Arsenal: Arteta details plan to return to top four
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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will look to replace the sizable gap left by David Luiz ahead of next season. Luiz will leave Arsenal when his contract expires at the end of June. The Brazilian had a mixed two seasons with the Gunners but always earned strong praise from Arteta.
Luiz had a big impact on the dressing room, with Arteta highlighting his importance for the younger players.
However, there is now a space on the pitch that needs to be filled.
Rob Holding has impressed at times but is the only right-sided centre-back in the current first-team squad.
Express Sport looks at five options Arteta could look at to fill the void Luiz will leave.
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Sevilla defender Kounde has emerged as a target for Arsenal this week.
However, the Spanish side are likely to want up to £50million for the Frenchman’s signature.
Arsenal’s failure to qualify for Europe, let alone the Champions League, could also be a stumbling block.
Arsenal staff are said to admire the 22-year-old former Bordeaux ace.
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Arsenal are reportedly in talks with Bayer Leverkusen over a move for Tapsoba.
Tapsoba had a fine first full season at Leverkusen after joining the club in January 2020.
However, the 22-year-old will not come cheap, with German outlet Sport 1 claiming a fee of anything less than £52m would be unsatisfactory.
It remains to be seen if Arsenal have that much to spend this summer.
Andersen is likely to be cheaper than both Kounde and Tapsoba.
Reports earlier this month claimed the Gunners are set to rival Tottenham for the Denmark international.
Andersen spent this season on loan at Fulham and impressed despite the Cottagers’ relegation to the Championship.
The 24-year-old has three years remaining on his contract at French side Lyon.
A cheaper option for Arteta would be to look within, and Saliba falls into that category.
Saliba impressed on loan at Nice in the second-half of this season.
The £27million signing from Saint-Etienne in 2019 is yet to make his first-team debut for Arsenal.
Arteta may not want to use the 20-year-old as his first-choice next season.
Another player who is returning to Arsenal following a loan spell is Mavropanos.
Mavropanos burst onto the scene in the final few months of Arsene Wenger’s reign at the club.
However, the 23-year-old struggled with injury under Unai Emery and was sent out on loan to Stuttgart this term.
Stuttgart want to re-sign the Greek, who is yet to play a single minute under Arteta.
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