Arsenal: First fixtures of 2021/22 Premier League season
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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has identified Porto star Jesus Corona as a player who could replace both Willian and Hector Bellerin, according to reports. Corona can play both on the right side of midfield as well as at right-back.
Willian had an incredibly underwhelming first season at Arsenal last term.
The Brazilian did not score until his 37th appearance for the Gunners following his free transfer from Chelsea.
Bellerin, meanwhile, is heavily linked with a move away from the Emirates.
The Spaniard has spent 10 years in north London but is attracting interest from several La Liga clubs after falling out of favour under Arteta.
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Arsenal have been linked with a host of right-backs already this summer.
Brighton’s Tariq Lamptey, Norwich’s Max Aarons and RB Leipzig’s Tyler Adams are all said to be targets.
However, a new name that can be added to the list is that of Corona.
The Mail say Arsenal have entered the race to sign the 28-year-old Mexico international.
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Sevilla and Fiorentina are also claimed to be interested in Corona.
He has a release clause in his contract of around £21.4million (€25m).
The attraction of Corona to Arteta could be his ability to play in a number of positions.
Corona has spent the majority of his career as a winger but can play as a right-back or wing-back.
And with Willian’s future in doubt, he could kill two birds with one stone for Arteta.
Chelsea have also been linked with a move for Corona, who would suit their wing-back style.
Corona is just one of a number of players Arsenal are linked with at present.
Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard remains a top target, and the Gunners have also reportedly seen a £40m bid for Brighton defender Ben White turned down.
Arsenal finished eighth in the Premier League last season and missed out on European qualification for the first time in over 25 years.
Arteta hopes a full pre-season will have the desired impact in improving performances next term.
He said in May: “I’m sad because this club deserves to be delivered trophies and the Champions League. We haven’t managed that.
“It’s very challenging circumstances but we’ve tried to stick together and do our best. It’s not been enough.
“We have to be very critical of ourselves, of myself, and then prepare the best possible way for next season to take advantage of that.
“Hopefully we can have the pre-season that I haven’t had, and have time to work with those players and try to be a better team.”
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