Concrete interest in Buendia
According to reports from the generally reliable James Benge and Charles Watts, Arsenal have made Norwich City midfielder Emi Buendia one of their key transfer targets, ahead of what could prove a hectic summer of business.
Coming off the back of a brilliant season with Norwich, which saw him score 15 goals and assist a further 17 in 39 Championship appearances, Buendia would not come cheap. However, Norwich Director of Football Stuart Webber has already conceded that a deal for the Argentine could be done.
Emi Buendia 20/21 (Rank in Arsenal squad) [per 90]
1.6 Dribbles (🥇)
2.8 Shots (🥇)
2 Times fouled (🥈)
3.1 key passes (🥇)
Emi Buendia 19/20(Rank in Arsenal squad)
138 SCA (🥇)
58 passes into penalty area (🥇)
83 chances created (🥇)
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— Give Me My Club Back (@fightforArsenal) May 20, 2021
Speaking to Pink Un, an East Anglian publication, Webber recently said:
“It might be that we sell one of the, let’s say one of the more in-demand players, to help fund even bigger transfers.”
However, he cautioned that any deal would have to include a new record fee for the club, which currently stands at £25m, following the departure of Ben Godfrey to Everton last summer.
“If anyone wants any of those guys they are going to have to break our club transfer record to even get me to answer the phone, to be honest. All three are aware of that.”
Arsenal heading on a summer shopping spree?
We’ve been here before. A poor season followed by rumours of a “war chest” at the Emirates, only for the club to be stationary in the transfer market.
However, what may encourage Arsenal fans is the indication that Stan Kroenke is willing to invest in the squad. So long following a self-sustaining model, a lack of investment, combined with poor investment when it has come, has seen the Gunners fall by the wayside in the Premier League.
This has led to mass-protests outside the Emirates stadium, demanding that Kroenke either invest in the club or leave, a sentiment that exploded after the botched attempt to take Arsenal into a European Super League last month.
COMMERCE CITY, COLORADO – JULY 15: Josh Kroenke the Arsenal Director with Stan Kroenke the Arsenal Owner before the match between Colorado Rapids v Arsenal at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on July 15, 2019 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
In turn, following potentially their first season in 26 years featuring a failure to qualify for Europe, it appears that the Kroenkes are ready to spring into action. Benge reports that:
“Stan Kroenke has indicated a willingness to back significant spending to strengthen Mikel Arteta’s squad ahead of his second full season in charge”.
What “significant” means in the eyes of the Kroenkes remains to be seen, with the money actually being spent well another matter entirely. However, Buendia’s is certainly a name that will fill Arsenal fans with hope that this can be the summer in which their fortunes begin to turn around, though many will have to see it to believe it.