Arsenal’s surprise win on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge has kept alive their hopes of avoiding missing out on European football for the first time in 27 years, however, their prospects of doing so still remain slim.
They’re just two points off the top six, although sides around them have one, and in some cases, two games in hand.
It’s a far from ideal situation for Mikel Arteta, and it’s one that he will be eager to avoid next season given that playing in Europe is a minimum expectation at a club like Arsenal.
One of their biggest issues this season has been an inability to find the back of the net on a regular basis – their goal average of 1.29 ranks as the tenth lowest in the league.
A priority therefore will be bringing in at least one, maybe even two new forwards in the summer, especially if the Gunners lose top Premier League scorer Alexandre Lacazette at the end of the season.
With no European football though, the purse strings could be tight, meaning Arteta and Edu may have to be savvy in the market.
Although with this in mind, there are two standout attacking names that are available for free this summer, and both would be sure to improve Arsenal’s attack ahead of next season.
A move to Lyon in 2017 reignited his career and he’s gone onto be one of Ligue 1’s standout stars across these past four seasons, registering 128 goals or assists in just 176 appearances.
The Dutch international is still just 27 and in the height of his prime, and his form this season reaffirms this, scoring 21 goals and registering a further ten assists so far.
Barcelona have been the front runners to land his signature for several months, yet the fact that no deal has been announced does suggest that he’s open to other opportunities.
His ability to play outside or through the middle would give Arsenal a different number of options in attack, and his record indicates he’d almost definitely have a positive impact on their goal difference across the course of a season.
Therefore, although wages could be high, he’d be a great piece of business for Arsenal should they find a way to land him.
Still just 27, it’s sure to be a blow if AC Milan were to lose Calhanoglu for nothing this summer. Yet, their loss could certainly be Arsenal’s gain.
He’s not a player who is as prolific as Depay, yet he still has the ability to contribute in terms of both scoring and assisting goals, highlighted by his impressive return of 80 contributions across 170 Milan appearances.
Since heading to the Italian capital in 2017, he’s tended to operate in behind a centre-forward or on the left of the attack. As a right-footer, this suits him and perhaps one of his biggest threats is cutting in from outside onto his favoured foot and thereafter threading balls into the penalty area or taking on shots of his own.
There’s no doubt he’d boost Arsenal’s firepower in attack, it’s just a case of whether the club could meet his demands in terms of wages, with the attacker reportedly eyeing up a salary of roughly £80,000 a week.