Arsenal: Arteta details plan to return to top four
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Arsenal’s summer transfer window has not got off to the best start, with the Gunners losing out on midfielder Emiliano Buendia to Aston Villa. Mikel Arteta is looking to conduct a major overhaul of his squad after a disappointing season in the Premier League, which saw them finish a lowly eighth.
Midfield and attack are the Gunners’ two major priorities, following a campaign in which the Londoners finished as the second lowest-scoring side in the top-half.
That suggests that an injection of creativity is needed into Arteta’s side, with an attacking midfielder possibly the biggest gap in the squad as it stands.
A quality partner is also needed for Thomas Partey, who endured a mixed debut season at the Emirates Stadium.
Here, Express Sport looks at three former transfer targets Arsenal could return to this summer as they seek to improve their fortunes.
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Arsenal previously targeted Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar last summer, after his impressive performances in Ligue 1.
He could prove to be the perfect man to fill the role as Partey’s partner in central midfield, though has the versatility to play further forward.
The 22-year-old looks to drive his team on and play the ball forwards, attributes that the Gunners have missed in their midfield.
The Frenchman was key for Les Gones once again, scoring eight goals and notching four assists to help them claim a top four spot in Ligue 1.
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While it has been a mixed spell at Barcelona for Ousmane Dembele, the attacker had perhaps his best season yet for the Catalan club.
Mainly playing on the wing under Ronald Koeman, the Frenchman scored six goals and notched three assists despite Barca’s disappointing campaign.
But the 24-year-old is entering the final year of his contract, with discussions over a new deal reportedly at an impasse.
That could open the door for the Gunners, who are looking to upgrade their attacking options.
With Martin Odegaard increasingly unlikely to return to Arsenal after his loan spell, a central attacking midfielder will be high up Arsenal’s shopping list.
One former target they could return to in order to fill that hole is Philippe Coutinho, who has endured an unsuccessful time at Barcelona.
Coutinho starred for Liverpool during his last spell in the Premier League, scoring 41 goals and providing 37 assists in the top-flight.
Barcelona are also in serious financial trouble and are set to move on several underperforming stars this summer, with Coutinho one of those expected to leave.
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