Unai Emery and the team tasked with targeting transfers will have to work extra hard to acquire quality players for next season.
As life after Wenger begins, Emery is tasked with at least doing better than the club’s underwhelming 2017/18 season. While many fans had expected a little more backing from the board, the former PSG and Sevilla boss has been handed just £50 to strengthen the team. Like when we look for the best free bets, Emeri will need to place emphasis on value when choosing his new recruits.
Wenger’s 22 years in charge saw some of the greatest players of the modern era don the famous red shirt. Highly influential in the clubs transfer dealings in that time, there was something of a departure from the Frenchman’s autonomous control towards the end of his tenure. Sven Mislinat and Raul Sanllehi’s presence will now be felt even greater with Emeri at the helm, and it is will be interesting to see how this works out.
A name which seems to be popping up quite a lot in the media and on fan boards is Sokratis Papastathopoulos. The Borussia Dortmund man joined the club at the same time as former players who are now at Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. This link is definitely one which has substance, given the Dortmund connection. Arsenal fans seem split on the transfer, with some optimistic about the defender’s potential and others (probably unrealistically right now) hoping for an alternative, multi-million signing.
Another player being strongly linked with the club is Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini. The 21-year-old is reportedly being chased by other clubs in Europe, including Serie-A champions Juventus. According to these reports, the midfielder has a £26 million contract release clause, which will be within budget for Emery if this is true.
Fans will be aware of the link between Arsenal and former Stoke City player Steven N’Zonzi. Given Emeri’s former links with Sevilla, there are outlets suggesting that the Frenchman – who has been included in France’s World Cup squad – will link up with his former boss at the Emirates. N’Zonzi is an exciting target for some Arsenal fans, despite his role in a team with the now relegated club. Transfer targets like the Frenchman are bound to leave fans polarised approaching the new season.
A large number of the Arsenal faithful had lost their faith in Wenger a number of years ago. When it came to the former boss leaving the club at the end of the season, those same fans would have expected to have felt a little more optimistic. Instead, the board has brought in a gaffer who many are not yet warming to, despite the season a few months away.
With just a £50 million transfer budget, Unai Emery will have his work cut out when it comes to getting the best out of the current players and one or two signings which will be bargain-basement, according to many.