Arsenal looked clear favourites for the top four just a couple of weeks ago, but back-to-back defeats against Crystal Palace and Brighton have exposed their weaknesses and put them in a difficult position again.
It seems clear now that even if the Gunners do get that all-important Champions League spot, they’re probably only going to do it by scraping past some pretty weak Manchester United and Tottenham sides, and it will require a strong transfer window to ensure they don’t fall behind again next season.
Arsenal’s biggest issues are in attack, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring almost as many goals for Barcelona as this entire Arsenal team since he left the Emirates Stadium for the Nou Camp in January.
Mikel Arteta also has the major worry of both Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah heading towards being free agents this summer, with barely anyone left at the club to play up front next season.
Nicolas Pepe’s lack of impact is also a major concern, with the Ivory Coast international’s future surely likely to be in doubt, while a signing in midfield to bring the club an upgrade on Granit Xhaka wouldn’t go amiss either.
Here’s our pick for three ideal candidates for Arsenal to strengthen this summer…
An elite striker in the making, Darwin Nunez has been on fire for Benfica this season, and he’s surely ideal for Arsenal to fix that centre-forward problem.
The Uruguay international has scored 32 goals in 37 games in all competitions this season, and he’s likely to be a more realistic target than other top strikers at the moment such as Erling Haaland.
See below as Fabrizio Romano has linked Arsenal with an interest in Nunez, who looks set to leave Benfica for around €80million this summer…
Darwin Núñez will leave Benfica in the summer, fee around €80m. His new agent will now meet with many top clubs to explore opportunities. ?? #transfers
Man United already discussed his name internally – Arsenal wanted him last January as West Ham but Darwin was not for sale. pic.twitter.com/Eo5op4DERa
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 11, 2022
As Romano notes, however, there could also be interest from Manchester United, so it’s all the more vital for Arsenal to get this deal done before one of their biggest rivals swoops in.
As we wrote here, Jarrod Bowen looks an ideal transfer target for Arsenal right now. The West Ham forward has enjoyed some of the finest form of his career this season, and looks like he still has more to offer.
The 25-year-old looks like precisely the kind of player Liverpool have targeted with great success in recent years – someone who is both proven in the Premier League, but who looks like they’re on the way up to a higher level, whilst currently playing for a club who would surely have to sell if a good enough offer came in.
Bowen can also operate out wide or up front, so would be useful to help the Gunners replace the likes of Aubameyang and Lacazette in a central position, and Pepe out wide.
Finally, one of the finest all-rounders in midfield who’s not currently at a big six club, Youri Tielemans seems like an absolute must for Arsenal in midfield.
The Belgium international has been a star player for Leicester City, who have slipped up a bit this season in terms of challenging the big six like they have in the last few years. This surely means they’ll now have to sell another of their stars.
Tielemans has it in him to be a success like former Foxes stars like N’Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez at a bigger club, and it’s also worth noting that he’s approaching the final year of his contract.
This is surely an ideal signing for Arsenal and a perfectly realistic target to bring in without spending crazy money.