Edu’s rumoured transfer plans for 2024
Sporting director Edu Gaspar – who’s tasked with overseeing the club’s transfer activity – has watched on from the stands as Arsenal start the new campaign in very solid fashion. Winning eight out of a possible 12 Premier League games, losing just once, Arteta’s side look like shoe-ins for another title challenge alongside champions Man City and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
However, they’re arguably pretty short in certain areas, with Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah standing out as Arsenal’s only natural striking options. Brentford star Ivan Toney is a target for Arteta to bolster that area of the squad, while it is believed that Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz is also admired by Arsenal as Thomas Partey is linked with a January exit.
The Ghanaian has suffered from various injury problems so far this campaign but Arteta has insisted he’s still “super-important”.
“Thomas Partey is a super important player for us and for me and we want him to be in the team,” said Arteta on Partey earlier this year.
“They can play together [he and Rice]. That was in my plans – if you want to improve the squad and have more quality we need players who can play together and need players in the same positions who have to fight for their places. It’s something we haven’t had in the last few years.
“We want to improve that and that’s why we brought in Declan as well. Every time I spoke to him [Partey] and had a conversation with him he’s ready to stay with us.”
Arteta driving Arsenal interest in Phillips
However, despite Arteta’s fondness of Partey, reports have suggested the player himself has already told Arsenal he wishes to leave in January. The 30-year-old is reportedly attracting interest from Serie A giants Juventus, with Arsenal apparently drawing up a shortlist of candidates to succeed him.
One of them, who is really liked by Arteta, is Man City midfielder Kalvin Phillips.
The £150,000-per-week international (spotrac) is a favourite of England manager Gareth Southgate, but City boss Pep Guardiola scarcely calls upon him at club level.
This has resulted in murmurs the player could depart Eastlands mid-season, and Arteta is driving Arsenal interest in signing Phillips. That is according to TEAMtalk, who also claim work hasn’t begun on a potential deal just yet but he is on the list to replace “key figure” Partey.
Andrew Hughes praises “special” Phillips
Former Leeds midfielder Andrew Hughes, speaking to The Athletic, once called him a “very special” player and we believe the former Whites star is wasted sitting on the bench at City.
“He’s one-paced but he’s made that work for him and, in the end, it doesn’t matter,” said Hughes on Phillips in 2021.
“I’ve been lucky enough to watch training at Leeds and you see it with the midfielders — out early before the main sessions and making sure whichever team they’re going to be playing, they know where to take the ball and where to pass the ball. It’s about intelligence.
“The only way to get someone who can cover and do the same job perfectly is to spend £50 million, at least, that’s what a player like him costs. Rather than talking about how other players match up, you just have to accept he’s very special.”