Four free agents Edu can sign after breaking Arteta’s midfield transfer promise

Arsenal have enjoyed a fruitful summer transfer window but Mikel Arteta was expecting more arrivals – it could be in Edu’s best interest to now delve into the free agent market.

While the summer transfer window may now be shut, Arsenal still have business to conduct. Ahead of deadline day, Mikel Arteta hinted that he’s open to welcoming more new faces to the Emirates Stadium amid a growing injury crisis at the club.

Speaking to football.london following the Gunners’ 2-1 win over Aston Villa, the Spaniard spoke on the impact Thomas Partey’s injury will have on his club’s transfer plans. Arteta said: “Obviously, it has an impact because Thomas is injured as well, and we’re a bit short in that position.

“We have players like Sambi, we have players like Granit who can play there. The club has been super supportive to keep improving the squad and the team as we can, and if the right player is available and we can do it we will try.”

The Gunners have recently lost Mohamed Elneny and Partey to injury, leaving just Granit Xhaka and Sambi Lokonga available for selection as suitable options to cover at defensive midfield for Sunday’s clash against Manchester United. And, as a result, Villa’s Douglas Luiz was heavily linked with a move to north London in the final hours of the window.

However, a deal eventually collapsed which has left Arsenal with very few options. Instead of waiting until January, Edu can delve into the free agent market to atone for not fulfilling Arteta’s transfer wish.

So, football.london have taken a look at a few free agents the Gunners can sign in order to bolster their squad and recapture the thrill of deadline day…

Jason Denayer – Centre Back

Denayer left Lyon this summer upon the end of his contract with the French giants. Surprisingly, the 27-year-old defender was not offered a new deal; he’s a seasoned Belgium international, often captained the club and played a major role in guiding ‘Les Gones’ to the UEFA Champions League semi-final two years ago.

If he were to pen a deal with Arsenal, he’d likely be used as a squad player with the potential to grow into a starter. Ordinarily, Denayer wouldn’t be considered by the Gunners but, with Tomiyasu injured, he could be a satisfactory option.

Xeka played a key role in Lille stifling Paris Saint-Germain’s 2020/21 title hopes from the heart of midfield. Naturally, the 27-year-old features as an eight, though he has experience slotting in as a six which is helpful amid the injuries to both Elneny and Partey.

Adel Taarabt – Centre Midfield

A wildcard option and one for old time sake. Taarabt is a cult hero in the Premier League and, while he may be 33-years-old, the Morocco international could spice things up for Arsenal – especially off of the bench.

Signing the former Benfica midfielder is probably not the most sensible decision – financially and tactically – but, aesthetically, he’d fit the mould of a silky playmaker who lifts fans from their seats. It’d be rude to not include Taarabt in this list.

Dan-Axel Zagadou – Centre Back

Zagadou parted ways with Borussia Dortmund this summer after failing to pen a new deal with the German giants. At just 23-years-old, the former France youth international would be a great acquisition for Arsenal.

He’s among the best centre-backs in the world with regard to aerials won, progressive passes, progressive carries, dribbles completed and passes completed. The talent is there and Arteta could be the man to unlock Zagadou’s utmost potential.

The Frenchman has experience in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League, which certainly bodes well for the Gunners as they chase a top-four place. However, there’s a major risk; Zagadou does have a significant injury record.