Arsenal transfer news: Gunners eyeing Eredivisie double deal

According to the Daily Mirror, Arsenal have added Feyenoord goalkeeper Justin Bijlow to their list of transfer targets, as they prepare to replace Aaron Ramsdale.

But Bijlow is not the only Eredivisie player admired by Mikel Arteta, with 17-year-old Ajax wonderkid and Arsenal transfer news regular Jorrel Hato seen as a key target to add yet more quality to the Arsenal defence.

Aaron Ramsdale has almost certainly played his last game for the Gunners – Photo by Icon Sport

Latest Arsenal transfer news: Bijlow could replace Ramsdale

Mikel Arteta's decision to make David Raya Arsenal's number one came within just two points of the ultimate vindication in 2023/24. In practice though, the decision essentially guaranteed Aaron Ramsdale's departure this summer.

Set to deputise for Jordan Pickford at this summer's Euros, Ramsdale is too valuable to sit on the bench, and too talented to be happy to do so. He has already attracted interest from Newcastle, with several others likely to follow suit.

As such, Arsenal are in the hunt for a new number two, with the Gunners even being linked with a sensational return for Wojciech Szczesny. But with Szczesny’s wages being a steep £100k per week, Justin Bijlow has emerged as an alternative to the Pole.

The Dutchman is still only 26, giving him at least a decade of peak performance between the sticks, and is widely regarded as a high-quality modern goalkeeper. He was even considered as an alternative to Andre Onana by Manchester United last season, which indicates the high regard in which he is held.

Bijlow in Arsenal transfer news
Justin Bijlow is an Arsenal target – Photo by Icon Sport

Being in the 99th percentile of goalkeepers for percentage of crosses claimed, Bijlow evidently commands his area well. He is a solid shot-stopper too, and like many great Dutch goalkeepers, is superb with his feet.

These attributes are similar to those of David Raya, meaning Arteta would not have to adapt how he sets his side up in the absence of his number one.

The only bone of contention with Bijlow’s signing is his injury record. The Dutchman has missed a worrying 16 games or more through injury over the last two seasons, which has seen him lose his place as Ronald Koeman’s number one for his country.

But Arsenal will hope that the Feyenoord man, with the reduced physical toll of being a number two, could overcome his injuries and be a reliable backup. With a quoted price of just £10m, it could be a risk worth taking.

Jorrel Hato has been a rare positive this season for Ajax – Photo by Icon Sport

Hato to be Timber 2.0?

Arsenal supporters could have a sense of deja vu, as their club are linked to another talented young Ajax defender.

Last season, Jurrien Timber was signed for £40m and made a huge impression in pre-season and the Community Shield before the Dutchman suffered a cruel ACL injury on the opening day. He was a key signing, and Mikel Arteta frequently lamented his absence.

Like Timber, Hato is a nimble, front footed defender, but his real value comes in possession. The Ajax teen has an incredible range of passes with his left foot and can use his physical and technical gifts to dribble out of any situation.

Hato is just 17, and would add yet more quality to Arsenal’s staunch defence, likely at left-back. Ajax will not want to let their young star go, but after a dire season, they may have little choice.

Martin Zubimendi on the ball for Real Sociedad
Martin Zubimendi is wanted at Arsenal – Photo by Icon Sport

Zubimendi is still Arteta's plan B

Amid fears that Newcastle could refuse to sell Bruno Guimaraes, Arsenal are preparing backup options to the Brazilian, including Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi.

Zubimendi has long been admired at Arsenal, but is also wanted across Europe, with Barcelona and Bayern sniffing around the 25-year-old.

The Spain international is a deep-lying playmaker in the mould of Jorginho. He has the metronomic qualities of the Italian, knowing exactly when to pass the ball forwards and inject speed, or when his team needs a steadier approach.

Zubimendi would essentially be a replacement for Thomas Partey, who has just a year left on his Arsenal contract, and is attracting interest from Saudi Arabia.

William Evans is a football and politics fanatic. A first-class graduate of UEA's Broadcast and Digital Journalism MA course, he also achieved a first class degree in politics and media studies during his time at UEA.