Edu has decided Arsenal’s next 4 moves after completing £75m triple transfer swoop

Arsenal have completed their second signing of the summer transfer window after Albert Sambi Lokonga completed his move from Anderlecht on Tuesday in a deal believed to be worth up to £18m.

The Belgian becomes the Gunners second signing, joining £7m Portuguese left back Nuno Tavares who arrived at the Emirates from Benfica earlier this month.

However, there is no indication that Edu’s work is going to stop there.

While both Lokonga and Tavares are exciting young players, it’s not expected that either will be first choice in Mikel Arteta’s side for the coming season with Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney ahead of them in the pecking order in their respective positions.

In terms of signings that will directly improve the first team Arsenal are looking to add up to three more players before the summer is out.

The first of these is at centre back where Ben White is expected to complete his £50m move from Brighton once he returns from his holiday, which was delayed by England’s lengthy stay at the Euros football.london understands.

The 23-year-old will compete with Rob Holding and Calum Chambers for the right sided central defensive starting birth, but it is thought that he will be first choice alongside Gabriel.

After that though the Gunners priority this summer is to secure a creative midfielder.

While Arteta has revealed that Emile Smith Rowe will be staying “100%” despite interest from Aston Villa, Edu is keen to avoid a situation similar to last season where Arsenal are totally hamstrung creatively if something were to happen to the injury-prone 20-year-old.

football.london understands that the club do have an interest in signing Leicester’s James Maddison, although it is thought that the England international may be outside of their price range this summer, while Houssem Aouar of Lyon has also been linked.

The name that refuses to go away though is that of Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard. The Gunners have made no secret of their admiration of the Norwegian captain who spent the second half of last season on loan at the Emirates.

He has returned to Real Madrid for pre-season, but would like to be getting regular game time at this stage in his career, and if the early signs at the start of the La Liga season are that Carlo Ancelotti does not intend to give him that, then Arsenal could look to swoop in.

Arsenal remain keen on re-signing Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard this summer. (Image: Visionhaus/Getty Images).

High on the list of targets is also an experienced central midfielder to come in and play alongside Thomas Partey at the Emirates next season.

As previously mentioned, Lokonga, while extremely highly rated, is not expected to be a regular next campaign as he adjusts to the Premier League.

With Dani Ceballos having already left, Granit Xhaka expected to join Roma imminently, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock both being linked with moves away, this would leave Partey and Mohamed Elneny as the only senior options for the Gunners in the middle of the park.

Manuel Locatelli has been most strongly linked in recent weeks, although the Italian midfielder reportedly prefers a move to Juventus, while the likes of Brighton’s Yves Bissouma and Ruben Neves of Wolves have also been targeted this summer.

Having secured players in all three of those positions Edu may then look to add a right back to the squad this summer.

football.london understands that Hector Bellerin would like to go, meaning a replacement could be sorted out, with RB Leipzig’s Tyler Adams and Max Aarons of Norwich City among those linked

However, Arsenal already have Calum Chambers and Cedric available in the squad, while White can play the position if needs be, meaning they may choose to stick with what they have if a good deal isn’t available.

This is particularly the case given that they also need to sign a goalkeeper to play back up to Bernd Leno for the coming season.

Arthur Okonkwo recently signed a contract extension to seal his promotion to the first team as third choice goalkeeper, but someone will be needed to provide more stern competition to the German, with Runar Alex Runarsson set to leave after a disastrous first season.

The Gunners want someone homegrown if possible which has seen Aaron Ramsdale of Sheffield United and West Brom’s Sam Johnstone linked.

It should be said though that if Arsenal were to get all these deals done it would take their total number of transfers this window up to seven before we even begin to talk about the outgoings required to facilitate such an extraordinary squad overhaul.

This will be very difficult to pull off, but Edu and Arteta remain confident of having a successful summer and want to be judged at the end of it and not before.

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