Mikel Arteta told to snap up two free transfers this summer by Arsenal hero Kevin Campbell

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal
Spaniard Arteta might be looking for bargains this summer (Picture: Getty Images)

Kevin Campbell has urged Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to make the ‘smart’ move in signing Chelsea winger Willian and Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser for free this summer.

The two experienced Premier League widemen are set to become free agents at the end of this season, with their contracts due to expire on June 30.

Gunners executive Raul Sanllehi has reportedly warned club staff to forget about any big-money moves in the next transfer window, effectively silencing speculation of a £43million swoop for Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey.

Without any investment from billionaire owner Stan Kroenke, Campbell does not believe the north London club will be splashing out significant sums on transfers this summer.

He told Metro.co.uk: ‘If Stan Kroenke invests in the likes of Thomas Partey, you can say OK, fair enough, we can make that move. But if the owner doesn’t invest, I don’t see how Arsenal are going to be able to afford him, unless you swap players.

‘I know [Alexandre] Lacazette has been coveted by Atletico Madrid before he joined Arsenal, so there might be some swaps that can happen, but I just don’t think Arsenal are in the financial position to be able to be aggressive in the transfer market, how we as fans would love them to be.

‘I see they might have to come down a couple of levels, and I don’t mind that, I don’t mind the team giving younger players a chance, I just think there’s experienced players out there who won’t cost the earth who could do a job at Arsenal.

‘I think we need to be more of a team, and not look for the names. We’ve missed out on that for years.’

Ryan Fraser of Bournemouth
Scotland international Fraser could join for free (Picture: Getty Images)

Fraser has struggled to replicate his excellent form of last season, registering just one goal and four assists in 28 appearances this campaign, but Campbell suggested the 26-year-old’s output would improve in a better team.

He continued: ’You can get Ryan Fraser on a free transfer, his assists for Bournemouth were double figures last year, I know he suffered injuries but he’s still been having a decent season.

‘That’s playing for Bournemouth, when you’re playing for Arsenal, he’s going to get more of the ball in the positions he wants and give more opportunities, because there’s a lot more threats for Arsenal than some of these other teams.’

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 08: Willian of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Everton FC at Stamford Bridge on March 08, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Brazilian Willian has 70 caps for his country (Picture: Getty Images)

Brazil international Willian has been heavily linked with a switch to Arsenal and Tottenham, admitting last week that he would be ‘fine’ to make a move to either of Chelsea’s London rivals.

Despite turning 32 later this year, Campbell highlighted the areas of Willian’s game which would be incredibly useful in Mikel Arteta’s squad.

He continued: ‘There’s talk of Willian, I like Willian, there’s still a lot of life left in him. He actually suits what Mikel Arteta wants to do, playing in a three, he’s got pace, he can beat people, he can score goals and we could get him on a free, and he’s experienced.

‘It ticks all the boxes, but I know some Arsenal fans saying, “We don’t want Chelsea’s cast-offs”, but he’s not a cast-off.

‘The problem with Chelsea is they’ve got young players coming through who need to play, who know now is the time where [Frank] Lampard’s come in with Jody Morris, it’s the transition where they have to play them now.

‘Whereas Willian is 31, still got life in him, he’s a similar age to [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, no one is saying Aubameyang is over the hill, so how can Willian be over the hill? It doesn’t make sense.

‘If we haven’t got the money to spend in the transfer market, let’s get these guys on free, get them motivated and get them playing. That’s what Mikel Arteta’s got to do, and he realises if he hasn’t got the war chest then he’s going to have to move smart.’

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