Thursday, December 7, 2023

The three transfer bargains Arsenal can complete in January to strengthen Mikel Arteta’s squad

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January will present the next opportunity for Arsenal to strengthen in the transfer market and several cheap options could be available.

Although the summer transfer window was a success overall for Arsenal, there will likely be an acceptance within the walls of London Colney that it probably wasn’t perfect.

Despite the arrivals of Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Fabio Vieira undoubtedly raising the bar of Mikel Arteta’s squad, injuries in midfield and the worrying lack of cover on the flanks have once again highlighted the gaps that still need to be addressed by technical director Edu.

A winger is believed to have been the club’s priority heading into the finals days of the window following the loan departure of Nicolas Pepe, which left just three natural wide players available for selection. However, injuries to Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny saw plans change in the 72 hours leading up to deadline day.

Attention then turned to Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz, but Arsenal ultimately ran out of time and luck after three bids were rejected for the Brazilian. It means January could be a bit busier than usual for the Gunners, who may have little choice but to strengthen squad depth. So with all of that in mind, takes a look at three players who will be into the final six months of their contract, potentially giving Arteta and Edu the chance to secure them in cut-price deals.

Youri Tielemans

It’s a name Arsenal fans will either be tired of hearing or still excited by, but a Leicester City departure for Youri Tielemans very much remains a possibility. The Gunners first established contact with Tielemans’ representatives a few months ago, with positive talks taking place over personal terms.

However, understands Arsenal could now wait until his current deal expires next summer in order to potentially secure the 25-year-old on a free transfer after feeling as though Leicester’s demand of £32million was too high for a player with under a year remaining on his contract.

Despite this, Tielemans could be available for a reduced price in January when he will then be into the final six months of his deal and the Foxes will no doubt be keen to avoid losing him for nothing. Injuries to Partey and Elneny have once again highlighted the risk of falling short in certain areas throughout a very long and demanding season, while some may argue that Albert Sambi Lokonga isn’t quite ready to be a regular on the team sheet.

Leandro Trossard

Leandro Trossard was heavily linked with a move to Arsenal in 2019 prior to joining Brighton & Hove Albion, where he has since established himself as one of their most valuable assets.

With 20 goals and 13 assists to his name in England, Trossard offers plenty of attacking threat while perhaps not being the flashiest of wingers. However, he has proven that he can produce quality moments when it matters as goals against Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs and Manchester United last season show. He has also started the new campaign in good form, most recently producing a goal and assist in the 5-2 drubbing of Leicester.

The Belgian international could prove to be a cheap yet effective option for Arteta in the new year and the departure of highly-admired Graham Potter may go in the Gunners’ favour. However, turning 28 in December, it remains to be seen whether or not Trossard will be an exception for the seemingly young age criteria in place when it comes to recruitment.

Douglas Luiz

Perhaps no surprise that the Brazilian makes the list after the drama which unfolded on deadline day, but the question come January is – will Aston Villa have softened their stance?

Arsenal made three bids for Luiz on the final day of the summer transfer window, all of which were immediately rejected. Sources at Villa were adamant that Luiz would not be sold, but with his contract running down, Arsenal are said to have been confident that offers in the region of £20m would test their resolve. Ultimately, the Premier League side stuck to their guns and refused to budge.

As is also the case with both players mentioned above, Luiz could walk away for free next summer if he fails to agree on new terms at Villa Park, so it will be interesting to see if the situation changes throughout the winter window.

The midfielder is a long-term target of Arsenal’s, who seriously considered a move for him back in January this year. The club has monitored the 24-year-old closely since, while Arteta is also familiar with the player from their time at Manchester City.

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