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Eze signs, £50m transfer, Calafiori starts - Mikel Arteta's dream Arsenal starting XI vs Wolves

Crystal Palace and England star Eberechi Eze has been linked with a move to Arsenal this summer as Mikel Arteta tries to bolster his midfield department

Eberechi Eze has been linked with a move to Arsenal this summer
Eberechi Eze has been linked with a move to Arsenal this summer

Arsenal have had a relatively quiet summer transfer window so far, but the Gunners could be set for a busy rest of July as Mikel Arteta tries to bolster his squad. As of yet, there have been no first-team additions at the Emirates Stadium, though that has not deterred rumours and gossip from flying in.

It's understood Arsenal want to sign a new central midfielder this summer, and have outlined Crystal Palace's Eberechi Eze as a potential option. According to the Guardian, the Gunners are eyeing up a move for the 26-year-old and he has emerged as a summer transfer target. He scored 11 goals and provided six assists in 31 appearances last season which earned himself a call up to the England squad at Euro 2024.

Eze reportedly has a release clause in his contract worth around £60million. Fortunately for Arsenal, that means there would be little need for negotiating other than agreeing terms with Eze and his camp. The Gunners are set to face fierce competition for his signature, however, with Tottenham among the other sides chasing Eze. After selling Michael Olise to Bayern Munich, Palace are worried about the prospect losing Eze.

And Arsenal could get to the front of the queue secure his services ahead of Tottenham. The lure of Champions League football may be a temptation for Eze, as the Gunners prepare for their second successive season in Europe's elite club competition after finishing second in the Premier League last season. The same cannot be said for Spurs as they finished fifth, missing out on fourth-place to Aston Villa in the end.

If Eze did move to north London, there is no doubt he would slide straight into the starting XI. The left central midfield berth would suit Eze to a tee. He would be allowed the freedom to go and roam around the attacking areas and support the wide men and striker. Additionally, Eze is versatile and can also play on the left, right and in the other central midfielder position. This would give Arteta options.

But he is much more productive inside that left channel, and that is where he would be more of a success for the Gunners. With that in mind, he would partner Martin Odegaard as part of the two more advanced midfielders with Declan Rice sitting as the No.6, leaving Jorginho, Emile Smith Rowe and Thomas Partey out. Mikel Merino is another name that has been linked but if Eze does sign it's unlikely the Spaniard will too.

Elsewhere, it has been reported that Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign Bologna's Riccardo Calafiori. The 22-year-old impressed for Italy at Euro 2024 and has attracted significant attention from the Gunners. A five-year deal is in place for him to move to north London, with Bologna hoping to collect around £43million for his services.

A strong and robust defender, Calafiori can be used anywhere across the back line, including in the centre or on the left side of the back four. If the Italian did sign, he would slot straight into the left-back berth with William Saliba, Gabriel and Ben White mainstays in that Arsenal set-up. They would be supported by David Raya behind them, with Aaron Ramsdale set to move on this summer.

As for the front three, Arsenal want to bolster their forward ranks. Nico Williams has emerged as someone that could move to north London after impressing for Athletic Club and Spain. He scored eight goals and providing 19 assists in 37 matches last season, and has helped Spain reach the semi-finals at Euro 2024. If he did sign, Williams, a pacey and dynamic operator, would fill the position on the left wing.

Alongside Williams is Havertz up front. There have been some questions over whether the Gunners will sign a new centre-forward, but they could trust Havertz to lead the line, as he did at the back end of the season, scoring nine goals and providing five assists in his final 14 appearances. That leaves Bukayo Saka on the right, with the likes of Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard as top class back-up.

Arsenal best XI: Raya; White, Gabriel, Saliba, Calafiori; Rice, Eze, Odegaard; Williams, Havertz, Saka.

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