Arsenal have joined the transfer race for Galatasaray winger Kerem Akturkoglu ahead of the summer transfer window.
The Gunners are in pole position to finish in the top four and further improved their chances by beating Aston Villa 1-0 last weekend.
Having invested closer to £150million on six players last summer, Mikel Arteta is aware his squad will require further reinforcements in the next two to three transfer windows to achieve the club’s goals.
According to Turkish outlet Aksam, Arsenal have scouted Kerem Akturkoglu for a long time and will knock on Galatasaray’s door for the winger at the end of the season. Along with the Gunners, Tottenham Hotspur, Lyon, Atletico Madrid and Wolfsburg are also keeping tabs on the Turkish attacker, who is valued at €20million, the report adds.
Akturkoglu, 23, has enjoyed a stunning season with Galatasaray, contributing to 11 goals and nine assists in 44 games across all competitions. He has been the shining light in an otherwise disappointing campaign for the Yellow and Red, who lie 15th in the Super Lig table.
Kerem Akturkoglu to Arsenal – Should the Gunners make an approach?
Arsenal have the squad to bring Champions League football back to the Emirates Stadium next season, but in order to start challenging for major trophies again, they must invest heavily again.
While the striker department needs reinforcing in the summer to add more goals from the centre of the pitch, and a new midfielder to partner Thomas Partey will be eyed, the north Londoners could do with a wide attacker.
According to @Aksam, #Arsenal are one of the clubs interested in signing 23-year-old Galatasaray star Kerem Aktürkoğlu. https://t.co/eR7kAgPkhj
— Gurjit (@GurjitAFC) March 22, 2022
Currently, Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli are the only out-and-out wide players in the squad. Saka and Martinelli have nailed their spots in the first XI, but Pepe has flattered to deceive since arriving in a club-record fee of £72m from Lille in 2019.
Mikel Arteta would need a bigger squad to compete on all fronts next season, thereby, making the addition of a winger important in the summer.
Another winger would also allow Martinelli to potentially play in a more central role as the duo of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah will not be at Arsenal next season as things stand. Thus, the north London club’s interest in Kerem Akturkoglu makes sense.
A left-winger by trade, Akturkoglu is blessed with great speed, agility, quick feet and energy to burn. He is a good dribbler with the ball and has got the vision to create some meaningful openings for others around him in the final third of the pitch.
For Galatasaray this season, the six-cap Turkish international has been a consistent performer in the final third based on his average of 2.1 shots, 1.5 key passes and 2.4 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Super Lig.
The fleet-footed winger needs to improve his ball distribution as he just has a 72.2% pass success rate. In addition, he must work on his end product and decision making on and off the ball to become a top wide player. (Stats courtesy: Whoscored)
Overall, Akturkoglu is still a work in progress and could reach his potential under Arteta’s guidance at Arsenal. Rumoured to be valued at around €20million, the Gunners must make a move for the Galatasaray star.