Arsenal expert names two ‘more realistic’ targets despite Aston Villa man being ‘on any list’ Edu draws up

Joe Williams
Arsenal transfer target Ollie Watkins
Ollie Watkins celebrates scoring at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal journalist Charles Watts would be “surprised” if the Gunners made a move for Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins this summer.

Mikel Arteta and Edu are looking to bring in a new striker this summer as they look to improve their options in attack ahead of next season.

Arsenal are looking to buy a new striker in the summer

Arsenal have been gradually improving over the last couple of seasons with their summer signings of Kai Havertz, Declan Rice, Jurrien Timber and David Raya strengthening their depth of quality.

The Gunners have been challenging for the Premier League title again this season but one area of their side which has come under fire is their striker department.

Arsenal have shared the goals well throughout the team but some pundits and former players have questioned whether Arteta’s side can win the Premier League title with Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah as their main senior strikers.

Aston Villa’s Watkins, who has contributed 19 goals and ten assists in 32 Premier League appearances this term, has emerged as a target but Watts – who has covered Arsenal for years – reckons RB Leipzig’s Benjamin Sesko or Sporting Lisbon’s Viktor Gyokeres could be more attainable.

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Watts wrote in his Caught Offside column: “Ollie Watkins is having a remarkable season. The way he took his goal on Sunday showed just how confident he is in the final third.

“He’s long been mentioned as a potential target for Arsenal, but as far as I’m aware there has never been anything close to happening when it comes to him and a move to North London. He was a big Arsenal fan growing up and he has Arsenal connections through his representatives, but that is as far as it goes.

“It’s no secret that Arsenal are looking for a new forward and of course Watkins’ name will be on any list that they have drawn up. It would have to be given the heights he has reached since joining Villa and how his all round game has improved under Unai Emery.

Sesko and Gyokeres moves could be ‘far more realistic’ for Arsenal

“But I would be surprised if he is someone they would actually go for. Obviously, you can never rule anything out, but he has a long-term contract at Villa, who are a club who are financially secure and could well be competing in the Champions League next season, so they have absolutely no need to sell – it would take an astronomical offer to tempt them into doing business.

“Plus, Watkins will be 29 in December, so I just can’t see it happening. Strikers like Benjamin Sesko and Viktor Gyokeres, who both have release clauses, are probably far more realistic. But the fact is, nothing is decided yet when it comes to Arsenal’s hunt for a new striker.

“They want one and I think they will get one, but I just can’t say for now who that will be and what sort of forward it will be. Signing a top striker is notoriously difficult due to the finances involved and Edu will know he has a very difficult summer ahead of him as he looks to improve Arsenal’s frontline.”

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