Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa are on Arsenal’s shortlist of potential replacements for striker Alexandre Lacazette, say reports.
The Frenchman is in the final year of his Gunners contract and has fallen out of favour this season, making two league appearances so far.
According to the Sun, Mikel Arteta wants a young player with Premier League experience to come in and deputise for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Lacazette is unlikely to be offered an extension to his current deal and could be sold in January, but the Emirates outfit won’t let him go unless a replacement is found.
That could be problematic, as Calvert-Lewin and Watkins are both under contract until 2025.
The Toffees are likely to demand at least £50 million for their star striker, who signed a contract extension last year, while Villa paid Brentford £28m for Watkins last year and his value has since shot up.
Arsenal’s focus on youth with their transfer policy is admirable, but costly.
The Gunners spent £148m during the summer on bringing in six new signings, all under the age of 23.
Although Watkins and Calvert-Lewin are slightly older than that, 25 and 24 respectively, they are still early in their careers and are unlikely to require the adaptation time that others might.
But their respective clubs are ambitious and will not allow their most valuable assets to walk away unless they receive a serious fee.
The attack is certainly an area that Arsenal need to freshen up.
Aubameyang is 32 years old and Lacazette is now 30, so a burst of youthful energy up front wouldn’t go amiss – if the owners are willing to delve into the piggy bank once again.
Calvert-Lewin has three goals in three league games for Everton this season, while Watkins has one in five appearances.
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