Arsenal will need to sign a wing-forward ahead of next season to further complement Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus. Arsenal have already identified this player, and have potentially eliminated Chelsea as being a stumbling block. According to Italian news outlet Tuttomercato , Chelsea are willing to compete to sign Rafael Leao from AC Milan.
To secure his services a transfer could cost upwards of £100million, with £105million bids expected to be launched. Considering the stardom of Leao, and Arsenal’s need for a winger, Edu can throw his hat in the ring, as he did previously. He has been given an incentive to do this after Leao’s recent comments about the Gunners. Speaking to RDPAfrica via Fabrizio Romano , Leao said:
“Experience in a new league? Yes, in the future… but now I’m 100% focused on AC Milan — it’s a top club and I’m under contract there. I like the city too. “I watch many games. This year, I like Arsenal — they’re playing very well.”
Arsenal reportedly registered interest in Leao early last season as Italian outlet La Repubblica claimed that the Gunners had turned their attention to the AC Milan forward for the summer transfer window. It is a deal that Edu could look to revisit, as Arsenal could be short in the wing positions going into next season. The Portuguese attacker had 13 goals and seven assists for Milan last season, and would certainly add more quality to Arsenal’s frontline. What makes him more of a desirable signing is that he can feature on either the wing position or as a lone forward, which highlights his versatility.
His excellent performances last season helped his Milan side to lift the Serie A trophy and beat their fierce rivals Inter Milan to first place. Leao’s importance to this success was highlighted by the fact that he won Serie A player of the season. Arsenal were unable to sign a winger in the summer transfer window, despite the clear need to strengthen in the wide areas. Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli have a lot of pressure to perform until the next opportunity to address this area of the pitch opens, but there is a risk of burnout.
With the Gunners projected to finish in a Champions League qualification spot next season, it is important that depth is added to the forward areas. Leao would certainly be an excellent acquisition and Arsenal are putting themselves in a great position to secure a deal, but will still have to beat Chelsea to complete a deal.