The one piece of transfer business Arsenal boss Unai Emery MUST get right this summer


The Gunners’ home form this season shows that there is very little missing from the squad, and on their day Arsenal have played some of the most compelling football in the Premier League this season.

The trouble for Emery is that absent ingredient is a vital one – the club has no heart.

That explains the appalling away form that looks set to rob them of Champions League football again next season.

Watching that gravy train leave the station would restrict Arsenal to around £40-£50m net to spend this summer.

Luckily, that is precisely the amount Cagliari expect to receive for 22-year-old ball-winning midfielder Nicolo Barella if Arsenal can persuade him to move to the Premier League.

Chelsea had an unsuccessful go in January but were knocked back for family reasons, but Arsenal cannot afford to let that happen.

Yes Emery needs centre-backs – although a more mature Calum Chambers back on loan from Fulham will be joining fit-again Rob Holding at the club next season having grown into mature figures on which to build a more robust platform. Perhaps a free arrival like Gary Cahill could help nurture them along?

And up front, a new striker would be nice. But for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to be at the top of the Golden Boot charts while playing for a team that have not exactly set the Premier League alight, some of the hardest hurdles are already being cleared.

So all that Emery needs – ‘needs’, rather than ‘would like’ is somebody to win the ball away from home and give it to Mesut Ozil or Alexandre Lacazette.

Barella has already captained his side. He wins tackles. He is content to play it simply to the more talented passers around him.

In essence, the heart to keep the ball circulating to the other organs who can turn Arsenal into a force again.


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