Arsenal chief Edu can sign two perfect players and save club millions
Mikel Arteta reviews Chelsea win
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Arsenal have the chance to sign two players who could be ideal in their attempts to strengthen Mikel Arteta’s squad. Arsenal have a strong starting eleven but are aiming to boost their XI in certain positions while improving their back-up options in others.
And there are two excellent options set to be available to them who could also save the club millions in the process. The only drawback, however, is that the Gunners will have to wait until the summer transfer window to land the pair.
Leicester’s Youri Tielemans and Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace could be perfect additions to a youthful Arsenal squad. And both currently stand to be available for free at the end of the season, with their contracts expiring on July 1.
Tielemans is a long-term target for Arsenal and will be the subject of widespread interest in January. Foreign clubs can agree a pre-contract agreement with the Belgium international, and also with Zaha, in the first month of the New Year.
But the Gunners will be hoping the fact they have long-standing ties with Tielemans helps their cause. Landing the player, who has scored three Premier League goals this season including screamers against Wolves and Everton, for nothing would be a significant coup.
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Tielemans, a deep-lying playmaker, would be an ideal player to compete for a starting place with Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka in Arteta’s two-man midfield. He would arrive at the Emirates offering the perfect combination of age and experience.
The Belgian has amassed nearly 150 Premier League games and also has over 60 appearances in European competitions to his name too. He only turns 26 next May. A goalscoring midfielder with great passing range, he could be the long-term successor to Xhaka.
While Zaha could be an ideal option to boost the front three, given he can play on the right wing or as a striker even though he is predominantly a left-sided attacker. The Ivorian has proven he’s deserving of another shot at a top club with his outstanding contributions at Selhurst Park.
Since failing with his move to Manchester United, Zaha – who turns 30 this week – has provided 71 goals and 47 assists in 299 games for Palace. The tricky Zaha, one of the Premier League’s best dribblers, is undoubtedly the Eagles’ talisman and has relished in that role for several seasons.
Arsenal do have an abundance of ability out wide in Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli but Zaha would offer an experienced and productive alternative to help ease the burden. On a free, his arrival would be a no-brainer given Arsenal need extra depth in the final third.
Zaha was a target under Unai Emery but Nicolas Pepe was signed instead and the fellow Ivory Coast international unfortunately failed to succeed at the Emirates. But Arsenal can right their wrongs by recruiting Zaha for nothing, on the proviso that while he may not be guaranteed starts over Martinelli and Saka, he would get to sample Champions League football and play in a team competing for trophies.
That Arsenal are Zaha’s boyhood club is an extra incentive for the player, who could be persuaded to snub more lucrative offers – or clubs who can offer a better guarantee of starts – to move to north London.
Signing two experienced Premier League campaigners with so much quality in Tielemans and Zaha would make sense even if Arsenal were spending money. And so the opportunity to bring them in on frees feels like a chance too good to be missed as Arteta looks to try and build a title-winning squad.
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