Arsenal have already exceeded expectations during the summer transfer window, despite failing to qualify for the Champions League last term.
Unai Emery’s first season in charge at Emirates Stadium ended in abject failure back in May, as a 4-1 Europa League final defeat to Chelsea ensured the Gunners finished without a trophy.
Arsenal fell to fifth in the Premier League and missed out on a place at Europe’s elite table as a result, failing to match their attacking prowess with a solid foundation at the back.
There had been some suggestion that Emery would be operating with limited funds in the transfer market as a result of his side’s failure – as per The Mirror – but the club’s strict financial situation was in actual fact, greatly exaggerated.
The Gunners have conducted their business thoughtfully and swiftly over the last couple of months, bringing in four new senior stars, with at least one more signing expected before Thursday’s deadline.
Gabriel Martinelli – (Ituano)
The first man through the door at the Emirates this summer was Brazilian striker Gabriel Martinelli, who arrived from South American club Ituano for a £6 million fee – as per Goal.
The 18-year-old was also on Real Madrid and Barcelona’s radar, but Arsenal managed to win the race for his signature, tying the promising attacker down to a long-term contract in north London.
Dani Ceballos & William Saliba – (Real Madrid & Saint Etienne)
Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos joined Arsenal on a season-long loan deal at the end of June, after impressing during Spain’s run to glory at the U21 European Championships.
The 22-year-old has found opportunities hard to come by at Santiago Bernabeu in recent years, but his talent is undeniable and Emery will hope he can help fill the sizeable void left by Aaron Ramsey in midfield next season.
William Saliba’s arrival at Arsenal was confirmed on the same day, as he completed a £27 million switch from Ligue 1 outfit Saint Etienne – as per the Telegraph.
At just 18 years of age, the French full-back is already being tipped to reach the very highest level of the game, but he will not join up with his new teammates at the Emirates until next summer, having been sent back to Saint Etienne on loan for the 2019-20 season.
Nicolas Pepe – (Lille)
The Gunners pulled off one of the biggest deals of the summer last week, adding Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pepe to their ranks for a club-record £72 million – as per Sky Sports.
Pepe contributed 22 goals and 11 assists to Lille’s cause in Ligue 1 last season, emerging as one of the most exciting young players in Europe.
Alongside Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, the 24-year-old will be part of a fearsome attacking trio which could help fire the Gunners back into the top four next year.
Goalkeeping legend Petr Cech hung up his boots at the end of last season, bringing an illustrious playing career to an end while leaving Bernd Leno serving as Arsenal’s outright number one.
David Ospina also left the club after a successful loan spell at Napoli, making his move to Stadio San Paolo permanent for £3.1 million – as per The Sun.
Danny Welbeck and Stephan Lichtsteiner became free agents after their contracts expired in June, having been deemed surplus to requirements by Emery ahead of the upcoming campaign.
However, Ramsey’s move to Juventus was without question Arsenal’s most significant loss, as he joined the Italian champions on a free transfer following unsuccessful negotiations over a new contract at the Emirates.
The Welshman was a key player for the Gunners over the last decade and the club might ultimately end up regretting sanctioning his departure if goals are not met across all competitions over the next 12 months.
Further transfer activity
Arsenal’s need for defensive reinforcements is on the verge of increasing dramatically, as Laurent Koscielny nears a return to France with Bordeaux.
The Sun reports that a deal has already been struck between the two clubs, with the 33-year-old now set to leave north London after refusing to take part in the club’s pre-season tour.
To lose such an important member of the squad will be a huge blow for Emery, particularly given his lack of extra options at the back, which means the Gunners will have to dip back into the market.
One man who had seemingly been destined for a switch to the Emirates was Celtic’s Keiran Tierney, but Arsenal have already seen a £25 million bid for his services rejected – as per Goal.
According to Metro Sport, a move for Juventus centre back Daniele Rugani is now more likely, with the Gunners set to table an official offer before the transfer window slams shut in two days time.
Arsenal have also been linked with a sensational swoop for Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho, but Emery shut down those rumours after a pre-season clash with the Spanish champions at the weekend, as per Metro Sport.
The Spanish boss insisted he was happy with his squad after the 2-1 defeat to Barca, but also hinted that an extra recruit could still be added by the end of the week.
As per Goal, Emery said: “It has not changed, our idea and our message.
“Only if we can sign a player who really, really can improve our squad, then we are going to do that.
“If not, then not.
“We have good competitive players to achieve or try to achieve our target this season and we are going to be looking at something if we can sign someone, but with this idea.
“Only, and only, if we can improve.”
Arsenal kick-off their latest Premier League season on Sunday against Newcastle at St James’ Park, before hosting Burnley at the Emirates six days later.