Arsenal must build for the future under manager Mikel Arteta, with a limited budget expected to dictate a recruitment policy that focuses on young and emerging talents for the long-term.
Arsenal finances were already a potential problem when senior official Josh Kroenke remarked last summer it is “…no secret that we have a Champions League wage bill on a Europa League budget.”
The impact of coronavirus on club finances around the world has not helped the situation, with Arsenal asking players in early April to agree to a voluntary 12.5% pay cut – it is worth noting other Premier League clubs have sought to agree deferrals rather than outright cuts.
Given the on-field struggles this season, Arsenal may not even have a ‘Europa League’ budget supporting their expenses in 2020/21, while 90min reported last month the club is prepared to sell star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang because a new contract beyond his current deal ending in 2021 would be the kind of major outlay the owners wish to limit.
That is why it is important to look ahead to the long-term in the transfer market.
Arsenal have been linked with Feyenoord starlet Orkun Kokcu on a number of occasions already this season, dating back to October. The latest gossip suggest that Arteta is particularly keen on the 19-year-old Turkey international, with Mundo Deportivo in the Spaniard’s home city reporting that the Gunners boss is eyeing Kokcu as his ‘new Mesut Ozil’.
Arteta’s ultimate goal is to build an Arsenal team capable of qualifying for the Champions League after being consistently absent from Europe’s top competition and all the financial riches that come with it since the 2016/17 season.
Kokcu is seemingly part of the vision and his long-term potential appears to be behind MD’s claim that Arsenal would be willing spend between €20m and €30m to sign him, although Chelsea, Sevilla and Valencia are also credited with interest of their own.
Elsewhere on the pitch, Arsenal will soon need to strengthen at the back. David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos are 33 and almost 32 respectively. The Gunners already have French teenager William Saliba, who stayed with Saint-Etienne on loan after signing last summer.
French outlet Le 10 Sport claims Arsenal are interested in Borussia Monchengladbach and Switzerland centre-back Nico Elvedi, along with German giants Bayern Munich.
Elvedi, 23, has been with Gladbach since 2015 and has been in Switzerland squads for Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup. He has been a regular starter at club level since 2017 and would have been part of the Swiss side at Euro 2020 this summer had it not been postponed.
For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!