club and it has split opinion. Chelsea star Conor Gallagher is the latest name linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium with reports suggesting they have enquired about his availability.

The midfielder is one of the players in the shop window at Stamford Bridge as the West London outfit look to improve their financial situation and avoid any breaches of the Premier League's profit and sustainability rules (PSR). Gallagher is homegrown and thus represents pure profit on their balance sheets.

Aston Villa and Tottenham are two clubs who have been tracking the England international for some time but there has been no movement in any deal. Chelsea value their midfielder, who appeared 50 times last season, at £42m, however, his deal expires in 2025 meaning he could be available for slightly less.

For many in the Arsenal sector, Gallagher wouldn't be classed as the sort of signing they should be making. However, a regular in the Premier League over the last three seasons, the 24-year-old's potential move to Arteta's side makes sense.

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Looking at his individual statistics, Gallagher does the job. He ranks in the top 87th percentile for pass completion rate (89.2%) and 85th percentile for touches in the opposition final third (via FBRef).

Arsenal's options in midfield currently see Declan Rice and Jorginho sit behind the advanced Martin Odegaard. Much has been made of the difference between Arteta's tactical switch to include Jorginho and how it allowed freedom for Rice. But beyond the preferred three, the quality in the ranks isn't of the level they want.

Thomas Partey's season was plagued by injuries and Mohamed Elneny will leave the club at the end of the month. So for that reason alone, Gallagher makes perfect sense. And as mentioned above, Arsenal have been here before.

In January 2023, they failed to lure Moises Caicedo from Brighton, the Gunners paid £12m for Jorginho with the Italian having just six months left on his deal at Chelsea. Like Gallagher, his arrival split opinion but the experienced playmaker has proved a pivotal member of the team in times of need.

Kai Havertz and Jorginho

Last summer, when everyone called for Arsenal to sign a striker, Kai Havertz was signed for £65m despite scoring just seven Premier League goals the season before. After a slow start in red, the Germany international silenced his doubters and ended the season with 13 league goals in 37 games.

Both players were greeted with uncertainty and calls to be dropped throughout their time at the Emirates Stadium. Gallagher is another example of a footballer who hasn't yet convinced everyone of his ability but Arteta has two case studies of his ideology of signing Chelsea players and making them shine.