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Gareth Southgate could hand Edu dream Arsenal transfer audition for perfect Declan Rice partner

Harry Kane, Adam Wharton and Declan Rice of England look on during a training session at Rockliffe Park on May 29, 2024 in Darlington, England.
-Credit: (Image: (Photo by Eddie Keogh - The FA/The FA via Getty Images))


Mikel Arteta and Edu will be desperately hoping one particular Premier League midfielder heads to this summer's European championships. The tournament is just under two weeks away from kicking off and while it may allow for the perfect scouting opportunities, getting early deals over the line will be a significant challenge.

"That's the ideal scenario," Arteta said when asked if Arsenal were hopeful of getting their business done at the start of the window. "Every club wants that, we want that as coaches and for the players especially. Then for the team and for the environment. When you do that something clicks there and it’s really important because it starts to give you momentum."

Despite the summer trading period not being open until mid-June, the Gunners have been linked to numerous players with RB Leipzig striker Benjamin Sesko undoubtedly near the top of the priority list. However, doing a deal swiftly, despite his €65million (£55.3m) release clause, won't be easy as he prepares for the Euros with Slovenia.

Later this month, England take on his nation in their final group stage clash where Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka may be hoping to convince him of a move to Arsenal. Arteta will likely have a close eye on that game but it may be other England games he watches with a keen eye on one particular midfielder.

For the final 28 minutes of the friendly victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina, Crystal Palace star Adam Wharton showed exactly why he has become the talk of the town. During his first six months at Selhurst Park, the 20-year-old has been immense and his cameo from the bench may have done wonders for his chances of being named in Gareth Southgate's 26-man squad.

Jude Bellingham and Rice have already nailed down two midfield spots but exactly who takes the other one is unknown. Out of Conor Gallagher, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kobbie Mainoo and Wharton, Arteta will definitely be hoping it is the latter in order to get a closer look at how he functions alongside Rice.

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The Gunners are on the hunt for a new midfielder with Thomas Partey expected to depart this summer. Martin Zubimendi, Amadou Onana, Youssouf Fofana and Joao Neves have all been linked as potential replacements but Wharton could prove to be the best option, especially if he has already worked well with Rice.

Last summer Arsenal were interested in his signature but Palace struck quickly earlier this year to wrap up an £18million deal with Championship side Blackburn Rovers. The only problem with the interest potentially remaining 12 months on will be the significant price increase given Wharton's recent displays and nationality.