Arsenal are making £76m transfer mistake as Mikel Arteta targets the wrong Napoli player

Arsenal are making £76m transfer mistake as Mikel Arteta targets the wrong Napoli player

Arsenal’s chase for a striker this summer is one of the most important transfer moves in the club’s history. Mikel Arteta is looking to build a side with young players and world-class talent to take the Gunners back to the top.

This season it looks as though Arsenal will fall just short of fourth, and the lack of Champions League football could prevent a move for some of their main targets. The strikers that would elevate the club to the next level will be particularly tricky to acquire without the elite European tournament.

That said, it seemingly has not stopped the Gunners from trying. According to Italian media, Arsenal were unsuccessful in a €90m (£76m) bid for Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen.

Arsenal have been linked with the former Lille striker for some time, and Osimhen’s profile would fit well with what Arteta is trying to build. He has 18 goals and six assists in 31 appearances this season and would certainly improve the striking position.

However, perhaps Arsenal are looking in the wrong place at Napoli. A player who could be set to depart this summer is centre-half Kalidou Koulibaly.

The 30-year-old defender has been considered one of the best players in his position across the continent for some time. Yet, similar to former Napoli captain Marek Hamsik, he never moved on.

In a recent interview, he explained that Napoli had always asked for too high a price to let him go. Similar maybe to the current Osimhen situation.

“I would not cause an argument to leave the club. If I ever did leave Napoli, I would do it on my terms,” he said to Onze Mondial via Football Italia.

“There would be no argument, and I would speak to the president. He tries to listen to the fans who don’t want me go and every time has asked for a fee that was too high.”

However, according to Italian journalist Matteo Moretto, Napoli would be willing to let the Senegalese defender go for as little as €30m (£25.3m). Whilst Arsenal already have Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes, Rob Holding and the returning William Saliba, and there is an argument that experience is a quality needed in the Gunners backline.

Of all the available experienced centre-halves that could be on the move this summer, none would come close to Koulibaly. With Arsenal entering European competition, there would be plenty of opportunity for rotation with the other centre-halves, and perhaps a sale of Holding could help subsidise some of the transfer fee.

CIES value the English defender between €10m-€15m (£8.5m-£12.7m). Although having just signed a new deal and being homegrown, perhaps the Gunners could demand more.

The striker position, too, could be an area Arsenal should look to a more experienced figure. 26-year-old Patrik Schick has been a prolific goalscorer for Bayer Leverkusen this season.

Adding Shick and Koulibaly to the side, suddenly, there is an immediate shift in the perception of the squad. Yes, it is fanciful and somewhat Football Manager to be putting these puzzle pieces together, but in all seriousness, maybe some seriousness is, in fact, what Arsenal needs.

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