Arsenal are set to undergo a significant revamp of their squad this summer, with manager Mikel Arteta keen to strengthen his midfield options. Three players linked with a move to the Emirates are Ilkay Gundogan, Mason Mount, and Declan Rice, but how would they fit into Arteta’s system, and what would they bring to the Gunners? This article will analyse how these players can transform Arsenal’s midfield.
Gundogan: The free agent with a winning pedigree
Ilkay Gundogan is one of world football’s most versatile and experienced midfielders. He can play as a deep-lying playmaker, a box-to-box dynamo, or an advanced creator, depending on the system and the role required. He has won five Premier League titles and played in 86 Champions League games with Manchester City, where he worked under Arteta as his assistant coach.
Gundogan is a free agent after his contract with City expires this summer, and Arsenal are among the clubs monitoring his situation. The 32-year-old German international would bring much-needed quality and leadership to Arsenal’s midfield and a wealth of tactical knowledge and adaptability.
Gundogan is a creative and intelligent player who can link up with Arsenal’s attackers, score goals, and control the game’s tempo. He has also shown this season that he can thrive in different systems and roles under Pep Guardiola, whether as a false nine, a wide midfielder, or a central pivot. He would fit into Arteta’s vision of a flexible and unpredictable Arsenal, capable of switching formations and styles depending on the opponent.
Mount: The system player who can make everyone better
Mason Mount is among the best young players in the Premier League and England, with 14 goals and 11 assists this season. He can play a role on the left or right of a midfield three for Arsenal, replacing Granit Xhaka, who is set to join Bayer Leverkusen. He would also reunite with his childhood friend Declan Rice, who is also a target for Arsenal as their new No 6.
Mount is a system player who can perform well in a well-organised team and improve everyone around him with his movement, passing, and pressing. He has proven himself at the elite level, having played 195 times for Chelsea, won 36 caps for England, and scored in the Champions League final.
Mount is entering the final year of his contract at Chelsea and is not universally appreciated by their fans or manager. He has been carrying a pelvic injury and has seen his form dip slightly in the latter part of this season. He could be enticed by a move to Arsenal, where Arteta would value and trust him.
Mount would add mobility, creativity, and penetration to Arsenal’s midfield. He is a 360-degree footballer who can receive on the half-turn, spin away from defenders, dribble into space, and play incisive passes. Mount is also willing to run beyond the last line of defence and occupy different positions in attack. He would complement Arsenal’s young core of players such as Gabriel Martinelli, Aaron Ramsdale, Martin Odegaard and Ben White.
Arsenal have missed out on the Premier League title for another season, finishing second behind Manchester City despite leading the table for most of the campaign. Mikel Arteta knows he needs to improve his squad to challenge for silverware next term, and he has identified two midfielders who can make a massive difference to his team: Ilkay Gundogan and Mason Mount.
Rice: The defensive midfielder Arsenal needs to complete their puzzle
Arsenal are set to bid for West Ham captain Declan Rice at the end of the season as they look to add a defensive midfielder to their squad. Rice is among the most sought-after players in the Premier League, having impressed with his performances for West Ham and England.
Rice is an influential and composed midfielder who can break up play, shield the defence, and distribute the ball effectively. He has a “gentleman’s agreement” with West Ham that he can leave in the summer, provided they receive an offer worth £120m in a transfer fee or a transfer fee plus players.
Arsenal FC is not the only club interested in Rice, as Bayern Munich and Chelsea have also made contact with his representatives. However, Rice is favouring a move to Arsenal because of the prospect of playing for the Spaniard, Mikel Arteta, who has drawn up plans for where he would fit into his team.
Arteta wants Rice to be his new No 6, playing alongside either Ilkay Gundogan or Mason Mount in a midfield three. Rice would provide balance, stability, and leadership to Arsenal’s midfield and a strong connection with his childhood friend Mount.
Rice has one year remaining on his contract at West Ham, with the option of a further year. He is keen to test and prove himself in the Champions League and challenge for trophies. He would join Arsenal’s growing English core and become one of their key players for years to come.
Saka: The symbol of hope and loyalty for Arsenal
Bukayo Saka has agreed to a new contract with Arsenal to have him at the club until 2027. The 21-year-old English forward has been one of the standout performers for Arsenal this season, scoring 14 goals and providing 11 assists in all competitions. He has also established himself as a starter for England, playing in five of their World Cup games and scoring against Ukraine.
Saka is a product of Arsenal’s academy, having joined the club at seven. He made his first-team debut in 2018 and has since made 178 appearances for the Gunners, playing in various positions across the front line and midfield. He is widely regarded as one of the best young talents in the country and has attracted interest from other clubs, such as Chelsea and Manchester City.
However, Saka has shown his loyalty and commitment to Arsenal by signing a new long-term deal, despite their failure to win any trophies. He has expressed his happiness and belief in the club’s direction under Arteta and his heartbreak at missing out on the Premier League title by a narrow margin.
Saka symbolises hope and optimism for Arsenal, representing their identity, values, and ambition. He is part of a young and exciting core of players that Arsenal are building around and securing for the future. He is also a fan favourite and a role model for the next generation of academy graduates. Saka’s new contract is a huge boost for Arsenal and a statement of intent for their rivals.
Arsenal fans, don’t miss out on the chance to see this exciting young team in action! With Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and Aaron Ramsdale leading the way and extending their contracts with the club, Arsenal are on the rise and you don’t want to miss out. Buy your Arsenal tickets today and be a part of the excitement!
Overall, if Arsenal are able to sign all three of these players, it would be a major coup for Arteta and could help them to challenge for silverware next season. The Gunners have a young and exciting core of players, and adding these three experienced and talented midfielders would give them the quality and depth they need to compete at the top level. With Saka’s new contract, Arsenal are sending a clear message to their rivals that they are serious about challenging for trophies. The summer transfer window will be crucial for Arteta and his team, and if they are able to add Gundogan, Mount, and Rice to their squad, they will be well-placed to make a real impact next season.