Arteta not getting carried away over Arsenal's early season form
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Arsenal have been in the market for a winger throughout the summer and have seemingly settled on Pedro Neto as their top target. However, the deal may not go down well with five current Gunners players in particular.
A deal for Neto will not be easy before next Thursday’s deadline. Wolves would demand a large fee for the Portugal international, who still has five years remaining on his contract.
Arsenal are battling to avoid breaching Financial Fair Play regulations, having spent well in excess of £100million in the past two summers. The Gunners are confident they have complied with the rules and are investigating the possibility of a late move for Neto.
However, the 22-year-old’s arrival may have a negative impact on those already at the club. Express Sport looks at five players who could have their noses put out of joint.
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Arsenal have already signed a left-footed Portuguese star who plays off the right this summer. Vieira is yet to feature since his arrival from Porto due to a foot injury but was in the squad for the win over Bournemouth last weekend.
Vieira can play in a variety of positions but operated off the right, following instruction from Mikel Arteta, for Arsenal under-21s last week. How he breaks into the starting XI at the moment is not certain, so adding Neto into the mix will only make that more difficult.
Martinelli has started the first three Premier League matches of the season as the left-sided attacker. But with Bukayo Saka’s place almost set in stone, it is Martinelli whose position could be under the most serious threat.
This season is key for the Brazilian and he has started it well. He would have to keep up this form in order to maintain a spot in the side.
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Emile Smith Rowe
Like with Vieira, there doesn’t seem to be a clear opening for Smith Rowe at the moment. His best position is off the left but Martinelli has got that nailed down for now.
Smith Rowe came on in midfield at Bournemouth but would unlikely start there in many matches. Neto’s arrival could hamper his chances further of regular starts.
Arteta has been impressed with young Brazilian Marquinhos since his arrival earlier this summer. The Gunners were considering sending him out on loan but that will wait until at least January.
The addition of Europa League football this season could give younger players more of a chance. But Arsenal would be well-stocked in attacking areas if Neto joined, meaning Marquinhos would likely have to settle for cameo appearances off the bench in that competition.
Nelson has entered the final year of his contract at the Emirates in what could be the last chance saloon for the academy graduate. Nelson is set for a couple of months on the sidelines with a muscular injury picked up earlier this month.
He will have been hoping to give it his all this season but has already faced a major setback. The arrival of Neto would make Nelson’s game time, when fit, even more restricted.
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