How Arsenal could line up on the opening day of season if Edu splashes £149m on five transfers

It has been a quiet start to the transfer window for Arsenal so far.

Despite a recognition that Mikel Arteta and Edu need to oversee a “ruthless” squad overhaul if the Gunners are to get back into the European places next season there have been a grand total of zero signings made, with just one senior player leaving the club in Dinos Mavropanos who has re-joined Stuttgart on loan with a view to a permanent move.

This could be about to change very soon though as the club prepare to step up their transfer activity in the coming days with incomings expected to be completed relatively soon.

Edu’s work is unlikely to finish there though as football.london understands that Arsenal are on the lookout for recruits in no less than five positions this summer.

Starting at the back one of the areas the Gunners are looking at is the goalkeeping position.

A back up to Bernd Leno is desperately needed with Runar Alex Runarsson having shown himself to not be up to standard last season and Mat Ryan having returned to Brighton after his loan spell.

However, Leno himself could be open to leaving and if the right offer comes in for him Arsenal would be willing to let him go.

This could see them in the market for two goalkeepers with Ajax’s Andre Onana the favoured option as a first choice available for around just £7m this summer.

The back up goalkeeper the Gunners go for would then be likely to be homegrown with Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale being considered although the club have looked at David Raya of Brentford and Newcastle’s Freddie Woodman in the past.

Moving further forward and it seems as though Arsenal are getting closer to securing two defensive acquisitions.

Nuno Tavares is close to completing his £6.9m move to Benfica and would likely serve in the role of understudy to Kieran Tierney next season.

However, given Tierney’s involvement with Scotland in the Euros this summer there is a possibility that he is not up to full fitness come the opening day fixture against Brentford on August 13th.

Arsenal are set to sign Nuno Tavares. (Image: MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP) (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images)

The 23-year-old did admittedly exit at the group stages with his country but given his recent injury record Arsenal won’t want to take any risks on him potentially opening up a Premier League debut for Tavares at Brentford Community Stadium.

The deal for Ben White could also be impacted by the player’s ongoing involvement in the European Championships.

The 23-year-old is set to move to the Emirates from Brighton for a fee believed to be in the region of £50m, but with England’s relatively favourable draw in the latter stages of this summer’s tournament he could be away on international duty for a while yet.

However, given that White is still yet to play a minute for England so far you would assume that the player will be well rested enough to be available for that opening day game in West London.

Who his partner could be in that game though is slightly less certain.

Gabriel would surely be the favourite to start on the left side of central defence but after being called up to the Brazil squad for the Olympics there are some doubts over his availability.

Depending on the Selecao’s involvement in the competition the 23-year-old could be away in Tokyo right up until August 7th putting his chances of making the first game against Brentford at risk.

However, that door shutting for Gabriel has the potential to open another for William Saliba who has withdrawn from the French Olympics squad after initially being called up.

football.london understands that the 20-year-old will be given a chance to impress Arteta in pre-season, and with Gabriel absent he could well seize it.

Arsenal defender William Saliba has been removed from France's squad for the Tokyo Olympics.. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

Saliba played on the left side of central defence during his loan with Nice last season and would most likely be in a straight battle with Pablo Mari for that starting spot on August 13th.

Into midfield and Arsenal are hoping to compete the signing of Albert Sambi Lokonga for around £15m relatively soon.

The Belgium under-21 international may not be someone who is expected to play week-in-week-out next season due to his tender age, but with Granit Xhaka set to secure a move to Roma there could be a spot for him in the starting line up at the Brentford Community Stadium alongside Thomas Partey.

Finally the Gunners are looking to bring in an attacking midfielder this summer to avoid succumbing to the creativity issues they struggled with last season.

A bid was made to sign Emi Buendia from Norwich but the player ended up choosing Aston Villa instead while it looks as though Martin Odegaard could be set to stay at Real Madrid where he hopes to impress new manager Carlo Ancelotti.

This means James Maddison of Leicester City could be the target Arsenal go for in that position this summer.

The 24-year-old has one cap for England but was not called up to Gareth Southgate’s squad for the Euros meaning that Edu could hypothetically secure the deal in time for the start of next season.

Arsenal's potential line up on the opening day of the 2021/22 season

However, Leicester reportedly want in excess of £70m for the player meaning that the Gunners would probably have to sell first to help make this transfer happen.

Contenders to leave are Runar Alex Runarsson, Sead Kolasinac, Hector Bellerin, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Willian.

Arsenal’s potential opening day line up for 2021/22: Onana; Chambers, White, Saliba, Tavares; Partey, Lokonga; Saka, Maddison, Smith Rowe; Aubameyang.

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