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Arteta eyeing three La Liga youngsters in the summer

Bengaluru, April 9: Arsenal’s transfer policy has been somewhat confusing of late with the club signing a number of experienced players in their late 20s.

But under the guidance of Mikel Arteta, there could be major revamp of the whole transfer policy and he may feel inclined to bring the average age of the squad down by bringing in some young talent.

Arsenal could look to get as many as three to four stars in Summer with defence, midfield and attack all in mind. But as things stand, the owners may not provide him with a large fund with Champions League football still a distant dream.

That means the north London outfit have to pursue players who are largely under the radar and can be picked up for relatively low fees. As per reports, the Spanish manager hence is looking at Spain to secure talents from there and is plotting a sensational £97 million swoop for three Spanish players in Unai Nunez, Carlos Soler and Marc Roca.

Below we take a look at how the players can shape up a new Arsenal side:

Unai Nunez

Arteta's biggest task in Summer will be to compact the defence with only Burnley, Chelsea and Tottenham having a worse defensive record in top 10 in the Premier League this season.

Having conceded 36 goals in their 28 league games so far this season the defence is certainly an area which has to be improved. Arsenal have been looking at a number of options already and it is believed that Arsenal’s most ambitious defensive target is Dayot Upamecano. However, with the RB Leipzig defender costing a big fortune reportedly they have shifted their attention to the Bilbao defender.

The 23-year-old played in 18 games for Athletic Bilbao this season in all competitions and mostly has been used as a bit-part player. But in his limited appearances he has shown his physical imposing and domination in the air. He is also capable of easing the build-up play which Arteta looks in his defender. He has notably won 2.5 headed duels per game with 82.2 percent passing success which is quite impressive. Given the financial difficulties, most clubs are facing as a result of coronavirus, purchasing a player of Núñez’s potential for as little as £30 million would be a coup for Arsenal. He would surely be a youthful addition to an ageing defensive line.

Marc Roca

Arsenal need a midfielder that can marshall the midfield and defence and the Espanyol star could be that perfect jigsaw puzzle to solve the midfield conundrum. Roca's defence-oriented game could combine well with the sturdy and technical terms of Xhaka. It will give the Swiss international much more independence so he can use his excellent passing range to add a new dimension to Arsenal’s possession game.

Roca would be the direct replacement of Ceballos whom Arsenal are unlikely to sign on a permanent deal. Moreover other options, Matteo Guendouzi has failed to build on his excellent start to life in north London, while Lucas Torreira future is uncertain.

At such moment signing a player like him who boasts averages over one interception, clearances and aerial duel per game while succeeding a pass completion rate of 80%, would surely be a masterstroke by Arteta. Plus Roca has only a £35m release clause in his contract at Espanyol and perhaps it can even be lowered down if relegated to the Spanish second-tier.

Carlos Soler

Not only in the defensive aspects Arsenal have also struggled to build up from the middle and that is mainly due to the underwhelming performance from Mesut Ozil. With the German star now set for a probable exit, the Valencia midfielder could be a cheeky addition on the cheap.

Soler although has mainly played as a right midfielder in the Valencia side this season but he could well couple with Xhaka and Roca to make a compact midfield three. Soler is capable of providing the creative soul in the final third. His numbers although have been underwhelming as he has registered only three goals.

But at the 23-years of age he surely looks to be the next big thing in Spanish football and his technical intrepidity, coupled with his excellent positioning, could help Arsenal become more efficient creating chances in the final third. Valencia want around £36m for the player but it's expected that the Spain international will even be allowed to leave for a lesser deal.

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Story first published: Thursday, April 9, 2020, 17:02 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 9, 2020
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