Arsenal

Arsenal can’t rely on Thomas Partey! Six midfielders Mikel Arteta’s Gunners could sign in the January transfer window with a new striker off the cards

There has been clamour for a new No.9 at the Emirates, but a central midfielder is equally important to keep their dwindling title challenge alive

At the moment it does not look realistic. What my job is, and what we have to do is improve our players and try to get better results with the players we have.” That was Mikel Arteta’s stark response to questions about whether Arsenal would

Arsenal can’t rely on Thomas Partey! Six midfielders Mikel Arteta’s Gunners could sign in the January transfer window with a new striker off the cards
Krishan Davis

There has been clamour for a new No.9 at the Emirates, but a central midfielder is equally important to keep their dwindling title challenge alive

“At the moment it does not look realistic. What my job is, and what we have to do is improve our players and try to get better results with the players we have.” That was Mikel Arteta’s stark response to questions about whether Arsenal would sign a striker in January.

Amid an untimely bout of goal-shyness and another injury to Gabriel Jesus, there have been calls to bring in a new, big-money No.9 – but primary targets such as Brentford’s Ivan Toney and Victor Osimhen of Napoli would command a fee of around £100 million ($127m) and have drifted out of reach, until the summer at least.

However, with the likelihood that Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and – when fit – Jesus will rediscover their firepower in the second half of the campaign, Arteta may well have other priorities in January. While their attack has faltered, the Gunners’ midfield deficiencies have been exposed in recent weeks, too, with Declan Rice’s performance levels finally dipping as he strains under the weight of so much responsibility

Thomas Partey has mustered just five appearances all season as he continues to be plagued by injuries and he has been persistently linked with an exit, while it has become evident that Kai Havertz, Jorginho and Mohamed Elneny simply aren’t good enough to be relied upon in the centre of the park for a team trying to maintain a title challenge.

With that in mind and a striker off the cards, GOAL assesses the midfielders Arsenal could instead sign in January..

Arsenal can’t rely on Thomas Partey! Six midfielders Mikel Arteta’s Gunners could sign in the January transfer window with a new striker off the cards

There has been clamour for a new No.9 at the Emirates, but a central midfielder is equally important to keep their dwindling title challenge alive

“At the moment it does not look realistic. What my job is, and what we have to do is improve our players and try to get better results with the players we have.” That was Mikel Arteta’s stark response to questions about whether Arsenal would sign a striker in January.

Amid an untimely bout of goal-shyness and another injury to Gabriel Jesus, there have been calls to bring in a new, big-money No.9 – but primary targets such as Brentford’s Ivan Toney and Victor Osimhen of Napoli would command a fee of around £100 million ($127m) and have drifted out of reach, until the summer at least.

However, with the likelihood that Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and – when fit – Jesus will rediscover their firepower in the second half of the campaign, Arteta may well have other priorities in January. While their attack has faltered, the Gunners’ midfield deficiencies have been exposed in recent weeks, too, with Declan Rice’s performance levels finally dipping as he strains under the weight of so much responsibility.

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Thomas Partey has mustered just five appearances all season as he continues to be plagued by injuries and he has been persistently linked with an exit, while it has become evident that Kai Havertz, Jorginho and Mohamed Elneny simply aren’t good enough to be relied upon in the centre of the park for a team trying to maintain a title challenge.

With that in mind and a striker off the cards, GOAL assesses the midfielders Arsenal could instead sign in January…

Amadou Onana Everton 2023-24Getty
Amadou Onana (Everton)
It’s been reported that Arsenal are already engaged in talks over Onana, although he is valued very highly by Everton, who would be loathe to lose the Belgian mid-season amid a relegation dogfight following their 10-point deduction.

Nevertheless, the Gunners may view the January window as an opportunity to steal a march on their rivals and sign the 22-year-old, avoiding a bidding war and inflated price tag in the summer.

In terms of profile, he is very similar to Rice – at his strongest in the defensive third but also capable of making rangy forward runs and progressing the play – so Arsenal might prefer someone who offers something a bit different. If Everton really are demanding the touted £90m ($115m) transfer fee, that would render the deal unlikely.

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