A busy summer in store at, it’s vital Arteta gets it right

By on June 19, 2023

The Arsenal players will still be trying to overcome the disappointment from their end of season collapse that cost us what would have been a stunning Premier League title win. The North Londoners sat top of the table for almost 250 days but a disastrous run in April saw our lead evaporate as Manchester City stormed their way to the title en route to an historic treble.

It was a case of what might have been for Arsenal. However, Mikel Arteta cannot afford to mull things over for too long as the Spanish coach will be busy preparing for the 2023/24 campaign. Arsenal have a packed pre-season schedule with some very tough games coming up that Arteta needs to prepare for, while he is also busy revamping his squad as the Gunners look to build a team capable of competing on all fronts next season.


Our pre-season fixtures have already been confirmed and we have some mouth-watering games to look forward to. Most of the Arsenal players reconvene for training in early July after enjoying a well-earned break and they will begin their preparations for the new season with a training camp in Germany.  There, we’ll take on FC Nurnberg on July 13th at the Max-Morlock Stadion before flying out to the United States for our pre-season tour.

Arsenal kick things off against the MLS All-Stars in Washington DC before taking on Manchester United in New Jersey on July 22nd. We then face La Liga champions Barcelona at the SoFi Stadium in LA – home of the LA Rams, who are also owned by the Kroenke family. Arsenal will then fly back to the UK to take on Monaco in the Emirates Cup on August 2nd.

Our first ‘competitive’ game sees Arsenal take on Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley. This will be a real test to see where the squad is against the best team in the world right now. Getting tickets for this game will be tough for Arsenal fans as we’re fully expected to sell out our allocation. Therefore, if you want to attend the game in person, it may be easier to buy Manchester City tickets as long as you’re prepared to sit in the opposition end.

It’s safe to say Arsenal have got some huge games scheduled in pre-season and we’ll face some big tests. We’ll take on our closest rivals in the Premier League as we finished in-between winners Man City and third-placed Man Utd, so those games should give us an idea as to how competitive we’ll be against our domestic peers. Playing Barcelona will also be a big test for this young squad as the Catalans are back to their best having won the title last season under Xavi. We could be drawn to play Barca in the Champions League next season, so it will be interesting to see how we get on against them in pre-season.


If last season taught us anything, it’s that Arsenal’s squad isn’t strong enough to last the distance in the title race and it certainly isn’t deep enough to compete on multiple fronts next year. Therefore, Arteta and Edu have a huge summer ahead as they look to reshape the squad to make it strong enough to challenge in several competitions during the upcoming campaign.

Midfield is an area that we obviously need to strengthen and Arsenal are working hard trying to sign Declan Rice. The England international is Arteta No.1 priority target this summer and it looks like we’re going to smash our transfer record to sign him. West Ham have already rejected a reported £80m offer from Arsenal and are holding out for around £100m, so buying Rice is certainly going to be a huge investment by the club.

The 24-year-old is an all-action star who can play in defensive midfield or as a box-to-box midfielder so he could replace Thomas Partey or Granit Xhaka. Rice should be a terrific addition to the squad if Arsenal can get this deal over the line. His arrival will allow Xhaka to complete his proposed move back to Germany. The Swiss international wants a new challenge at the late stage of his career and he’s set to join Bayer Leverkusen in a £13m deal once Arsenal secure his replacement.

There are reports that Partey could also be sold if a suitable offer comes in with Arteta eyeing Southampton’s Romeo Lavia as a replacement. The youngster has been excellent in a struggling Saints side but at 19 he still has a lot to learn, so it could be a big risk to ask the youngster to replace an experienced pro like Partey. Arsenal are also still watching developments with Moises Caicedo having seen a £70m rejected in January, but it’s difficult to see us buying both Caicedo and Rice given the transfer fees involved.

Arsenal also need to reinforce in attack and we’re in talks over a shock deal to sign Kai Havertz from Chelsea. The Blues want around £70m but Arsenal are hoping to agree a deal at closer to £60m. Havertz has already made it clear he wants to join us and has agreed personal terms, so it’s just down to the two clubs to agree a fee. The German can play in multiple positions having been deployed as a striker, attacking midfielder or on the wings, so his versatility will appeal to Arteta.

In order to pay for Havertz, Arsenal are expected to cash-in on highly-rated youngster Folarin Balogun. He’s just come off the back of an excellent loan spell at Reims where he scored 21 goals and he wants first team football next season. Arteta cannot guarantee him that, so Arsenal are set to sell with an asking price of at least £30m being touted.

A new defender is also on the agenda for Arteta as the defence was vulnerable after William Saliba got injured last season. Reports suggest Arteta wants to bring in Joao Cancelo from Man City. He can play as a right-back or a left-back, and his arrival could pave the way for Kieran Tierney to depart. Cancelo would also allow Ben White to play in a central role if needed after he played at right-back for much of last season.

Several other players such as Rob Holding, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Nuno Tavares and Nicolas Pepe are expected to be sold this summer to help fund Arsenal’s new signings. So it’s certainly going to be a busy few months at the Emirates Stadium as Arteta looks to get Arsenal in prime shape ahead of the new campaign. It’s vital the boss gets pre-season right and nails his transfer activity if we’re to overhaul Man City to clinch the title next season.