While it has been a relatively quiet transfer window for Arsenal, Mikel Arteta has still been able to bring in three players so far and reportedly has eyes on a couple more.
The Spaniard and Director of Football, former player Edu Gaspar, have been busy over the last few weeks despite landing centre-back Ben White, midfielder Albert Sambi Lakonga and left-back Nuno Tavares, there still appears to be a need for more.
Astonishingly, the club has also spent just over £75 million (£50 million on White), in what has been a significant statement of intent so far.
However, what has been clear in recent weeks, is that Arsenal wants a playmaker, with Leicester City’s James Maddison topping the list; in response, the Foxes have slapped a £70 million price tag on their prized asset.
Martin Odergaard who spent time on loan at the club last term remains another target they are keen on, though this depends on the player’s interest rather than his parent club, Real Madrid’s willingness to sell. The potential arrival of his compatriot Erling Braut Haaland at the Spanish side next summer could mean the player wants to force his way into first-team plans at the Santiago Bernabeu this season.
Eleventh Aouar approach?
Difficulties in landing their top two playmaker targets could see them rekindle their interest in French talent Houssem Aouar, who has come through the ranks at Lyon. The 23-year-old has attracted interest from many clubs over the last couple of seasons, though Arsenal is understood to have always been in pole position.
However, Arteta needs to make his mind up – particularly with an apparent stalemate over first-choice candidate Maddison and no likely resolution over Odergaard.
Aouar is an Arsenal-esque player in that role, with the Gunners losing Mesut Ozil to Fenerbache in January. His preferred role is just behind the striker, however, he can also, if needed, fill in at deep-lying playmaker, though is slightly handicapped by a restricted range of passing.
Finding pockets of space in the attacking third and linking up play appears to be his game and it is certainly a style that Arsenal has promoted over the last couple of years.
It could mean that Arsenal are prepared to wait before making a bid, though. The club is understood to be tracking players in other positions, with them recently being linked to Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic and Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez.
A former Press Association Sports Journalist (NCTJ – National Council for the Training of Journalists), now based in Lisbon, Matt also has over a decade of experience working with the top operator brands. These include Coral, BetVictor, and numerous others, having held a number of senior positions and still retains strong industry relationships. He enjoys reading, writing, travelling, all things business, sport, meeting new people, learning new things and also holds football coaching qualifications.