For the first time in 22 years, Arsenal have a new manager. After Arsene Wenger drove away from the Colney training ground for the final time on Monday, he was replaced on Wednesday by Unai Emery, prompting the official Twitter account to declare this “A new dawn. A new era. A new chapter”.
The excitement surrounding the club is understandable. Emery led Sevilla to three consecutive Europa League victories, before guiding Paris Saint-Germain to seven domestic trophies in two years. He has wasted no time setting high standards in the first press conference at the Emirates, where he declared a title challenge to be his principle target.
Additions are required to do that, but Emery should have the pulling power to attract top players to the club. Here’s three who could join him in North London.
The 26-year-old is one of the best central midfielders in Europe and, having made little secret of his desire to leave Nice, is reportedly open to a Premier League move. Emery is a big fan of the Ivory Coast international and the Daily Mail report that he will make the all-action midfielder his first signing.
He tried to sign Seri while manager of PSG in January and the Mail also suggests that he will make a move for the player. He is also attracting interest from Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund and has a release clause of £35m, though Arsenal are seen as favorites for his signature.
The Greek defender is expected to join Arsenal later in the summer as he has just 12 months left on his Borussia Dortmund contract. Gunners transfer chief, Sven Mislintat, knows him well from their time at the Bundesliga club.
The absence of stalwart, Laurent Koscielny for the first 4 months of the season means the defence will be in need of an experienced centre-back with strong leadership qualities. The 29-year-old is expected to join for around £17m and could help the development of young defender Konstantinos Mavropanos, another Greek signed by Mislintat who has shown significant promise.
According to the Daily Mirror, Arsenal are continuing their pursuit of Danilo Pereira. The 26-year-old, who plays predominantly as a defensive midfielder but can also fill in at centre-back, has been a long-term target. The Porto utility man will add physicality in central areas and is well-accustomed to the European stage.