Arsenal have been tipped to move in the January transfer window for a midfielder, having attempted to add to their ranks towards the end of the summer.
Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz was a target on transfer deadline day as both Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny picked up injuries, but the club failed to get a deal over the line.
Luiz has since signed a new contract at Villa Park as his previous deal was due to expire at the end of the season, but the Gunners could still bring in another midfielder as they continue to push Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table and compete in the Europa League. Former Crystal Palace striker Clinton Morrison believes that Mikel Arteta’s side will splash the cash in January.
“In the transfer window they wanted another midfielder, they did try to bring in Douglas Luiz,” Morrison told Sky Sports. “I think if Arsenal are still in this position, and they will come January, they could go again. They could go and spend again and go for it again and strengthen even more.
“The players that we have mentioned can all come in, they are capable. I think another midfielder, I worry because [Paul] Merson said, Partey has been outstanding and he can’t stay fit at the moment, that is the biggest problem.
“They haven’t got many players that can do that job in there. They can put [Oleksandr] Zinchenko in there, but [Kieran] Tierney left-back if they want to but they played [Takehiro] Tomiyasu there, he did a brilliant job. So they have got options.
“Tierney must be frustrated at the moment because he is thinking Zinchenko is not fit, Tomiyasu comes in and I think Tierney is an outstanding defender but that’s what you want, if you want to win trophies you need competition for places, and that’s what they are doing at the moment.”
Partey missed five games with a thigh injury earlier in the season, while Elneny is a long-term absentee with a hamstring injury and their only backup in that area is Albert Sambi Lokonga, who was linked with a loan move away in the early months of the summer window. Arsenal reportedly had three offers rejected for Luiz, as Arteta admitted his side tried desperately to add to their midfield options.
“We had to react in the market and we tried to bring in the players that are right for the team and work for the club and didn’t manage to do that,” Arteta said after the summer window closed.
“We pushed to strengthen the team and bring the best possible people and players to this football club. We have managed to a certain level. Time was a big limitation with what happened in the last 72 hours in our midfield.”