Mikel Arteta’s second transfer window at the end of next season will be more crucial to Arsenal than the current one for several reasons.
Firstly, the club will know more about their available finances which could be topped up by a decent finish in the Premier League, a solid Europa League campaign and domestic cup run. They may also be able to generate funds from the limited return of supporters, whose absence has severely dented Arsenal’s ability to wheel and deal this summer.
Secondly, Mikel Arteta and Edu may be able to finally offload some surplus players, especially defenders, after analysing the strengths and weaknesses of the overall squad for an entire, uninterrupted campaign.
Thirdly, Mesut Ozil will have left the club in the summer of 2021, relieving it of the massive burden of £350,000 per week wage and although some of you will mention the Aubameyang deal, rumoured to be more than that figure, he still appears to be giving value for money and will no doubt again be a contender for the Premier League Golden Boot.
Vinai Venkatesham will be hoping that the financial constraints be eased to the degree where the club can find itself some wiggle room, but it also needs to be clever to offload fringe players at a loss rather than for free.
I expect the next transfer window to be crucial for Arsenal and will potentially include a couple of players arriving permanently, but it may also include a combination of free and loan personnel. In truth, we may only see the true composition of Arteta’s side by the end of the 2021/22 season as he makes his final additions.
The most intriguing vacancies will be in the midfield with the Ceballos situation resolved one way or the other, and the addition of two more players, one defensive, one attacking. Arteta has more than enough strike power available to him and he may even have to trim the fat at the end of next season and in defence, he has the basis of a solid defence for the next decade.
So over the next two transfer windows, what do Arsenal require? Another goalkeeper in readiness as Leno’s successor, a recognised right-back, a versatile, creative and attacking playmaker, and a solid defensive midfielder.
Arteta has several decent Academy players at his disposal such as Azeez, Willock and Smith Rowe, who could develop within his morphing side, but the Spaniard is an advocate of gradual progression as opposed to throwing young talent into the fold without them being ready. Whichever way you look at it, these are exciting times at the Emirates with a series of incomings and outgoings.