There’s no such thing as the perfect summer transfer window but Arsenal could come dangerously close if they land their two big midfield targets.
Most fans understand that getting all of your transfers signed for good prices in the first few weeks of the window is basically an impossibility. Compromises must be made, agents dealt with, holidays accommodated and, sometimes, replacements must be sought before deals are sanctioned.
It’s all part of process we have become increasingly used to over the last decade and, indeed, many of us are now much more understanding of the inner workings, frustrations, and foibles.
That said, there are some occasions when things just work out and, in a summer where we have been linked with midfield duo James Maddison and Manuel Locatelli, this could be a white whale of a window.
I wrote only a week or so ago of the need for Arsenal to pick up the pace with their deals and, in fairness, things have started to move forward in that regard, although things could always quicker from a fan’s perspective. A bid has, reportedly, been lodged for Locatelli, Saliba has agreed a loan, Albert Lokonga has arrived, and Ben White is flying home early to finalise his move to north London. All in all, not bad.
We remain short in midfield, however, and with the manager speaking openly about the need for some senior signings, you would hope we start to see some movement in that direction too.
Our general lack of funds – at least as far as we know – would seem to preclude us from attempting to sign both Locatelli and Maddison in one window but the rumours aren’t going away. If were able to leverage our assets to land both of these players, it could be a defining window for the club.
Both players have obvious talent and both are yet to enter their peaks so there’s room still to grow. Place them alongside Partey in midfield and suddenly we are a transformed proposition, one that carries threat as well as intensity, one that has class as well as cohones. Simply put, we’d have an excellent centre of the park.
Much of the last 18 months has been spent toiling in midfield; we’ve been combative enough for the most part but have lacked any real attacking threat or verve. Maddison and Locatelli could change that overnight and make our ambitions of a re-entry to European football a realistic possibility. Perhaps not yet Champions League but time is increasingly on the side of this squad.
Melded with Partey, Emile Smith-Rowe, Nicolas Pepe, Lokonga, and, maybe, Joe Willock – Maddison and Locatelli would raise our level now and still leave us room to grow – is that not the ideal way to shape a squad?
Of course, the money required to sign these players may make this whole thing academic. After all, we’ve scarcely raised a few million pounds in sales ourselves this window with nothing apparently forthcoming in our attempts to thin the herd further. A week is a long time in football, though, and as we have seen time and again over the years – anything can happen.
The perfect window awaits!