Arsenal transfer news: Chelsea trying to find their own Arteta, links with Inter star, & more

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Chelsea using Arteta’s Arsenal success as a blueprint

It is nice to look at the managerial merry-go-round in the Premier League at the moment and not have to worry about it from an Arsenal point of view.

The stability that exists at the club now following the appointment of Mikel Arteta and the fact that he and the executives are all working on the same page brings an air of calm to the club that the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United would kill for right now.

I also think the impact Arteta has had at Arsenal is playing a major part in how those clubs, Chelsea especially, are looking to operate going forward.

They are using Arsenal as a blueprint in how to turn the club around, both in terms of the managerial appointment and how they build their squads.

Young managers certainly appear to be flavour of the month right now and I do believe Arteta’s success in revealing Arsenal has played a major part of that, as noted by fellow columnist Ben Jacobs here.

Rival clubs are looking at the trajectory that Arsenal are on and thinking that they want to be a part of that. That’s pretty remarkable, when you consider the state Arsenal were in just a few years ago.

Arsenal want a forward this summer, but are the Lautaro Martinez links legit?

Lautaro Martinez is a name that has consistently been linked to Arsenal over the past few years, but the links have never really felt like they have had any substance. He’s not a player that has ever really been mentioned to me as a legitimate target, despite Arsenal’s need for a top level forward.

Martinez is clearly a quality player. You don’t hit the heights that he has hit with Inter Milan without having something special about you. But I would be surprised if these links we’ve seen from time to time with Arsenal ever really materialise into something more concrete.

Arsenal want to sign a forward this summer. There is no doubt about that. But my understanding of the situation is that any new addition is more likely to be a potential like signing, than someone with the profile of Martinez.

And when I say potential, I don’t mean an 18-year-old player with no real experience in a top league, but a forward more along the lines of a Benjamin Sesko who, while being a work in progress, still looks ready to come in and make a big impact in the squad straight away.

Nothing decided on Fabio Vieira yet – Smith Rowe exit looks more likely

Fabio Vieira of Arsenal

Fabio Vieira remains a bit of a mystery after his first two years at Arsenal. There is clearly a high quality player there, but that’s not going to be good enough unless he can show consistency and perhaps more importantly, some real personality when he is on the pitch.

He has shown flashes of the talent that convinced Arsenal to invest big money in him when they signed him from Porto, but no more than that.

There were really promising signs at the start of last season and he was very unlucky to pick up the injury when he did. It stopped him in his tracks and he found himself well down the pecking order once he recovered in the early part of 2024.

There are big question marks over his future now, but I don’t think anything has been decided yet. Vieira falls into the same category of plenty of the players in this Arsenal squad. I don’t think Arsenal are actively pushing him out of the door at this stage, but should a tempting offer arrive this summer then I would expect them to listen to it.

I do think what happens with Emile Smith Rowe will have an impact on Vieira’s future. I would be surprised if Arsenal let both players leave in the same summer and there’s definitely a good chance Smith Rowe will leave.

Talks are scheduled between Smith Rowe’s camp and the club in the very near future to determine his future. The same talks happened last summer and Mikel Arteta made it very clear that he did not want to sanction the 23-year-old’s exit. Whether he has the same strong stance this time around remains to be seen.

Smith Rowe only has two years left on his deal now and as much as he loves Arsenal, he and his camp are well aware that he is at a stage of his career where he really needs to play. And even though he has not played much in the last couple of seasons, I would expect the market for Smith Rowe this summer to be far more competitive than it would be for Vieira.

So if you were to ask me who out of the two I would expect to leave, I would be more inclined to say Smith Rowe as it stands.

Will Saka start for England at Euro 2024 this summer?

Gareth Southgate is certainly a lucky man when it comes to the attacking options he has to call upon this summer at the Euros.

Obviously Harry Kane will be the focal point of the attack, but the fact that you can choose between the likes of Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden and Cole Palmer to support him, shows the options Southgate has. And that’s before you even factor in Jude Bellingham of course.

As is the way on social media, I’ve seen loads of talk about who should play out of Saka, Foden or Palmer. And look, Palmer has had an outstanding season with Chelsea. But he can’t just walk into the team on the eve of a major tournament and push Saka out of the XI.

Maybe if Saka had just come off a poor season there could be a debate, but Saka has had yet another excellent campaign with Arsenal and his record for England speaks for itself.

Perhaps you could play all three together in some games, depending on the opposition. You could have Saka on the right, Foden on the left and Palmer operating centrally behind Kane, with Bellingham and Rice playing as a pair in central midfield. That does feel a bit too attacking for Southgate and to be honest if any of those players are going to play as a No.10 behind Kane, I would prefer it to be Foden.

I think Saka just has something a bit different to the other two. He’s more of an out and out winger and I think that’s really important for England over on the right. He can stretch the play and make the pitch really wide over there, which is something I don’t really see happening as much over on the left.

So I would expect Saka and Foden to start England’s opening game of the tournament, with Palmer on the bench. The fact he is even in the conversation to be starting in Germany, however, shows how good a season Palmer has enjoyed. He’s been exceptional.

More Stories Bukayo Saka Charles Watts Cole Palmer Emile Smith Rowe Fabio Vieira Mikel Arteta Phil Foden