Arsenal perfect signing proves why Edu is ‘going all out’ for £42m transfer as Spain’s starlets sparkle

Lewis Oldham
Spain Italy Nico Williams
Spain's Nico Williams dribbles past Italy's Giovanni Di Lorenzo.

Spain winger Nico Williams proved against Italy why he would be the perfect summer signing for Arsenal to boost their 2024/25 Premier League title hopes…


As Euro 2024 takes centre stage in most people’s minds for the next couple of weeks, the summer transfer window will go under the radar.

Most right-minded football fans will be glad there are actual matches to talk about at the moment. Football in the sun just hits differently and there’s not much better than a summer tournament.

There’s also been the added bonus of the vast majority of games at Euro 2024 living up to the hype or over-delivering. The less said about Gareth Southgate’s England the better, though.

But once Euro 2024 fever is over, we can rest assured that the summer transfer saga should deliver after the FFP-impacted winter window was the least dramatic month on the buying and selling front in recent memory. We really owe Jurgen Klopp a pint for making things interesting by announcing his Liverpool exit in January.

With Manchester United bringing the pre-summer manager merry-go-around to an end (with snubs forcing their hand to stick with Erik ten Hag *for now*), several elite clubs and their new bosses will now be focused on the transfer window.

Elite strikers are in high demand with Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Sporting’s Victor Gyokeres among the big-money forwards who could be on the move, but the Premier League Big Six are also looking for upgrades in other positions and Nico Williams is reportedly being targeted.

Watchers of the Premier League only may have seen Williams linked with their club and unwittingly said: ‘Nico who?’

But after the 21-year-old’s breakout 27 goal-involvement campaign for La Liga outfit Athletic Bilbao, he has taken his remarkable club form into Euro 2024 to ensure everyone will come out of this tournament knowing his name.

After starting in his side’s eye-catching 3-0 tournament-opening victory over an ageing Croatia, Williams gave Italy right-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo a torrid time as he dazzled in Spain’s iconic red home jersey.

Most of the good play by Spain was influenced by Williams as Luis de la Fuente’s team were much the better side as they had a bewildered Italy on the ropes.

Spain were not rewarded for their brilliant opening half with a goal, but they took the lead just ten minutes into the second half.

Williams was the creator as he beat Di Lorenzo and delivered a devilish cross into the penalty area. Alvaro Morata’s subsequent header flicked the ball onto Riccardo Calafiori for another own goal. This adds to an ever-growing collection to come in this tournament.

La Roja suffered a remarkable fall from grace after adding to their dominance by winning Euro 2012, but the next wave of glory is on its way as a trio of youngsters – Williams, Lamine Yamal, Pedri – combined superbly with Rodri and Fabian Ruiz against Italy to add to their case of being a serious candidate to win Euro 2024.

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And if Spain continues to impress and go a long way at Euro 2024 (as they will now be expected to), Williams – who later came within inches of scoring as he struck the crossbar in the 1-0 win over Italy – looks likely to produce a pre-transfer challenge for the Young Player of the Tournament accolade.

📣TO THE COMMENTS! How far will Spain progress at Euro 2024? Join the debate here

In a boost to interested clubs, they will not have to pay over the odds to sign Williams as there is understood to be a £42m release clause in his contract.

Chelsea and Man Utd have been credited as being interested, but Arsenal are said to be ‘going all out’ to sign the winger as they attempt to bridge the final couple of steps between themselves and Premier League champions Manchester City.

With the help of sporting director Edu’s expertise, Arsenal have recruited really well in recent windows and they are well on track to be the side to end City’s era of dominance at the summit.

Head coach Mikel Arteta’s preferred XI is as good as any around, but squad depth has been an issue and that is particularly the case at right wing with Arsenal lacking a suitable replacement for Bukayo Saka when he’s unavailable.

Given Williams’ immense potential, ability to operate on both flanks and low-cost transfer fee, he would be a perfect signing for Arsenal to provide quality competition on either wing. And if the Gunners can also add Martin Zubimendi (or a defensive midfield signing of a similar quality), Pep Guardiola and Man City should start to sweat a little bit more.

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