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Each week, a few of the writers at You Are My Arsenal will answer questions regarding recent matches, transfers, squad developments, and other goings-on at Arsenal Football Club. This week, Justin Fisher (@jtfisher34 on Twitter), Morgan Ofori (@Cruciateblog), and Dope Gooner (@dopegooner), along with guest writer Mitch Peotter (@mitchpeotter), have tackled a handful of Arsenal-related questions below:

How many players, and which positions, do you think the club will target?

Mitch Poetter: I think that we are guaranteed to bring in at least two players in the summer with a striker and a midfielder being the two guarantees. Any other additions depend on a lot, we will likely bring in a backup RB unless Brook Norton Cuffy is seen as a viable backup next season for Tomiyasu. I don’t see that being likely so I expect us to buy a player like Tavaras that can grow into a solid player. Similarly, another striker could be brought in if Lacazette is allowed to leave which is likely. He can probably get more play time at a different club, and we can get a player to fit a different profile as a number 9 than the other one we bring in. I think we will bring in 2-5 different players this summer based on outgoings.

Cruciateblog: I think the club will look to bring in a central midfielder and another forward. I also think there is potential that another centre back option will come in, as there is likely to be movement in that area. I think all in all the club will look to target 4 players, potentially more based on outgoings.

Dope Gooner: Well we already know we’re bringing in Matt Turner as our backup goalkeeper. In addition to that, I think we are going to try to bring in at least three players, maybe four depending on what our midfield looks like after departures. Due to our current situation in that position, there is no way we don’t go for a striker this summer. We will also probably try to sign a left-sided eight to take over the role Xhaka is playing at the moment. Aside from those two acquisitions, we seem to be interested in a wide forward as well. I also wonder about signing another midfielder, probably a deeper-lying one, if we look thin in that part of the pitch.

Justin Fisher: I think there are two key positions for immediate first team upgrades: left central midfielder, and a striker (and will likely need two strikers with Lacazette’s impending departure). If Arsenal do qualify for the Champions League, then I think there will be a massive need to fill in the depth- likely adding 4-5 squad players so we do not come to a situation similar to now where the bench is filled with 3-4 academy kids purely there to make up numbers. I imagine one or two wingers, a right back, and a central midfielder will be required as squad players so Arsenal have 16-18 first team quality players available for the necessary competitions.

How many players do you expect to leave the club after this season?

MP: I expect most of our players that are out on loan right now to be sold. Guendouzi, Torreira, and Mavropanos are basically done deals. AMN, Bellerin, Mari, Nelson, and Runarsson I also expect to be on the way out. On the current roster Cedric could be on his way out if a new right back is brought in. Leno is too good to be a backup and will be leaving for sure. This will be another big summer for squad clear-out with a possible 10 players leaving as well as a possible two more leaving as free agents.

CB: As has been said previously, the majority of our loan players, I expect to depart. Whether it is a player like Bellerin, who is long overdue a new challenge. Or players like Guendouzi, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Nelson and Runnarson, who are surplus to requirements. The centre back position is a big issue, will William Saliba come to Arsenal again and be happy with a rotation role or will the club look to cash in on him, while his value is high? Pablo Mari will also probably go as well. I expect Leno to leave in order to boost his world cup chances.

DG: A lot of them. Guendouzi, Torreira, Mavropanos, Lacazette, Nketiah, Elneny, and Leno are all practically guaranteed to go at this point. Maitland-Niles, Bellerin, Pablo Mari, Nelson, Runarsson, and Pepe also seem fairly likely to go as well. So, thirteen players in total, which means this summer will once again feature much turnover.

JF: Given that Arsenal have quite a few players out on loan right now as they were surplus to requirements, I think most of them will leave permanently. The likes of Pablo Mari, Hector Bellerin, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Lucas Torreria will all leave. Additionally, I think that Lacazette will leave when his contract runs out, alongside Mohammed Elneny. The two players that I think may be sneaky picks to be sold this summer are Cedric Soares and Nicolas Pepe. Cedric has shown he can be a decent backup right back, however with the World Cup next fall I feel he may want to leave in search of more consistent first team football.

Who do you think Arsenal will target in terms of midfield acquisitions?

MP: It is interesting to keep up with the sort of profiles we have been linked to for the midfield. We should be looking for a player to fill the left-8 role, but we have also seen a few 6’s been linked to Arsenal in recent months. Of the players that we have been linked to for the role my favorites would be Tielemans, Aouar, or Ruiz. I think that all of them could fit into this role and do a good job taking over for Granit Xhaka.

CB: As it is becoming apparent that Arsenal set up with a midfield three, with Odegaard taking up the right 8 slot and Xhaka taking up the left 8 slot, there are a number of suitable options to upgrade on Xkaka’s obvious limitations. I would go for Ruben Neves, there’s a reason Xavi sees him as an option for their midfield, but i think he is better than a lot of Arsenal fans credit him for. Tieleman’s off the ball work worries me, and potential adaptation problems for options like Fabian Ruiz and Aouar make them calculated risks.

DG: Well so far we have been pretty strongly linked to Youri Tielemans, Houssem Aouar, and Fabian Ruiz. All of those guys would be well-suited for playing the left-sided eight in a 4-3-3. I don’t think Aouar is happening given our past dealings with his camp, but Tielemans would make a lot of sense due to his Premier League experience. Fabian Ruiz also feels realistic. In addition to those or any other potential players at that position, I have a feeling that we will be after a closer of a defensive midfielder — imagine Elneny but much better. The odds of Arsenal playing in a European competition are pretty substantial right now, and we will need additions to our squad to make up the numbers and create a variety of skillsets within the squad.

JF: Since Mikel Arteta took over at Arsenal, he has shown that he wants to move towards a 4-3-3, and Arsenal’s best run of form has come while using this formation. Given that Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard are locks as first choice, the left sided 8 is the clear upgrade-able position. There are two ways Arteta could approach this signing: 1) Signing a midfielder who is excellent in the attacking third, but lacks the defensive acumen (think Houssem Aouar) or 2) Someone more similar to Granit Xhaka, a progressive passer (or dribbler) but more athletic than Granit Xhaka. I think if we get Champions League, Fabian Ruiz is the choice here.

Who is the striker that you would love to see Arsenal sign this summer?

MP: My favorite for this role for a while has been Jonathan David, I think he has a lot of the tools to be a great striker for us into the future and is a realistic option regardless of what happens with CL qualification. There is a lot to like about all the players we’ve been linked to and I’m excited to see the direction we end up going in.

CB: This is a name that I only recently learned about but I genuinely think he could be a candidate for the striker position. Dutch winger, Cody Gakpo, the 22 year old PSV Eindhoven Winger is a physical specimen at 6ft2 but also has the technical security in tight spaces to potentially boost our link up play. He is also a player that suits the profile of the group and can do positional rotation quite freely. I hope he comes into the team along with an energised Folarin Balogun and let’s see where we stand.

DG: Personally, I would love for us to sign either Alexander Isak or Cody Gakpo. With the only do-it-all unicorn of a striker on the market, Dusan Vlahovic, now having chosen the coward’s route and gone to Juventus, there aren’t really any sure things available this summer. I like Isak and Gakpo because they’re tall, quick, technically gifted, and have high talent ceilings. They’re not physically robust, but they can bulk up at Arsenal much as other players have. Isak and Gakpo just strike me as players who can develop into center forwards who can take the game by the scruff of the neck and make things happen, and there aren’t many guys like that available this coming summer.

JF: It is really hard to guess who Arsenal will sign at striker because we simply do not know what Mikel Arteta values in a striker. Recently, we have been linked to Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo- who in my mind offer very different skill sets. I am very intrigued by Gakpo given his size and versatility, he reminds me of Marcus Rashford, but I am concerned that the jump from the Eredivisie to first choice striker at Arsenal may be too much. That saiI really like what I’ve seen from Gakpo and the rumors seem legit, but since Cruciateblog chose him I’ll be different and go with Tammy Abraham.

How contingent on Champions League qualification do you think our transfer plans are?

MP: I think it’s the difference between the level of certain players we target this summer. Options like Osimhen and Lautaro Martinez become more realistic with the Champions League if we went big. Making CL would make everything easier in the summer which is one of the many reasons why I’d be excited to get back into the top 4.

CB: Obviously finishing in the top 4 hyper charges our transfer plans and makes us a more attractive option. However, for the first time in years, we have a clear understanding of what this team requires to progress. If Arsenal do finish out of the top 4, i still believe they can improve the side, even if it is with lesser proven profiles.

DG: Where we finish is going to determine the minutiae of the level of players we can sign this summer. If we finish in the Champions League places, we can go for more finished articles or even bid on superstars like Erling Haaland without looking too silly (I’m not saying we have a snowball’s chance in hell of signing Haaland, I’m just saying that finishing in fourth means we should throw some money at him and see what happens). Finishing in the Europa League spots would still allow us to sign some quality players, but we might have to aim for footballers who could become elite in a couple years’ time instead of ones who are elite now.

JF: Clearly the Champions League will have a massive impact on Arsenal’s transfer plans this summer, both from a financial and a reputational standpoint. The financial benefit is huge, 40-50 million extra sounds pretty nice doesnt it? More than that though, when in the Champion’s League, you can attract a much higher calibre of player than when not. Arsenal operated last summer by buying a specific type of player- young, somewhat inexperienced, but all had huge concerns surrounding them. Not to rehash the summer, but Odegaard, Ramsdale, even Ben White to an extent all had huge concerns regarding ability, adaptation etc. when joining Arsenal. If we are in the Champions League, I think we can go after players who have less outright concerns, especially when looking for a striker.

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