Which areas do Arsenal need to strengthen this summer?

The 2023/24 season is officially over but the summer transfer window is just beginning and there will be lots of rumours running the mills.

Arsenal have now ended as runners-up for back-to-back seasons having finished just two points behind Manchester City in the Premier League last term. They must strengthen even further to finally get over the line.

The Gunners recorded their highest Premier League points tally since the Invincibles campaign of 2003/04 which is hot on the heels of a 25-point improvement in 2022/23. Arsenal have enjoyed a remarkable evolution over the last two seasons which is down to a solid recruitment system that has revitalised Mikel Arteta’s team.

The Gunners can now compete fiercely with Man City but they have a few notches to go before potentially overcoming them in what could be Pep Guardiola’s final season at the Etihad Stadium. Ahead of the 2024/25 season, you can expect Arsenal tickets to be among the most demanded in the Premier League.

The thought of upgrading statistically the club’s best team in decades may be daunting, but there are certain areas of the Arsenal squad where depth can be improved upon.

Having crashed out of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals against Bayern Munich, plans are already in place to boost their squad for a claim as one of Europe’s top sides.

Par for the course, Arsenal have identified three priority positions to strengthen for this next step in their development. The ultimate aim is to find pieces to complete their jigsaw.

Arsenal’s need for a striker is well known but they are also looking at strengthening the left-back position and bolstering the central midfield.

There will be significant funds to spend this summer while several sales will also supplement the fees spent. 

Gunners targets

Benjamin Sesko is at the top of Arsenal’s striker wishlist but there will be serious competition for his signature given his world-class potential.

The Slovenian has a €65million (£55.6million) release clause in his RB Leipzig contract but the Germans are already looking to convince him to stay. Sesko will feature at the European Championships so a decision on his future may yet take a while.

Elsewhere, the Gunners are also interested in the likes of Sporting Lisbon’s Viktor Gyokeres, Ollie Watkins and Alexander Isak while interest in Ivan Toney has cooled in recent months.

Arsenal’s midfield received a significant boost with the acquisition of Declan Rice last summer and they are looking to balance out the engine room with another technically-sound performer. 

Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi is a major target alongside Bruno Guimaraes who holds long-term interest within the Arsenal recruitment team. 

A £100million release clause complicates the chances of getting the Brazilian which is why other names like Youssouf Fofana, Joao Neves and Amadou Onana have also been mooted as alternatives. 

The left-back spot is becoming a pertinent position for Arteta as Oleksandr Zinchenko’s fitness means he is not assured of his place on the team. Jurrien Timber has occasionally been deployed at right-back since his return from injury while Jakub Kiwior has done a decent job when needed. 

The need for consistency at left full-back could lead Arsenal to move for Jorrel Hato who signed a new deal with Ajax in January. Despite the difficulty of getting a deal done, the Gunners will do well to secure his commitment and benefit from Hato’s age and talent. 

Although there is no shortage of goals at the Emirates Stadium, there is a crucial need for depth and alternative options to Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli in the wing positions.

Thankfully for them, the addition of any kind of forward will significantly improve their options: a centre-forward would free up Gabriel Jesus as exclusively a winger while a new winger would provide immediate depth to their current wide options.


David Raya should be one of the first names in as his loan move from Brentford will be made permanent for around £27m. That leaves Aaron Ramsdale looking for a new club only a year after extending his contract at the Emirates Stadium.

The England goalkeeper has interest from Newcastle and Chelsea as well as clubs from abroad but he would have to weigh his options carefully with the possibility of staying in situ not entirely ruled out. Arsenal’s need to sign another ‘keeper would thus depend on whether or not Ramsdale leaves the club.

In the outfield positions, academy graduates Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson are likely to leave for more playing time.

Crystal Palace and West Ham have admired Nketiah while Emile Smith Rowe may also be subjected to tempting offers from fellow Premier League clubs. If Nelson is sold, a spot on the flanks is free and the club will have to look at replacing him and names like Pedro Neto or Nico Williams have been sounded as possibilities to improve Arsenal’s depth in wide areas.

Polish defender Jakub Kiwior is a priority summer signing for AC Milan according to Foot Mercato, and despite Arsenal’s previous refusal to sell him in the January transfer window, he could yet leave this summer.

Milan are set to reignite their interest and that could make Arsenal open to a sale in the region of €20-22m (£17.1-18.8m).

Thomas Partey has been linked with the exits for a while now and he is likely to depart this summer following a spell at the Emirates that was ruined by injury problems. The Ghana international will have options from Saudi Arabia and he could be replaced by Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz who can be available if a £60m bid arrives for his services.

Meanwhile, veterans like Cedric Soares and Mohamed Elneny have already moved on, leaving plenty of work for those who are left to reshape the squad. Returning loanees like Kieran Tierney, Nuno Tavares, and Albert Sambi Lokonga do not seem to have any future at Arsenal and permanent sales will be sought to fund key additions.

There is a need to be tactful and precise about their summer transfer deals and Arsenal will be confident of putting together a side that can compete for the Premier League title again.