Arsenal’s transfer budget (or lack thereof) has become something of a source of amusement of late, and although things probably aren’t as bad as they seem, the reports that continue to arise around the club just don’t help their case at all.
The Gunners were thought to be heading for a quiet 2019 summer transfer window when they pulled off a showstopping deal for Nicolas Pepe and secured the services of Dani Ceballos on loan. Between the £72m spent on Pepe and the advance purchase of St Etienne defender William Saliba, however, funds are thought to be on the thin side ahead of this summer.
As is customary, they are interested in a new winger, but it’s not Pepe this time around – nor is it even an exciting young Brazilian like Gabriel Martinelli.
Nope, it’s Bournemouth and Scotland winger Ryan Fraser.
The latest development on this one comes from TEAMtalk, who report that Arsenal are in ‘pole position’ to land him on a free transfer when his Cherries deal expires on 1 July (or whenever the Premier League season eventually finishes), and are ‘confident’ of securing the signature of a player they have long been admirers of.
That report on its own could perhaps be brushed off, but it pretty squares with what sources told 90min at the tail end of last month – that Fraser is a target, and is being weighed up alongside Chelsea‘s Willian, as the Gunners look to strengthen their squad without digging the bank card out of their wallet.
Fans might instinctively swat that one away, but ask yourself this…would it really be out of character for the same club that signed Cedric Soares on loan from Southampton in January?
Fraser’s 2019/20 has contrasted drastically with his 2018/19 season, in which he even garnered reported interest from Liverpool as he scored eight goals and assisted an astonishing 15 in all competitions – finishing the campaign with the second-most assists in the Premier League.
A single goal and five assists since has seen his stock plummet somewhat as Bournemouth have struggled to get off the ground, but he remains a pretty coveted asset.