Reports on certain players can be difficult to believe depending on their source. Arsenal fans, like the rest, are left to piece together the fact from the faction. Rumours of interest in Tammy Abraham, however, are very real.
A story that developed quickly has since been picked up The Athletic, providing the most concrete visual yet of Arsenal’s intentions.
On Wednesday it emerged that Arsenal were looking at a loan move that included an obligation to buy for £40m, a race they were leading ahead of West Ham and Tottenham. This has been added to with recent developments.
The Gunners would prefer to bring Tammy Abraham in on a loan deal to avoid great expenditure this summer, given there are still four other positions to fill. That is fairly reassuring, on the positive side, as £40m splashed out with a central midfielder, playmaker, right-back and goalkeeper still required makes little in the way of sense.
Arsenal’s transfer stance on Tammy Abraham revealed with Mikel Arteta eyeing Chelsea striker in summer window dependent on sales
However, they may have to.
Chelsea don’t favour any temporary switch and would like money this window so as to help them fund a move for their own centre-forward. Arsenal buying Chelsea deadwood to aid them purchasing a better striker? They’d probably do it anyway but it doesn’t sit especially well. Deadwood is unfair of Abraham, who is underrated, but the point stands.
Given loans won’t do, Arsenal will look to sell both Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette before making a move on Abraham. The stance in north London in sell before buying, which is hardly surprising as having five options to play at centre-forward currently quite obviously means a sixth isn’t required.
The duo are both entering the final years of their contracts and while Nketiah looks destined to be sold there is no indication yet that the Frenchman is nearing an exit.
Mikel Arteta appreciates Lacazette but if the right offer arrives they will sell him this window due to his unhealthy contract situation. Any fee received this window is not going to be especially agreeable but Arsenal are faced with a depressed European market with a striker already in his final year and on large wages. Anything is better than nothing.
Yet Abraham would cost more than whatever can be accrued from Nketiah and Lacazette combined. Who knows where Folarin Balogun may be in 12 months’ time as well. Yet he’s yet to play a single Premier League minute and can’t be tasked with leading the line. He needs a full season of minutes under his belt.
Alexander Isak was the prime target only for his Real Sociedad extension to extinguish those growing fires.
As previously mentioned, Arteta’s plan can be seen playing out; sell the aforementioned duo, bring in Abraham, loan Balogun and then sell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in 12 months to have Abraham and Flo as the two leading men. The line of succession is there.
Is it the right plan? With so much else to tend to this summer, Arsenal can’t be diving in for strikers unless they are sure of movement elsewhere. You’d like to think so, anyway.