5 midfield options for Arsenal in the summer transfer window

  • Arsenal set to freshen up midfield engine room again this summer
  • Gunners linked with high-profile targets
  • Declan Rice joined club in £105m deal last summer
De Jong and Guimaraes are options
De Jong and Guimaraes are options / Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Contributor and Ryan Pierse / Staff

Arsenal's progress under Mikel Arteta can't be denied, and some supporters may well regard 2024/25 and beyond as the final phase of the Spaniard's project in north London.

The Gunners have fiercely challenged Manchester City for the Premier League crown in back-to-back seasons, but there's still a step that needs to be taken in order to usurp Pep Guardiola's great Cityzens.

Arsenal boast a strong starting XI and a deep squad, but a ruthless summer window is expected in north London. Moves are set to be made at various positions, with Arteta reportedly keen to further bolster his midfield engine room having signed Declan Rice for £105m last summer. The Englishman has proven to be a transformative addition.

Arsenal require a purchase of a similar magnitude, although the profile of midfielder they're after is not yet clear. Thus, here's a variety of midfield options the Gunners could target this summer.

1. Frenkie de Jong

Frenkie de Jong
Frenkie de Jong could be sold by Barcelona this summer / David Ramos/GettyImages

De Jong is a magnificent footballer, but you can't help but feel that the Dutchman has underwhelmed at Barcelona.

The midfielder hasn't been helped by the club's financial instability, as well as injuries, but a player of his calibre should never be considered disposable. However, there have been persistent murmurs regarding a move away, and although sporting director Deco has rubbished reports of a summer sale, the player's contract situation means the club could look to cash in if De Jong fancies a new challenge.

The 27-year-old is bound to garner interest from across the continent if he were to be made available this summer, and Arsenal should certainly take a keen interest, especially if they can secure De Jong for a reasonable fee.

The Dutchman can operate in a myriad of midfield roles and would seemingly complement the powerful and robust Rice. For many Arsenal supporters, this is the dream midfield move.

2. Martin Zubimendi

Martin Zubimendi
Zubimendi has long been on Arsenal's radar / Ion Alcoba Beitia/GettyImages

The Gunners have a long-standing interest in Zubimendi, and the club could finally make their move this summer.

Zubimendi is a classy operator in the middle of the park; one capable of boosting Arsenal's build-up play and bringing even greater control to their work in possession.

He's enjoyed a fine campaign despite Real Sociedad's drop-off, and their lack of Champions League football could convince the midfielder to move on. However, Zubimendi is said to be more than content in San Sebastian, and a whole lot of persuading will be required for him to depart an environment where he's grown ever so comfortable.

There's also talk of Zubimendi wanting to work with Xabi Alonso again after Alonso aided the midfielder's ascension to the first team while he managed Sociedad's reserve side.

3. Bruno Guimaraes

Bruno Guimaraes
Could Guimaraes be unlocked in more advanced midfield role / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Newcastle's potential need to sell a lucrative asset or two has seen Bruno Guimaraes and Alexander Isak emerge as protagonists in transfer rumour mills.

Guimaraes has been nothing short of outstanding for the Magpies since he joined the club in January 2022, playing a key role in the club's rise to the Champions League.

The Brazilian has often been used at the base of Newcastle's midfield. but many believe he may be better suited to a more advanced role. Guimaraes can be reckless without possession at times and he isn't the ultimate controller in the build-up phase.

A role switch could unlock the very best of the Brazilian while hiding his flaws. Nevertheless, his ability as an all-round midfielder can't be denied and his capacity to perform various midfield functions would undoubtedly intrigue Arteta.

4. Amadou Onana

Amadou Onana
Everton might be forced to sell Onana / Lewis Storey/GettyImages

Everton are in a financial mess, and it seems inevitable that they'll be forced into selling one or two of their stars this summer.

Onana is one of those players, and the Belgian just feels like an Arteta signing. He's someone that could provide the Gunners with that extra 1%.

He may not be as technically sound or as elegant to watch as others on this list, but Onana is fantastic in the air and a phenomenon athletically. His huge stride means he covers ground at a canter, with those spider-like legs allowing Onana to make recovery challenges that very few can make.

The Belgian would further boost Arsenal's ability to defend the transition as well as their set-piece threat, which is already enormous. Standing at 6'3, Onana's an incredibly imposing figure. Arteta loves height.

5. Manuel Locatelli

Manuel Locatelli
Arsenal have previously been linked with Locatelli / Nicolò Campo/GettyImages

Douglas Luiz is another name to watch out for this summer, but striking a deal with the Champions League-bound Villans will be very tough for the Gunners.

Thus, let's opt for a name Arsenal were linked with in the past.

Juventus beat out the north London club to Locatelli's signature in 2021, but the Italian international hasn't exactly enjoyed the most prosperous of times in Turin. However, Massimiliano Allegri's antiquated ideals have been a major factor in Locatelli's perceived struggles.

The midfielder simply boasts too much technique and too well-rounded of a profile not to thrive under a coach like Arteta. He boasts regista qualities but also has the capacity to operate as a box-to-box. Allegri has certainly improved Locatelli's work out of possession, but it's about time his potential is realised.