Gyokeres move, Calafiori arrival, Simons hijack - Arsenal next transfer decided after £27m deal

Sporting CP forward Viktor Gyokeres
-Credit: (Image: Pedro Loureiro/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Welcome to the party, Arsenal. But only, not really.

The club have finally got things underway with a deal this summer. The disappointment for many is that it has been a long time coming. Arsenal's likelihood to make David Raya's loan move from Brentford last summer into a permanent transfer has been common knowledge for some months.

So, almost an entire month since the window officially opened, there is just this to show for the work so far. As England and Gareth Southgate may be saying currently, it's not how you start but how you finish. The only issue is that Arsenal have plenty to do and won't want things to drag on too long.

The most effective clubs - as Arsenal have been in the past two-and-a-half years - don't get snared into the end-of-window rush. With so much to do - including finding a new striker and central midfielder, possibly a left-back/centre-back if the Riccardo Calafiori talks are anything to go by - it is shaping up to be a busy period for the Gunners.

They will start initial pre-season training in the coming weeks with returning players from international duty testing Mikel Arteta's management skills. Then it is off to the USA for a tour and some matches to get his group ready to try and push even further, and squeeze even more, in an anticipated Premier League title race again.

What will the squad look like come the start of the season? How will that change by the time the window closes? All we know now is that Raya will certainly be part of the team, but really we already knew that.

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Here, takes a look at what is next for Arsenal after a slow start to their window.

Tom Coley

Arsenal will not be forced into rushing things this window, and there's no need to. Arteta has a foundation to his squad and most of the changes are to squad players and rotational options. Raising the floor of the squad is more important now than improving the ceiling, which is already extremely high and on the rise.

But without a new striker it is hard to see things actually going to the next step. Kai Havertz has proven himself to be a reliable and useful option but it seems that the coach still views him as a midfielder, even though he is an extremely attacking one.

So looking for the answer to the goalscoring issues that saw Arsenal draw blank when it really mattered last season is still the focus. Victor Osimhen is the most proven and readily available name out there, signing him would be a serious statement but also poses questions of the structure.

Viktor Gyokeres looks to be second choice at the moment and he is a considerable step down from Osimnhen for a still lofty price. Over £85million for either of them is a lot to stomach.

Midfield isn't as urgent for Arsenal but that is where a lot of the sales could take place. If Thomas Partey goes then a new enforcer will be needed. Amadou Onana is a prime candidate there, but outside of that there is no immediate need to bolster the area unless both Fabio Vieira and Emile Smith Rowe exit. At this stage that looks ambitious and unlikely.

Isaac Johnson

I think Arsenal’s most exciting next step would be to bring in another elite midfielder alongside Martin Odegaard and Declan Rice to make a world class trio - but I fear that Arsenal’s lack of clinical striker will cost them.

The jury is still out on whether Kai Havertz’s form a purple patch or prolonged improvement, and his stint up front for Germany at Euro 2024 still leaves questions over him. It’s clear Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nkeitah, likely to be sold, are not of the required level.

I reckon Ivan Toney would be the perfect signing. Not only will Brentford be expecting his exit, but his style of play would compliment Arsenal’s wing play immensely while also attaining that lethal eye for goal. For me his arrival is as equally pressing as a midfielder’s is.

Jack Flintham

Arsenal cannot complain about how they have managed to compete with Manchester City over the past two campaigns. Mikel Arteta's team have showcased tangible improvements year on year and it feels like they are heading in the right direction to end Pep Guardiola's reign of dominance.

To welcome a new era in the Premier League, the obvious transfer move now would be to bring in a centre-forward. The Gunners' strike force is the only particularly noticeable downgrade to City and while Kai Havertz was impressive last season, the lack of another goalscorer ultimately hindered Arsenal in their pursuit of glory.

Due to how well Havertz has performed though, I would be tempted into the risky purchase of Sporting's Viktor Gyokeres. The risk lies with whether or not the Swede can perform in the Premier League but with 43 goals to his name last season surely he is worth a punt.

If the 26-year-old manages similar figures next season for the Lisbon club, there is a real possibility that Arsenal will find themselves priced out of a deal for the striker and forced to look elsewhere. A bold swoop for the ex-Coventry City man could be the difference between another runners-up medal and actually lifting the title.

Tom Canton

Well isn’t this nice? Arsenal finally make some moves in the market to quieten down the predictably annual panic from supporters who seem to think that failing to complete the summer plans by July is something to write home about.

Some much-needed injection of quality into the youth team is underway with more expected in the coming months. Whereas at senior level the deal for Raya is imminent and now interest in the exciting Riccardo Calafiori look to have kicked off the summer.

Arsenal were always going to be patient and not make moves for the sake of it. With both the Euros and Copa America coming to the latter stages, I expect more noise surrounding Arsenal transfers to grow.

A forward is still wanted and the central midfield is also a priority for the Gunners this summer. But both positions lack the standout candidate of previous summers to move for and therefore it may be that as opportunities emerge that is when Arsenal will strike.

At this stage, I think that a wide player is more likely than a centre-forward, especially considering the striker candidates are not particularly forthcoming either. Names? That is tricky, especially with the likes of Nico Williams having a reported preference for Barcelona and Xavi Simons seeming likely to join Bayern Munich but perhaps it is at the latter club which might hold some opportunities as they refresh their own flanks.

Josh Holland

Unlike many of the Premier League clubs, Arsenal are in a well-stocked position where they are not desperate for new signings. However, that doesn't mean that they should rest on their laurels.

Raya's move being made permanent was always going to happen and after a terrific 2023/24 campaign, Arteta's side isn't lacking quality. However, the next position that should be prioritised is in midfielder, not in attack.

Kai Havertz's end of season form that has been carried into Euro 2024 means the Gunners have a valuable option at centre-forward. Behind him, Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard are first-choice but the third-spot, the holding midfielder role, requires attention.

Martin Zubimendi is a name that constantly gets linked with a move to Arsenal and the Spain international surely will secure a move away from Real Sociedad soon. For me, acquiring a decent midfielder to replace Thomas Partey is the Gunners' next priority.

Kieran Horn

With David Raya now through the door permanently, attention will likely turn to signing a midfielder for Mikel Arteta.

Martin Zubimendi, Amadou Onana and Youssouf Fofana are just a few names of interest with those three offering qualities that will help compliment Declan Rice. Though Kai Havertz, as a false 9, is crucial to Arteta's system, the Gunners continue to be linked with prolific strikers such as Viktor Gyokeres and Alexander Isak.

Arteta has already delivered some brutal comments about how busy Arsenal could be with financial regulations impacting them, and with that in mind, any marquee deal looks unlikely. The Gunners have sufficient depth in most positions, but for me, the real concerns are at centre-back.

Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba were imperious last season but their will be campaigns in the near future where injuries strike either of the duo, as was discovered back in March 2023 when Saliba picked up a back injury. With that in mind, I think signing a centre-back is the next priority and it simply has to be Riccardo Calafiori.

Following his displays for Bologna and Italy, it is no surprise so many Premier League teams are interested in a possible £40million but Arsenal must do everything they can to acquire his services, especially as there are minimal options better at such a low price.

Joe Doyle

It's a tough one for Arsenal after coming so close to winning the Premier League in back-to-back seasons. There aren't too many places in the starting XI where you think, 'there is definitely an upgrade available out there'.

While there are links to Riccardo Calafiori, I'm not sure a defensive reinforcement is necessarily the most pressing issue, unless moves happen for Jakub Kiwior and Oleksandr Zinchenko. If that duo does leave, a move for the Italian defender would be a great option.

It's similar in midfield - if the club are going to sell Thomas Partey then a replacement ready to start games for the Gunners should be brought in. Otherwise, the club should move for a top-class attacker who can play No.9 and offer some real competition to Havertz and Jesus. The ideal candidate would be Alexander Isak, but he may prove too expensive. So I'll go for Victor Osimhen.

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