Having fought off Paris St Germain’s interest in Chilean international Alexis Sanchez, 28, Arsène Wenger will turn his attention to strengthening his midfield following the completion of the club’s Australasian tour.
Back-to-back wins in Sydney were followed with a victory and defeat against Bayern Munich and Chelsea respectively for Arsenal with the latter underlining that there is still work to do in adding depth to their squad.
While the focus is on players such as Sanchez and fellow contract rebels, Mesut Özil, 28, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 23, Wenger also knows that he needs competition for places with his central midfield prone to injury. Aaron Ramsey, 26, Jack Wilshere, 25, and Santi Cazorla, 32, all succumbed to lengthy absences in recent seasons, leaving Wenger scrabbling for combinations.
Carvalho plateaued in 2015/16 after an intense summer of speculation linking him with Arsenal. However, the deal to take him from Lisbon to London never materialised and with Euro 2016 to concentrate on, declared he was staying with Sporting for 2016/17.
Granit Xhaka’s debut season in England showed promise but it wasn’t until the final third of the season that he and Aaron Ramsey clicked. Arsenal, out of the Champions League for the first time in two decades, can’t afford a repeat of that this season and Carvalho has the robust athleticism which is well suited to the Premier League.