James Maddison: Facts and stats of Arsenal-linked midfielder
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Mikel Arteta and Edu’s plans for Arsenal’s summer transfer strategy is becoming clearer, with new targets emerging as the Gunners undertake a squad overhaul. The Premier League side are looking to bring in several new players after a disappointing season.
Nuno Tavares has already been brought in from Benfica to provide competition and injury cover for Kieran Tierney at left-back.
The Gunners are also edging closer to finally sealing a deal for Ben White to move to the Emirates Stadium from Brighton.
White has been the focus of a summer-long transfer saga, with Arsenal having already seen two bids for the defender rejected by the Seagulls.
But an agreement is understood to be close to being reached between the two clubs, which will see Arsenal pay £50million for the England international.
While their transfer business is by now well underway, Arteta and sporting director Edu still have plenty of gaps to fill in the squad.
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New midfielders appear to be high up Arteta’s shopping list, with the Gunners closing in on completing a move for Albert Sambi Lokonga.
Lokonga has reportedly undertaken his medical at Arsenal ahead of an expected £20m move from Belgian side Anderlecht.
While they are expected to sign a more experienced man to start the season alongside Thomas Partey, Lokonga will be an option for Arteta’s first-team.
The move for Lokonga is indicative of Arsenal’s apparent strategy for the summer transfer window.
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Having edged towards experienced last year with the move for Willian, Arteta and Edu appear to be turning their focus to bringing in younger players and reducing the age of the Gunners’ squad.
Star signing White is just 23, while Lokonga and Tavares are two years younger than the English centre-back.
This focus on youth is also apparent with the other players who Arsenal have been linked with signing this summer.
Sheffield United keeper Aaron Ramsdale emerged as a surprise target as Arteta looks to provide sterner competition to Bernd Leno.
Though he has two years of experience as a first-choice goalkeeper, with Bournemouth and the Blades, Ramsdale is also only 23.
With Hector Bellerin having fallen out of favour and looking likely to depart, Arteta is also targeting a new right-back.
The Daily Mail report that Norwich’s Max Aarons has emerged as the main target for that position and would also bring Arsenal’s average age down as he is only 21.
In the attacking positions, the Gunners are also looking to youth, with 20-year-old Emile Smith Rowe close to signing a new contract and a move for 22-year-old Martin Odegaard also being considered.
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