Arsenal: First fixtures of 2021/22 Premier League season
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Arsenal transfer rumours have really started to heat up this week as Mikel Arteta explores a variety of targets. Aston Villa have also seen a £25million bid rejected for Emile Smith Rowe as the Gunners ace enters the final two years of his contract. Express Sport looks at how Arsenal could line up next season without Smith Rowe and with five new additions.
Goalkeeper – Ramsdale
Aaron Ramsdale is the latest goalkeeper to be linked with Arsenal following Sheffield United’s relegation to the Championship.
Ajax star Andre Onana is another target but the Gunners are not the only Premier League club interested in the Cameroon star.
Ramsdale was called up to replace the injured Dean Henderson in the England Euro 2020 squad on Monday, so a deal would unlikely happen until after the tournament.
The Blades are said to want £20m for the 23-year-old former Bournemouth star.
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Defence – Corona, White, Gabriel, Tierney
The backline sees two new arrivals, both on the right, in the shape of Jesus Corona and Ben White.
Versatile Porto star Corona is the latest right-back to be linked with a move to the Emirates, though he has spent the majority of his career on the right of midfield.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have seen an offer of £40m turned down by Brighton for White.
However, they are set to return with a new bid and White is said to be open to a transfer.
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Gabriel and Kieran Tierney slot in on the left of the defence, with the likes of Pablo Mari waiting in the wings.
Midfield – Partey, Lokonga; Odegaard
Arsenal remain interested in Albert Sambi Lokonga after having a £12.9m bid turned down for the Anderlecht captain earlier this week.
The Belgian would be a cheaper alternative to the likes of Ruben Neves and Yves Bissouma.
Thomas Partey is nailed on as a starter, especially if Granit Xhaka completes a move to Roma.
Martin Odegaard is Arteta’s top target and Real Madrid are reportedly keen on a swap which sees Smith Rowe head in the opposite direction.
It remains to be seen if Arsenal would be happy with that deal, but we’ve got Odegaard at No 10 in our XI.
Attack – Pepe, Lacazette, Saka
No new signings in attack, with a regular front three from last season.
Nicolas Pepe deserves a run in the side following his goalscoring run at the end of last term.
Bukayo Saka was named Arsenal’s player of last season and deservedly so. He is on the left of this front three.
Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will rotate up top as long as Pepe and Saka maintain fitness and form out wide.
How Arsenal could line up next season in full: Ramsdale; Corona, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Lokonga; Pepe, Odegaard, Saka; Lacazette
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