4 players Arsenal should sign to pre-contract agreements in January
Arsenal’s busy summer
Arsenal had a fairly active summer transfer window in which they brought in six senior players.
All of these players were also under the age of 24 at the time of signing and look to represent some smart business from the north Londoners.
In Aaron Ramsdale they already appear to have found their new no.1 keeper for the next several years.
Martin Odegaard is of course an extremely creative player who still has the potential to develop further.
Albert Sambi Lokonga also looks set for a bright future at the heart of Arsenal’s midfield, though he is still perhaps a year or so away from being ready to start week in week out.
Elsewhere, though a somewhat underappreciated signing at the time, Takehiro Tomiyasu has already cemented himself as Arsenal’s new no.1 right-back and his starring displays would see him named as the Gunners’ September Player of the Month:
Ready to go 💪
📸 tomiyasu.t on Instagram pic.twitter.com/hMTBQSk2Ho
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 1, 2021
Finally, Ben White now looks to have settled in at the Emirates and is beginning to form a great partnership with Gabriel at centre-back, whilst Nuno Tavares is adequate left-back cover.
Arsenal should sign players on pre-contracts
Though all of the above players do currently look to have been solid additions, very few would argue that Arsenal’s squad is perfect.
But, after spending so big in the summer, it is hard to imagine – though not impossible – that the north Londoners will have massive amounts of cash floating about this winter.
So, what Arsenal should do in January is try and sign several players to pre-contract agreements. A pre-contract agreement can be struck when a player is in the final six months of his current deal and means that said player would sign for his new club on a free transfer at the end of the seaosn.
Clubs can, however, only sign players to pre-contract agreements when that player is not currently plying his trade in their league.
So in Arsenal’s case, they cannot agree a pre-contract with any Premier League players who are set to become free agents in the summer of 2022.
Despite this, there are still plenty of players Arsenal can sign to pre-contract agreements in January in order to secure them for three in the summer of 2022.
Here are four players 101 believe they should target.
Arsenal could be set to deal with a pre-contract agreement issue of their own during 2022.
Alexandre Lacazette is currently in the final year of his Arsenal deal and recent reports have suggested that he will not sign a new contract.
So, it does look as though the Gunners will need to replace the Frenchman in the future.
One player Arsenal could certainly do this with is Italy and Torino striker, Andre Bellotti.
Finding a top-quality centre-forward who can net 20+ goals a season is a hard enough task in itself, but in Bellotti, Arsenal could potentially do so for free.
The striker is a few years younger than Lacazette at 27 and though he has never played in the Premier League, his goal return for Torino is superb.
In 231 outings he has scored 106 and assisted 26 and as Torino are generally not a Europe-challenging side, Arsenal should not have that much of an issue convincing Bellotti to join them.
The next player Arsenal should look to sign on a pre-contract agreement in January is Franck Kessie.
Though Lokonga is one for the future, Arsenal could still probably do with another top quality central midfielder on their books, especially given the injury and disciplinary records of Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka.
And in Kessie, the Gunners would likely have the perfect option. At 24 he is still fairly young, but the Ivorian has a wealth of experience and has proven himself as a very capable defensive midfielder at the highest level.
The main issues with signing Kessie, however, is that AC Milan are currently a Champions League side, so the midfielder may see Arsenal as a step down.
And also, some top clubs like Manchester United and FC Barcelona appear to be interested in Kessie’s services.
The next player Arsenal should look to sign is another AC Mian star, Alessio Romagnoli.
Again, Milan being a Champions League club and Arsenal potentially not having no European football next term may make this deal harder, but is it not worth a shot? Especially when it is being suggested that Milan are looking to offer the 26-year-old only half his current salary to sign a new deal.
Romagnoli is powerful, composed leader for AC Milan and would add a huge amount of quality to the Gunners’ backline.
And whilst Arsenal do already have a plethora of centre-back options, surely Arsenal fans would rather have Romagnoli, White and Gabriel as their main three central defenders with William Saliba being bedded in slowly next season.
Of course, Rob Holding and potentially Calum Chambers would need to be sold to make room, but is anyone really suggesting that Holding, though a decent player, is better than Romagnoli?
The final player Arsenal should target is Denis Zakaria.
We have already discussed that Arsenal could probably do with another experienced central midfielder sooner rather than later and though only 24, Zakaria could be that man.
The Swiss international is currently plying his trade with Borussia Monchengladbach. But the German outfit have declined somewhat of late and as a result, Zakaria may be more open to an Arsenal switch now his current side are no longer a Champions League team.
Zakaria has also, of course, already played alongside Arsenal’s Xhaka for their country, suggesting it may take less time for him to gel into the squad.
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