Arsenal have suffered an early setback on the transfer market as rumoured target Ryan Fraser has suggested that he will stay at Bournemouth this summer.
As noted by The Sun, the 25-year-old was reportedly a £30m target for the Gunners with Unai Emery looking to strengthen his squad and stamp his mark on the group ahead of his second season in charge at the Emirates.
Fraser is coming off the back of an impressive campaign on an individual level, bagging eight goals and 15 assists in 42 appearances for the Cherries, and so it’s no wonder that it’s suggested that he attracted interest from Arsenal.
However, he has now conceded that it’s more than likely that he will still be with Bournemouth next season, forcing Arsenal to now surely look elsewhere in search of reinforcements.
“The likelihood is I will be at Bournemouth for another year,” he is quoted as saying by The Sun. “And what will happen, will happen. That is all I can really say about it.
“No one has really spoken to me about it.”
Having finished outside of the top four in the Premier League as well as suffering defeat in the Europa League final, Arsenal will have hoped for a better start to their summer plans having been dealt such disappointment last season in missing out on the Champions League.
However, Emery will now have to focus on other targets instead and continue to improve where possible, with an argument to be made that it’s the defence rather than the attack that needs to be the priority.
Arsenal conceded 51 goals in 38 league games last season giving them the second worst defensive record of the top nine sides in the standings. Given Emery already has options in attack, albeit upgrades are perhaps needed, it’s the defence which was their biggest vulnerability last year and it will need to be addressed.