Arsenal are at serious risk of losing out on the Premier League title following the 4-1 defeat to Manchester City last week. Mikel Arteta’s side can get their title hunt back up and running by beating London rivals Chelsea on Tuesday night, although the trophy is now City’s to lose.
While everyone involved with Arsenal will be extremely disappointed if they miss out on a first league crown since 2003-04, finishing second would still represent progress. After all, Arsenal would get themselves back in the Champions League, having only managed fifth place last term.
Arteta and sporting director Edu will need to come together and make some big signings this summer if Arsenal are to compete for next season’s league title and go far in the UCL.
According to The Athletic’s Ornstein, the Gunners ‘intend to upgrade’ their midfield. This could see two big names arrive at the Emirates later this year, such as Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo.
The Sun recently cast doubt over whether Arsenal would bring in two expensive midfielders due to concerns over their backup defensive options. But as per an update from the Daily Mirror, Arteta is aiming to hold talks with Rice as soon as the campaign is over to convince him to swap West Ham for Arsenal.
One major consequence of Rice joining would be exciting academy graduate Charlie Patino going elsewhere. Ornstein has revealed that the midfielder is ‘expected to leave Arsenal on a permanent basis this summer’.
Patino has excelled while on loan at Blackpool in the Championship, despite the Seasiders being relegated to the third tier.
Charlie Patino hoping for Arsenal exit
Now he has got a taste for first-team action, he does not want to return to Arsenal in the summer and simply warm the bench or be loaned out again.
Instead, the playmaker will push for a permanent transfer. And Arsenal are willing to let that happen, even though Patino has massive potential.
Ornstein writes that ‘amicable talks’ have already occurred between Patino’s camp and the North London side. Edu is ‘ready to facilitate’ the England U20 international’s exit.
It should be relatively easy for Patino to find a new club. Interest in his services is growing, both from English teams and clubs that are abroad.
Patino’s father is Spanish and as a result he holds a Spanish passport, which opens up more opportunities for him to move to mainland Europe.
The creative ace might not be the only youngster to depart Arsenal permanently in the next transfer window. Striker Folarin Balogun, who has enjoyed a brilliant campaign on loan at Stade Reims, is also eager to become a regular starter elsewhere. Big European sides such as AC Milan and RB Leipzig have been tipped to bid for him.