Arsenal transfer news: Onana £50m links, Xavi Simons loan, potential sale to Newcastle & more

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Amadou Onana linked with Arsenal again, but is he good enough?

Amadou Onana is a player who has consistently been linked with Arsenal over the past 12 months.

There were strong reports in January that talks were at an advanced stage, although I was always told that wasn’t the case and that nothing was close to happening at that stage. Whether that changes this summer remains to be seen, but it may be one to keep an eye on.

We know Arsenal are in the market for at least one midfielder this summer and Onana is one of a number of players they have been monitoring.

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There is a lot to like about him as a player and Arsenal know first hand just how good he can be when he is at his best.

I’ll always remember his performance against Arsenal at Goodison last year. It was Sean Dyche’s first game in charge of Everton and Onana was absolutely exceptional.

It was one of the best midfield performances I’ve seen from a player. I was sitting in the press box at Goodison watching him thinking ‘this guy is incredible’. He was absolutely everywhere. He was strong, physical, he was running box to box, winning tackles and driving Everton forward. It was one of those individual performances from a player that just sticks in your mind.

The thing with Onana, when you talk to people who watch him week in, week out, is that those types of performances are few and far between.

He can be excellent on his day, but then he can be quite ordinary for a few weeks in a row. And that would be my worry about Arsenal signing him, especially if he were to be the only midfielder to arrive this summer.

In my opinion, Arsenal need a midfielder who can come in and immediately raise the ceiling of this team and I’m not sure he does that. I think he would be a work in progress, someone Mikel Arteta and his coaching staff would have to really work on to get the best out of him consistently.

It could be a good market opportunity though. I’m not an expert when it comes to Everton’s financial issues right now, but it seems pretty clear that they are struggling again with PSR issues and a big sale could be needed.

They clearly don’t want to lose Jarrad Branthwaite, so they could be open to letting Onana go if anyone comes knocking for the Belgian international.

A price tag of around £50m is being mentioned and that could be appealing to interested clubs given his age and profile.

It’s one of those market opportunities that could tempt clubs into making a move. Whether that’s Arsenal, however, remains to be seen.

Xavi Simons could tick a few boxes for Arsenal

Xavi Simons is another player who seems to be constantly being linked with Arsenal.

I have to say, I’ve heard nothing yet to suggest that they will make a move for him, but if PSG are open to letting him out on loan again then I really do think Arsenal should at least enter the conversation.

Simons was excellent for Leipzig last season and he does tick a lot of the boxes Arsenal are looking for when it comes to adding something different to their attacking options.

Arsenal want to bring in someone who has the ability to open up teams out of nothing. There was an acceptance at the club last season that the team did have some issues, especially in really tight games, unlocking a packed defence. The Champions League exit in the second leg in Munich was one of those occasions.

High level figures at the club accepted after that loss that an X-Factor type player was missing from the squad. Someone who had the ability to do something out of nothing that could break open a defence.

Simons has shown he can do that, which does make him an interesting option, even if it is just on loan.

He wouldn’t be my first choice. I think I would prefer someone like Michael Olise to take that role in the squad. But Simons could be another of those tempting market opportunities to keep an eye on this summer.

Arsenal’s switch of focus after Benjamin Sesko transfer blow

How Arsenal react to missing out on Benjamin Sesko is going to be very interesting. I don’t think it’s a given that they just focus their attention on signing another out and out number nine.

We’ve just spoken about Xavi Simons and it wouldn’t surprise me if Arsenal’s focus now will be on bolstering their attacking options by adding someone who can add goals and creativity from out wide.

Kai Havertz’s form having moved up front in the second half of last season has certainly lessened the need for a new central striker.

Havertz was exceptional and he’s already shown from Germany at the Euros that he can continue to play that role.

And Arsenal will certainly be hoping that a summer off will allow Gabriel Jesus to finally get back to peak fitness and that he will start the season in far better shape than he was in last season.

So they do have good options up front and I think they will continue to track Sesko as well. So they won’t just panic and go out and sign a striker just for the sake of it.

There is a strong argument that a new wide option is just as important when it comes to strengthening the squad and we know that they admire players like Pedro Neto and Nico Williams.

There is certainly a big hole in the squad for a player like either one of them and I do think that a signing like that is now probably more realistic than an out and out number nine, unless an offer arrives that tempts them into selling Jesus. Should that happen, then he would need to be replaced.

Kieran Tierney looked set for Newcastle last summer, but what about this year?

I haven’t heard anything to suggest Kieran Tierney will be heading to Newcastle.

That was a move that looked certain last summer. I was convinced when the 2022/23 season finished, Tierney would end up at St James’ Park.

There was a real expectation that the deal would happen, but Newcastle opted to go down a different route and they signed Lewis Hall from Chelsea instead.

That killed the chances of Tierney going there and I can’t see anything changing this summer when it comes to that potential move.

Arsenal would like to sell Tierney, that’s no secret. But it’s one of those transfers that will not be that easy to secure.

They wanted to sell him last summer but when the Newcastle move broke down, the market for him just wasn’t there. That’s why they had to end up striking a loan deal with Real Sociedad.

The hope was that he would go to Spain, do really well and create a real market for himself this summer. But once again injuries massively disrupted his season in La Liga and any clubs that are looking at him will have to take those injuries – as well as all his previous ones – into account.

His injury record will certainly make it difficult for Arsenal to get the sort of money they would like for him, especially given the healthy size of his wage packet.

So it is probably going to be tough again for Arsenal when it comes to finding a buyer for Tierney this summer.

That’s why I wouldn’t rule out another loan at this stage, even though the both club’s and Tierney’s preference is to now part ways on a permanent basis.

More Stories Amadou Onana Benjamin Sesko Charles Watts Kai Havertz Kieran Tierney Michael Olise Nico Williams Pedro Neto Xavi Simons

1 Comment

  1. No to simons, no to onana. Simply not good enough. Also no to neto none are better than what we have.

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