Arsenal’s risky transfer stance made clear after Tottenham agree third summer signing

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Arsenal’s stance of not signing a right-back this summer has been made much more evident following the news Tottenham have agreed a deal to sign Djed Spence. The Gunners are said to be happy with their options on the right of defence despite holding an interest in Spence.

Tottenham will buy the Middlesbrough ace for a fee of around £20million, according to the Guardian, adding to the signings of Ivan Perisic and Fraser Forster. Spence enjoyed a hugely successful season on loan at Nottingham Forest, helping them get promoted back to the Premier League for the first time this century.

Spence caught the attention of Arsenal in January when Forest knocked Mikel Arteta’s side out of the FA Cup in the third round. The Gunners were swiftly linked with a move for the England under-21 international.

It is north London rivals Spurs who have won the race for his signature. But Arsenal had already made the decision to not go for a right-back this summer.

That could prove to be a risky decision. Arteta has two right-backs in his squad in Takehiro Tomiyasu and Cedric Soares.

The Spaniard is confident he has enough quality in that position to cover four competitions next term. However, Tomiyasu missed much of his debut campaign in England due to injury.

The Japan star immediately became a fan favourite with Arsenal supporters but has continually been hampered by calf problems in 2022. He attempted to return on a number of occasions before finally being named in a starting XI for the first time in three-and-a-half months on May 1.

However, he was unable to see out the rest of the season and went off injured in the dire 2-0 loss at Newcastle two games later. Cedric filled in well at times but was shown up at times in the closing stages of the campaign.

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Spence is a very attacking full-back and perhaps fits Spurs’ 3-4-3 formation better than Arsenal’s 4-3-3. But the 21-year-old would have been a welcome signing to many of the club’s supporters.

If Arsenal are to sign a full-back this summer, it is likely to be on the opposite side of the pitch. Kieran Tierney continues to be hampered by injury problems of his own and Nuno Tavares has struggled as his deputy.

Bologna’s Aaron Hickey has been linked, as has Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko. But allowing Spence to move to Spurs and relying on his current right-back options is definitely a gamble by Arteta.

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