Arsenal have a busy January ahead of them.
All we’ve heard so far is that realistically there won’t be much movement until the summer, with two areas of concern the primary focus for Arsenal during the winter.
Without sounding too dramatic, Mikel Arteta needs close to an entirely new squad. Deadwood galore as well as bad apples need to be moved on in the coming windows to ensure greater squad harmony, while the additional quality that will follow wouldn’t go amiss either.
It’s been revealed that the Kroenke’s will back Arteta in January with the funds he needs to stop the slide down the table, although even if Arsenal were in a healthier position it wouldn’t detract from the need to invest in the team sooner or later.
Most of the plans would’ve ideally been shelved until the summer, but needs must. Really, needs must.
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In terms of central midfielders, there is only one you who looks up to scratch to play weekly Premier League football, and Thomas Partey has barely kicked a ball since joining from Atletico Madrid. Just in front of him, there is a dearth of creativity, with Emile Smith Rowe the only member of the squad available to suit the No. 10 role, and he doesn’t even get a sniff.
Midfield is an area that will require substantial work. Almost all need shipping out, with those numbers having to be replaced.
Of course, January is a notoriously challenging window to navigate through even at the best of times, so we’re unlikely to see substantial movement then. However, that doesn’t mean irons can’t be placed in fires, and if an opportunity arose, Arsenal aren’t in a position to turn away.
Here are six who could be looked at.
Straight in with the No. 10/second striker position, we have Lille’s (them again?) Turkish creator, Yusuf Yazici.
Arsenal’s affiliation with the French side grows bizarrely stronger, having plucked the likes of Gervinho, Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel from them in recent years. One of them has proved to be a success, while the other two often get mistaken for each other.
Yazici is someone Arsenal have been linked with of late, of which there is little surprise given the superb individual campaign he’s having in Ligue 1. The 23-year-old only moved to Lille last summer – and is still under contract until 2024 – but has racked up 11 goals and four assists in his 21 outings this season.
His first term in northern France was bit-part, but he’s flourished playing just off the striker, given the freedom to drift into wide areas where he’s always enticed to have a fair few efforts at goal. Excellent at receiving the ball with pace and turning, his technical ability in tight areas is very accomplished.
Of the right age profile, inexperience of a higher level naturally raises concerns, but Arsenal had similar joy when poaching Gabriel in the summer, who equally was majorly untested outside of France.