Arsenal currently sit in 10th place in the Premier League table with 28 points. That means they’re a huge 11 points behind the Champions League places and the chances of a top-four finish for the Gunners look slim at best. Arsenal have won just one of their last six games in the Premier League and Mikel Arteta has a tough job on his hands to right a ship that looked like it was sinking under Unai Emery’s leadership. With the January window open, I would love to see the club’s board back Arteta and allow him to bring in at least one, and maybe even a few more, players to improve a squad that has been underwhelming at best. I’ve taken a look at five players who I think Arteta should target if he’s given the green light to make any additions before the window closes.
Despite only recently signing for Juventus, Emre Can could be someone who would add quality in depth to the current Arsenal squad. It’s fair to say the German midfielder hasn’t settled in as well as he’d of liked in Turin and this has generated speculation of a return to England with Manchester United reportedly interested. The former Liverpool man spent four years in England, scoring 10 goals in 115 appearances for the Reds. He is primarily a central midfielder and would provide sufficient cover and competition for Torreira, Guendouzi and would be a suitable replacement should Granit Xhaka leave the club this month. During his time on Merseyside, Can showed his versatility by covering at centre-half in his first season in the Premier League. With Sokratis and David Luiz failing to impress this season, signing Can could kill two birds with one stone, giving the Gunners cover at centre-back and in centre-midfield.
Despite Arsenal persistently being linked to Dayot Upamecano, I think they should turn their attention to the other French defender at RB Leipzig; Nordi Mukiele. With Leipzig looking likely to sign another French defender in the form of Tanguy Kouassi, the way could be paved for one of the current impressive young defenders to leave with Mukiele being the pick of the bunch, in my opinion. He is only 22 years of age and I think that he has a very bright future ahead of him. The Frenchman is also very comfortable at right-back which would be beneficial with Hector Bellerin’s recent fitness problems and Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ underwhelming performances this season.
It looks like Mikel Arteta eill looking to play with inverted full-backs so the right-back position may be an area worth strengthening this January. Bellerin seems to be unable to stay fit and with Maitland-Niles performing inconsistently this season, Arsenal should, in my opinion, look towards Norwich City’s Max Aarons. The Canaries look likely to go down but every time I have watched the young English full-back, I’ve been impressed. With stiff competition at right-back for England, at both senior and u23 level, this is the type of move Aarons that I think Aarons should make if he wants to get involved in the England setup in the near future.
Thomas Lemar is a player who seems to be linked to Arsenal almost every transfer window, however, I feel this window would be a great time to pursue a deal for the French winger. Diego Simeone has recently vocalised his disappointment in the former Monaco man. While this raises concern about how Lemar has applied himself since joining Atletico, it could also mean that Arsenal could strike a deal with Atleti for a discounted price if the Spaniards want a quick sale. The 24-year-old is yet to make his mark in La Liga but if Arteta brought him in and helped him to discover the form that he showed for Monaco, then Arsenal could potentially have a front three to be frightened of for years to come. From a wide midfield position, Lemar had an output of 22 goals and 33 assists in 127 games for the French side. He was a part of an exciting Monaco team that lifted Ligue 1 ahead of PSG and enjoyed a thrilling Champions League journey where they beat Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City on their way to the semi-finals.
Ben White impressed me when he played for Leeds at the Emirates. He looked comfortable in possession and dealt well with Lacazette when the Frenchman tried to isolate him. The English defender is currently on loan at Leeds from Brighton and he’s been excellent so far. With Liverpool reportedly among a number of Premier League clubs currently monitoring White’s loan spell, Arsenal could face a challenge to sign him but I’m still not 100% comfortable with the current centre-backs at the club and White would be a welcome addition to the squad.