Arsenal have been monitoring the Belgian all summer but could be pushed aside without Champions League football.
Arsenal’s transfer strategy this summer has been good. Big deals done early and a positive start the to the season after beating Crystal Palace reflected the work completed before pre-season.
With deals to bring in Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko over the line in time to acclimatise the duo to Mikel Arteta’s style, the Gunners have come into the new season in a stable position, but with hopes of still signing an extra attacker and midfielder, the progress has slowed down massively.
With no deal in place for first choice target Youri Tielemans, and the ‘mystery winger’ still without a realistic identify, there is a sense that Arsenal could be about to let a very good window turn into an okay one, and their so far polished strategy could be externally impacted for the last three and a half weeks.
This comes as Premier League challengers Liverpool are dealt a key injury blow at the start of the season, and it could force Arsenal into a decision they hadn’t been ready to make. With Spain international Thiago Alcantara ruled out for up to six weeks after suffering a hamstring knock on Saturday against Fulham, Jurgen Klopp’s side could be left short in the midfield department.
With Leicester City still in a position of needing to sell before they can buy, if the Reds were to make a move for Tielemans then it could force Arsenal into making an offer that they weren’t previously ready to make.
The Belgian is entering the final 12-months of his current deal which could make a move for Tielemans more financially viable, however, the 25-year-old has previously stated his intentions of playing in the Champions League, saying, “Of course, I want to play in the Champions League, just like any footballer. Am I ready for a European top club? I’m ready to get the best out of my career. We’ll see what happens next summer, or the summer after that.”
With Arsenal currently not in the top European competition and further competition from Tielemans possibly coming from fierce north London rivals Tottenham, the burden of Thursday night football this season could hinder their attempts to sign a high-class new midfielder, and Jamie Carragher believes that Champions League competitors Liverpool are in need of someone, saying, “Liverpool can still do with someone in midfield, not in terms of numbers wise, in terms of quality wise.”
Although there is currently no links between the two parties, if Liverpool were to act then it could push Edu into a position he has not been in yet this window. A stance of slight panic.