9 players who Arsenal could realistically sign this summer

New season, new Wenger? With the Gunners out of the Champions League, their long-serving boss will have to get his wallet out this transfer window

Pepe (Real Madrid)

Given that Arsenal have frequently been accused of lacking grit, bite and aggression, who better to bring in than the Portuguese warhorse?

If Arsene Wenger wants to stick with the 3-4-2-1 formation next term, he probably needs to add at least one more centre-back to the Arsenal ranks. And given that his team have frequently been accused of lacking grit, bite and aggression, who better to bring in than Portuguese warhorse Pepe?

The four-time European champion (three times at club level, once at international) is set to leave Real Madrid when his contract expires later this month, meaning he’ll be available for zilch. The Gunners can’t afford to hang around, though: PSG are said to be eyeing the 34-year-old, who confirmed his impending exit from the Santiago Bernabeu earlier this week.

Pepe

Pepe's trophy-winning experience would also help

Keita Balde Diao (Lazio)

A tricky dribbler, speedy mover and clean finisher, Keita can either play wide on the left or through the middle

Lazio forward Felipe Anderson was once the club’s prime candidate for a big-money transfer overseas, but he’s now been overtaken by Keita. The former Barcelona youth player enjoyed the most productive season of his career to date in 2016/17, scoring 16 goals and providing three assists as Simone Inzaghi’s side qualified for the Europa League and reached the final of the Coppa Italia.

A tricky dribbler, speedy mover and clean finisher, Keita can either play wide on the left or through the middle. He’s also still only 22, which gives him both time for improvement and potential resale value at some point down the line.

Keita Balde Diao

Keita would add speed and trickery to Arsenal's attack

Thomas Lemar (Monaco)

The former Caen man lined up on the left-hand side of Leonardo Jardim’s 4-4-2 formation

Monaco were arguably the team of the European season last term, winning the Ligue 1 title and reaching the Champions League semi-finals in style. Teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe is on Arsenal’s wishlist (as well as virtually every other big club in Europe) but perhaps the Gunners would be wise to turn their attention towards Lemar instead.

The former Caen man lined up on the left-hand side of Leonardo Jardim’s 4-4-2 formation, although his tendency to drift infield means he could also start centrally.

He’s quick, agile and creative, and whereas Mbappe is likely to stay put for at least another campaign, the 21-year-old seems relatively obtainable.