Arsenal

Mikel Arteta’s coaching staff are big fans of £68m centre-back, he’s very expensive

During a fairly quiet festive period for Mikel Arteta and his Arsenal side, it seems some January transfer plans are now gathering pace.

Arsenal lost top spot at the top of the Premier League following Liverpool’s expected win over Burnley yesterday.

Of course, Arteta’s side will have a chance to return to top of the tree when they face West Ham United at the Emirates on Thursday.

But aside from their fixtures to come, plans do now seem to be ramping up to recruit a defender in the January transfer window.

Arsenal famously came up short in last season’s title-race when both William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu had their season’s cut short due to injury, and it seems they are keen to avoid a repeat.

And according to a report by The Athletic, Arsenal and Mikel Arteta do have some long-term transfer targets in place.

Although a loan move is likely to be preferred for a target in January, Arsenal do hold long-term interest in Bayern Munich centre-back Matthijs de Ligt.

The 24-year-old, who cost Bayern £68m when arriving from Juventus, would be an ‘infeasible’ target in the coming window according to this report.

Arsenal would be very keen on a deal, but De Ligt’s contract situation and price-point would make things too difficult.

Bayern Munich’s Matthijs de Light is a long-term transfer target for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta
Of course, as mentioned, Arsenal would like to make a more short-term signing in the January window.

A loan for a defender who can provide cover without upsetting the squad balance is seen as desirable, but that’s easier said than done.

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Liverpool FC v Arsenal FC – Premier League

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Of course, Arteta’s side will have a chance to return to top of the tree when they face West Ham United at the Emirates on Thursday.

But aside from their fixtures to come, plans do now seem to be ramping up to recruit a defender in the January transfer window.

Arsenal famously came up short in last season’s title-race when both William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu had their season’s cut short due to injury, and it seems they are keen to avoid a repeat.

And according to a report by The Athletic, Arsenal and Mikel Arteta do have some long-term transfer targets in place.

Although a loan move is likely to be preferred for a target in January, Arsenal do hold long-term interest in Bayern Munich centre-back Matthijs de Ligt.

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The 24-year-old, who cost Bayern £68m when arriving from Juventus, would be an ‘infeasible’ target in the coming window according to this report.

Arsenal would be very keen on a deal, but De Ligt’s contract situation and price-point would make things too difficult.

Bayern Munich’s Matthijs de Light is a long-term transfer target for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta
Of course, as mentioned, Arsenal would like to make a more short-term signing in the January window.

A loan for a defender who can provide cover without upsetting the squad balance is seen as desirable, but that’s easier said than done.

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Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
Had Tomiyasu and Jurrien Timber not suffered injuries, it seems unlikely that Arteta would be targeting any transfer targets for his Arsenal defence.

However, the club do now look one injury or unavailability away from something of a crisis.

Oleksandr Zinchenko is enduring some difficult defensive performances of late, but Arteta doesn’t have stronger options to turn to.

Jakub Kiwior has been tried in an inverted position at left-back, but that’s hardly a situation the club will desire on a permanent basis.

Therefore, it’s understandable that Arteta will look to strengthen a key area of his Arsenal squad in the January transfer market.

Arsenal are now in a very strong position to win silverware this season, and they won’t want to look back on January regrets.

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