Arsenal

Arsenal transfer news: Arteta wanted Raya earlier, Osimhen & Toney latest, midfield targets & more

David Raya the hero for Arsenal – and Mikel Arteta actually wanted to sign him earlier
It’s tough to play down the significance of Arsenal’s dramatic Champions League win on Tuesday night.

Porto are obviously no mugs when it comes to European competition. They’ve been there and done it so many times, but even so, it would have been a huge missed opportunity for Arsenal had they not got past the Portuguese side.

Porto boss Sergio Conceicao accused Mikel Arteta of insulting his family after the game. That’s an accusation I’ve been told is completely untrue.

Conceicao is well known to go down a route like this after a defeat. He has previous with other managers that have got one over him and Arsenal see his comments as nothing more than a deflection tactic to take attention away from his side’s defeat.

Porto played tricks on Arsenal throughout the two legs in a bid to disrupt things, from putting in team sheets late to failing to provide UEFA with a planned formation ahead of the games. They did all they could to get under Arsenal’s skin and throw them off track.

So there is a lot of satisfaction at Arsenal that their young and inexperienced group stayed calm and got the job done amid plenty of provocation. And Arteta will be delighted that David Raya was the hero on Tuesday night.

Raya’s arrival created a lot of headlines last summer, but he is now showing why Arteta took the opportunity to bring him in from Brentford.

Raya was the keeper Arteta always wanted. He wanted him to replace Bernd Leno, but a deal couldn’t be done at the time with Brentford so Aaron Ramsdale arrived instead.

Ramsdale did a great job and Arsenal were happy with him, but when Matt Turner pushed to leave Arsenal last summer late on in the window and Nottingham Forest offered a deal that would see Arsenal make a profit on the American keeper, the Gunners had to act quickly.

This time Raya was available and a loan deal, one that will be turned permanent this summer, was done. It was unexpected, but the opportunity arose and Arteta went for it.

It was a big call, but one he felt would improve the team. Looking at it now a few months down the line, you can’t argue that he hasn’t been proven correct.

Arsenal want to sign a striker as Eddie Nketiah is likely to leave
It’s no great secret that Arsenal want to sign a striker this summer. When the window opens it will be the priority, along with a midfielder and potentially another wide attacker.

Ivan Toney continues to be linked and that speculation is only going to increase as we head towards the market opening. Arsenal have discussed Toney, he is a player they admire, but it’s not one I’m convinced will happen

There was lots of talk about something potentially happening in January but all the information I was getting was that much of the noise was coming from the player’s side, rather than the Arsenal side. There was never any possibility of Toney signing in January and I’d be surprised should it happen in the summer.

Obviously you can never rule it out and, as I’ve said, Arsenal have admired the Brentford striker’s qualities for some time, but I don’t think he will be at the top of their list of targets for a new frontman.

It will be interesting to see whether they move for Victor Osimhen. He, like Toney, is a player they like and I know that his representatives have visited Arsenal’s training ground for talks with Edu.

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