Premier League clubs are approaching what promises to be a difficult summer transfer window, with the global pandemic likely to have a notable impact on players who are bought and sold in the coming months.
It is likely that spending will decrease quite considerably across Europe as a result, with clubs instead looking to solve squad problems by exploring different ways of buying and selling players.
Given the issues attached to the market, bargain purchases are likely to be deemed as more important than ever, with relegated teams to be targeted more than usual. Owner Stan Kroenke, as ever, would certainly appreciate not dipping his hand into his pocket for big sums of money,
So are there any solid performers who are set to suffer relegation from any of Europe’s top five leagues that Arsenal might hold an interest in?
Ozan Kabak (Schalke 04)
Arguably the most high-profile club to suffer relegation this season will be Schalke 04, who are currently bottom of the Bundesliga with just 13 points.
One of the club’s top talents – Ozan Kabak – has spent the second half of the campaign on loan at Liverpool to address the centre-back crisis at Anfield, and he’s performed reasonably well despite his youthful age.
Still just 21 years-old, Kabak has showcased his ability to cope as part of one of the most high-risk defences in Europe, but it remains to be seen as to whether the Reds will sign him on a permanent basis.
The Turkish centre-back is around 6-foot-1, he’s fairly mobile and if Liverpool opt against keeping him for the agreed £18m – with the Reds strongly linked with RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate – he could be picked up by a club looking to take advantage of the situation.
Moses Simon (Nantes)
Moses Simon has been linked with a host of European clubs in recent years – including Liverpool, Brighton and Newcastle United – but Nantes are currently one point from safety in Ligue 1, sat in 18th place.
The Nigerian was touted as an exciting talent while at Gent in Belgium after registering a total of 10 league goals and assists combined as a 19 year-old followed by fairly consistent years afterwards.
Now aged 25, Simon has posted 10 goals and assists combined in each of the past two seasons in Ligue 1, with the left-sided forward possibly able to offer an alternative option for a Premier League attack next season.
He’s versatile across the front line, and if Nantes go down, he’s likely to move.
Jonathan Panzo (Dijon)
Dijon are currently placed 20th in Ligue 1 and can’t possibly achieve safety, but Jonathan Panzo could catch the interest of some teams in England.
The centre-back is English and progressed through the ranks at Chelsea, before eventually transferring to AS Monaco in 2018 for around £3m.
Panzo was recognised as a promising talent at Stamford Bridge and given that he’s still just 20 years-old, perhaps a Premier League club could explore bringing him back to familiar shores.
Standing over 6ft, Panzo is left-footed which is always deemed to be a nice perk for a central defender, and he could be secured for very little.
Pablo Maffeo (SD Huesca)
A former Manchester City youth product, Pablo Maffeo has spent the year on loan at SD Huesca from Vfb Stuttgart, who he’s still contracted to.
For that reason, he’s not technically been relegated from a top division, but he’s likely to be available given that Stuttgart loaned him out this season for the second consecutive year, after he spent the last campaign at Girona in Spain.
Maffeo is still just 23 years-old and possesses attacking qualities, registering four assists in La Liga this season which places him joint-top for Huesca.
As a cheap full-back option, bringing the Spaniard back to England could be a smart move.
Amine Harit (Schalke 04)
Another of the promising players at Schalke is Amine Harit, who burst onto the scene a number of years ago but has ultimately struggled to shine in Gelsenkirchen.
Harit is still just 23 years-old and he’s currently experiencing his fourth senior campaign in the Bundesliga, with his best return coming last season with six goals and four assists.
The Moroccan international hasn’t quite refined his end-product yet, but he’s a tricky dribbler and assumes the mould of a creator rather than a scorer.
Harit has played as a no.10, a wide midfielder and a central midfielder for Schalke this season – which captures his versatility – but it is reasonable to suggest that he would benefit from a change of scenery to fulfil his potential.