Mikel Arteta sanctions 5 major Arsenal signings as continued rebuild explained despite key exits

Mikel Arteta could sign as many as five major players this summer as Arsenal target more title chases

Arsenal have plans to invest heavily in the squad this summer with multiple positions taking up precedence for Mikel Arteta as he continues to overhaul the squad. Some have questions about why there remains a need to add even more players and replace some who only signed as recently as two years ago.

Gabriel Jesus, for example, is one such player who could leave this summer with the club reportedly open to offers for the Brazilian. The same can be said for Oleksandr Zinchenko who has just two years remaining on his deal with little sign of a renewal on the horizon.

Arsenal have needs in five areas in the summer: central midfield, winger, centre-forward, defence and goalkeeper. They are a result of expected departures but also the simple matter of the level exceeding their relevant contribution.

Arsenal invested £38million in Jurrien Timber, for example, and Zinchenko has publicly admitted that despite being several years older, he believes he is perhaps not as good as the Dutchman. He told the official Arsenal programme as such back in August of last year.

"Maybe he is [similar], but maybe better than me," Zinchenko said. "I'm sure he is 100% going to show us what he can do, and will really help us. I do know about him because I watched him and followed the way he played at Ajax.”

Arsenal have now competed for the title in two successive seasons with ambitions to exploit Jurgen Klopp’s departure at Liverpool and any transition Manchester City go through in the next 18 months with Pep Guardiola’s own deal up next year. The Gunners are the best placed for consistency across the foreseeable future and adding quality which competes with their existing starters will be key.

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It is not a sign that the previous recruitment was not up to standard. Simply look at where the club has come in the past three seasons to see its impact. Some players signed at the start of the process, or who were here before Mikel Arteta was even appointed, have grown and developed into key players under their manager.

Whereas some have now been made obsolete with the rise in expectation and ambition. But the fact of the matter is they were necessary additions at the time to help Arteta reach this level, and now the movements are made to establish themselves here and try to topple the likes of City and Real Madrid in domestic and European competition respectively.

A central midfielder is needed to both replace a potentially exiting Thomas Partey and offer support to Declan Rice. A winger is needed in order to have Bukayo Saka managed better and given competition to push him.

A defender is needed to take the options from seven to eight with Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Jurrien Timber, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Jakub Kiwior and the aforementioned Zinchenko one short – potentially two if the latter leaves with promotion from within possible.

Aaron Ramsdale's expected move means that another goalkeeper will be needed. Whether Arteta opts for another competitive option to push David Raya, whose loan is expected to be made permanent, will be an interesting piece of business to assess this summer.

The centre-forward has become far less of a priority following the success of Kai Havertz. However, Eddie Nketiah and Jesus leaving would make it a far greater one with the profile understood by to be a younger, taller striker to offer both aerial threat and longevity for the position.

Each and every signing needs to be a major acquisition and Arteta knows this. His aversion to heavier rotation has not been lost on supporters with accusations of a lack of trust in some of his team to deliver in key moments and therefore the players brought in this summer can only be of the requisite quality to curb this trend.