Make no mistake, this summer is going to be a huge one for Arsenal. The Gunners are back in the Champions League for the first time in six years Mikel Arteta has already admitted that there’s plenty of work for his side to do if they are to compete.

“At the level that we want no,” the Spaniard told when asked if he felt his side had enough to compete in both the Premier League and Champions League next season as things stand. “We didn’t have the capacity to do that as well with the Europa League so it’s part of that evolution. We have made a lot of good steps and strong steps in that journey and we have to continue. That never ends. We want to be better and the rest will be better, then the margins will be higher and we have to start to live with those standards and improve and be smarter.”

Edu’s work has already got underway. The Gunners are set to submit a bid for Declan Rice sooner rather than later after he claimed Europa Conference League success with West Ham earlier this week.

This was a topic of discussion in a Q and A with our chief Arsenal correspondent Kaya Kaynak earlier this week. Kaya was also asked why the Gunners hadn’t moved to snap up Rice’s England teammate Jude Bellingham and gave the following response.

“Which position would Rice play if he signs? Why can’t we go for Bellingham?” asked Gunnersaurus7.

“You’re not the only person to have asked me about Bellingham!” Kaynak responded. “I for one would have loved to see him come to the carpet, but it seems as though his move to Real is more or less done. Maybe one for a few year’s time I hope. I think Rice will probably play in the eight role for now given that Arsenal have Partey and Jorginho in the six, and that Granit Xhaka is going to leave.

“Arteta wants to eventually move the team to having more offensive contributions from both ‘eight’ positions though, so don’t be surprised if we see more of Fabio Vieira in that position next season with Rice a bit deeper. Emile Smith Rowe has also been training in the central midfield position and could definitely suit that role in my humble opinion!”

There’s no doubt that midfield is a key area of focus for Arsenal this transfer window. If they’re able to complete the deal for Rice, the Gunners have no intentions of stopping there and are understood to be looking at Moises Caicedo if the deal is financially viable. With that going on and Bellingham’s move to Real Madrid, it seems the dream of seeing him at the Emirates will have to wait for now. The England midfielder is still only 19 though and still has plenty of years ahead of him in his career.

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