Aaron Ramsey’s presence is arguably more noticeable for its absence at Arsenal than it is in actuality at new club Juventus.
While the Welsh midfielder has struggled in Turin since joining the “Old Lady” last summer, the Gunners have still to truly replace a player who was a central pillar of their side for many years.
So, with the summer transfer window approaching, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has plenty to think about.
With all their flaws and vulnerabilities laid bare since the resumption of the Premier League, the Gunners face arguably one of the most daunting rebuilds of their recent history.
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Defence has to be a priority, although the news that David Luiz and Cedric Soares have signed new contracts has ended any assumption that Arsenal would have a clear-out at the back this summer.
The futures of both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette also have to be settled, while Mesut Ozil and his £350,000-a-week contract continue to be a weight around the neck of the whole club.
Central midfield, however, also needs attention. Arsenal’s central pairing of Matteo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka just haven’t done the job this season, with the Gunners still lacking the drive and energy that Ramsey offered through the middle.
Ozil, of course, is capable of playing in an attacking midfield role, but the German doesn’t contribute the dynamism Arteta wants or needs.
This is where Dominik Szoboszlai could present a solution. Arsenal are reported to be in advanced talks to sign the 19-year-old from Red Bull Salzburg, although competition from AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain could complicate a deal. football.london understands the Hungarian is one of a number of attacking midfielders the club have scouted in the last 12 months.
Nevertheless, the Gunners appear to be in pole position to sign the talented youngster, with Salzburg’s reported asking price of around £25m making a deal realistic.
This is not the first time the Gunners have been linked with Szoboszlai. A year ago, there was plenty of talk that he was on his way to join Unai Emery’s Gunners.
But even after a change of head coach at the Emirates, Szoboszlai’s profile still aligns with the Gunners’ transfer strategy.
The club’s approach now focuses on signing talented youngsters with the notion of developing them into superstars either for their own benefit or to sell on at a profit. Szoboszlai would stand a good chance of following the intended path.
The Hungarian would certainly provide a goal threat having found the net 10 times and contributed 16 assists in 37 appearances for Salzburg in all competitions this season.
Szoboszlai registered 3.5 long balls per Europa League game he played before the shutdown and 1.4 in the Champions…