Arsenal are reportedly preparing to recall loanees Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares if they fail to get their targets in the January transfer window.
Lokonga and Tavares both left the Gunners on loan in the summer transfer window and joined Luton Town and Nottingham Forest respectively. However, both the players are currently not in active action.
Tavares has been out of Steve Cooper’s favour and has seen very limited playtime. Lokonga is currently out with a hamstring injury, however, Luton Town manager Rob Edwards has expressed his appreciation for the player and also his desire to sign him permanently.
Why Arsenal could recall two loanees in January transfer window
According to football.london, neither Lokonga nor Tavares have an option to be recalled for loan in their contracts. So the Gunners would have to open talks with the respective clubs in case they desire to recall any of the players.
Football.london also revealed that this recall would happen only under extreme circumstances. It could either be one of the two players or both of them.
Arsenal are keen on signing a midfielder in the upcoming transfer window and Douglas Luiz has been heavily linked with the north London side.
The club pursued the player in 2022, but the Brazilian midfielder instead signed a four-year contract with Villa. If the deal fails to materialise yet again and Arsenal fail to sign an alternative, then we could see either Lokonga or Tavares or both be recalled.
It has been reported that Aston Villa are not going to listen to offers for the player.
Speaking on Luiz after Aston Villa’s 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur, Unai Emery said: "He's playing very good. He’s improved a lot, his commitment is amazing. I am very happy with him and I want to keep him of course. I think he's happy with us.”
The only way for Mikel Arteta to be able to get his target would be if he forces a move through. While that is highly unlikely to happen, there is nothing certain and Luiz has not hinted anything about his future yet.
In my opinion, recalling Lokonga would make sense considering Arteta could use him in midfield. However, recalling Tavares would be a confusing decision considering the Gunners already have plenty of options at left back.
Arteta has used Oleksandr Zinchenko as an inverted left back. He is often seen in the midfield position and has proved that he can execute the role. It may be possible that the Spanish manager plans on converting Zinchenko into a proper midfielder and bring in Tavares so that his options at left back are still plenty. Then recalling the 23-year-old Portuguese could make sense.
However, as mentioned before, nothing is quite certain and only extreme circumstances could force a scenario like this could happen.