The Arsenal transfer ‘knock’ has changed as summer plans look to reach new heights

The Arsenal 'knock' has become louder than ever as summer transfer window offers new opportunities to sporting director Edu

Arsenal enter their most important summer transfer window yet this year but everything has changed. Last summer, whilst they had Champions League football back as an attractive quality following many years out of Europe’s elite competition, the subsequent campaign has again transformed the look of the Gunners.

Where before a title race in the 2022/23 campaign came as a surprise to many, several critics claimed this was something of a ‘one-off’ and that the Gunners would return to type this season. How wrong they were.

Arsenal are again challenging for the league and, with two games to go, remain in with a chance of winning it. However, even if they don’t pull off the unlikely task their establishment as one of England’s competitors for the top honours has had a major impact on their reputation.

They also reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in 14 years. Mikel Arteta has stated, with similar words from members of his squad, that the aim is to go again every season trying to win the biggest trophies – a message to any prospective signings they might look to make.

Names are constantly thrown around with the likes of Alexander Isak, Frenkie de Jong and Joshua Kimmich being spoken of – elite players with the latter pair already at two of Europe’s top sides. Before, Arsenal relied upon their own historic name to entice some of the world’s stars when their stock at the top level was no longer matching their name.

“We are a reference in the football world,” were the words of former Gunners Head of Football Raul Sanllehi. “So when Arsenal knocks on the door of players it’s a different knock than other clubs.”

Funnily enough, when Arteta was appointed as head coach in 2019, he made a very similar reference to his countryman. It was in the first press conference as Arsenal head coach that he said those now-famous words.

“When Arsenal knocks on any door, it’s difficult to say no,” he said. “When it knocks on my door, this is my house and it makes it very difficult. It was a very difficult decision, it’s true, but also I felt that the club needed someone to appoint.

“I saw that and they transmitted that. They were so convinced that they wanted to go with me, that I had to take the challenge.”

Arsenal would sign record-level signings like Nicolas Pepe for £72million without Champions League guarantees. However, the landscape post-Sanllehi is not only different but more measured and considered and with sporting director Edu combining with soon-to-be managing director Richard Garlick and Arteta, the squad has reached incredibly impressive levels.

The aim for the summer is to go up a further level and try to get close to the depth of squad and competition that title rivals Manchester City have—bringing depth to positions solidly claimed by the likes of Bukayo Saka, Declan Rice and their stubborn defensive line. Arsenal still have their ‘knock’, but the weight behind it in 2024 can now reverberate around the European market.

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