Arsenal’s midfield issues

Arsenal are clearly in need of midfield reinforcements.

The Gunners currently have Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, Thomas Partey and Mohammed Elneny to call upon, but all except for Partey and Elneny are expected to depart the club this summer.

The imminent arrival of Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht will offset this shortage somewhat, but it is felt by Arsenal fans that another body in the centre of the park would not go amiss.

Locatelli the right man?

Reports this evening suggest that Arsenal have identified Manuel Locatelli, currently at euro2020 with Italy, as the man to help solve their midfield issues.

Locatelli has been in inspired form for the Azzurri at the tournament, scoring twice and catching the eye of more than one suitor with his performances.

According to the CEO of his domestic side Sassuolo, it is Arsenal who have moved first in an attempt to lure the Italian to North London. He said:

“Arsenal have made an official bid for Locatelli. They’re pushing hard to sign Manuel and it’s an important bid… we will see.

Also Juventus want Locatelli and we’ve a special relationship with them. We’ve a new meeting scheduled with Juve”.

The phrase “important bid” is probably a mis-translation, meaning more “serious” or “significant” in this context.

The ambition shown by the Gunners will impress fans, but it is certainly worth paying attention to the final line, which highlights the “special relationship” that Sassuolo have with Juventus.

This relationship has been seen before, when coming to agreement over Dominic Berardi, who was part-owned by Juventus but now plies his trade for Sassuolo

The Italian would, on face value, prove an upgrade on Arsenal’s midfield options at present, although how he would adjust to the rigours of the Premier League remains to be seen.

While it seems unlikely that Arsenal will land Locatelli this summer, it is certainly encouraging for Arsenal fans to see the level of ambition being displayed by the transfer team.

Read more:

Giorgio Chiellini update and the latest on Verratti vs Locatelli ahead of Italy vs Austria

Boost for Arsenal as suitors emerge for pair of out of favour midfielders