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Mateta move, perfect Rice and Odegaard partner - Arsenal targeting wrong Crystal Palace transfer

Crystal Palace lineup for a Premier League match with Liverpool
-Credit: (Image: (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images))


Michael Olise is being linked with a move to Arsenal in the summer transfer window. Chelsea are also reportedly interested in the Crystal Palace winger.

The Eagles ended the 2023/24 Premier League campaign in fine style, winning six of their last seven matches with Olise scoring four goals and providing three assists in those games.

Oliver Glasner really turned things around at Selhurst Park and he has a wealth of talent at his disposal next season. That is, if they all stay put, with rumours surrounding a number of his players, not just Olise.

And that begs the question, is Olise the right player that Arsenal are targeting from Palace this summer? Could they go for someone different? Our football.london writers had their say...

Joe Doyle - Content Editor

The most interest this summer will likely be in Michael Olise, but if I were Arsenal I think it could be a waste of time targeting him. While the Gunners could certainly use him in attack, they face a similar problem to Spurs a few years ago - convincing someone to play second fiddle to the first name on the team sheet.

With Tottenham it was Harry Kane; with Arsenal it's Bukayo Saka. Would Olise agree to join Arsenal to be a back-up? With so many clubs interested in him, it's doubtful.

Personally, I'm a sucker for watching Ebere Eze play football - he's perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing footballer when in full flow. I'd move for him and have a midfield of Eze, Rice and Odegaard.

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Tom Coley - Audience Writer

Don't say it to their faces, but Crystal Palace are the Brighton of 12 months ago. Everyone wants to snatch up their impressive young talent, and isn't there an array of options?

Adam Wharton would be quite the signing in Arsenal's midfield as an alternative to Thomas Partey or potential replacements Amadou Onana, Martin Zubimendi, and Bruno Guimaraes.

Eberechi Eze could be the new and improved Emile Smith Rowe, making more of a play for a starting role than the Hale End graduate has in recent years. Marc Guehi would provide depth at centre-back as well as a genuine challenge for a minutes.

The real standout is Michael Olise though. He is truly a cut above not only these Palace players but frankly most in the world. It could take Bukayo Saka to a new level if Olise joins because he wouldn't settle for a backup spot. Olise really is good enough to push the Englishman as well, he's that good.

Olise is simply the sort of player that you don't turn down. Sign him and fit him in somewhere. Transfer first, think second.

Kieran Horn - Audience Writer

Given what Michael Olise would offer Mikel Arteta, he is absolutely a player that Arsenal should pursue but for the same reason the Gunners have distanced themselves from Pedro Neto, his injury problems are a concern.

Arteta already knows the impact of losing a key player to niggling injuries and the club's stance on Thomas Partey perhaps showcases his final Olise decision. However, it is certainly not worth moving on from Crystal Palace with a potentially perfect partner to Declan Rice in their ranks.

Adam Wharton has been superb since his January switch to the Eagles and therefore the Gunners would be stupid not to at least enquire over his availability as they attempt to identify the best Partey replacement. If Arteta needs further proof of his ability and how exactly he would fit alongside Rice, he will hoping for a favour from England boss Gareth Southgate.

Lee Wilmot - Head of football

Michael Olise is one hell of a talent, but does he get the regular minutes at Arsenal that he craves if he joins them in the summer transfer window? I am not convinced.

But there are other players at Crystal Palace that Arsenal could and perhaps should be interested in instead. It's wild to look at Palace's squad right now and see the talent therein. Oliver Glasner has some really exciting players at his disposal, if they all stay.

You could make an argument for the Gunners signing Marc Guehi, but he would have to make do with a watching brief too. Arsenal do need defensive reinforcements, but Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba have the centre-back pairing tied down.

Adam Wharton would be a great option for the middle of the park and his development may well benefit from being alongside better players. Then there's Jean-Philippe Mateta.

The striker may be an outside choice, but he scored more than any other Arsenal player in the Premier League last season. He's a proper handful, who has now, it seems, fully adapted to life in England. And, Arsenal need a striker. Is it as far-fetched as it seems? Perhaps not.