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With just five days left in the January transfer window, time is running out for Arsenal to strike some much-needed deals.
The Gunners have already secured loan starts for Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Flo Balogun, Pablo Mari and Karl Hein, as well as a permanent move for Sead Kolasinac, but it is believed they will need to bring in some players if they want to secure Champions League football for the first time in half a decade this season.
They are currently focusing on two key positions, with goalkeeper Matt Turner heavily linked as Bernd Leno closes in on the exit door, and strikers Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Alexander Isak being targeted as primary targets in Dusan Vlahovic appear to have chosen to join Juventus instead.
However, it now looks like they might be close to signing a player for another position.
football.london understands the Gunners are looking for a central midfielder this month.
Edu remains hopeful of securing a loan for Arthur from Juventus with no obligation to buy, while Paris Saint-Germain’s Gini Wijnaldum and Leicester’s Youri Tielemans have both been linked.
It was however generally considered that midfield is not necessarily a priority position for Arsenal at the moment.
The Gunners have struggled this month with Albert Sambi Lokonga the only orthodox senior option for games against Nottingham Forest, Liverpool and Burnley – which Mikel Arteta’s side failed to win – but it is understood that could change very quickly. .
By the time Arsenal play their next Premier League game against Wolves in February, Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka will be back from suspension, while Mohamed Elneny will be back from Cameroon where he represented Egypt at the African Cup of Nations. nations.
As there is no European football this season and the Gunners are now out of the FA and Carabao Cups, it was thought that this trio, combined with Lokonga, would probably be enough to last until the end of the season.
The fifth-choice midfield role that was filled by Ainsley Maitland-Niles before his loan spell at Roma earlier this month, would now be filled by youngster Charlie Patino.
The Hale Ender is held alongside Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe among the most exciting prospects to come through Arsenal’s academy in some time, and grabbed headlines when he scored on his debut seniors in the Carabao Cup against Sunderland last month.
However, since then he has only featured once and struggled in the FA Cup third round defeat to Nottingham Forest, suggesting he may not be quite yet. ready to play consistently for the first team.
His performance against Wigan in the Papa John’s Trophy quarter-final for Kevin Besty’s Under-21 side unfortunately did little to allay those concerns.
The 18-year-old looked rusty in midfield with several loose touches and was forced to fire Latics striker Chris Sze after a moment of poor control following a pass from Zak Swanson, seeing him head towards the book.
That shouldn’t be taken as too much criticism of Patino, who still has the potential to go on and become a first-team regular at the Emirates Stadium. But for now, it looks like it might be a little too early to count on him.
With that in mind, Edu may now be considering looking for a midfielder in the final days of the transfer window.
Lyonnais Bruno Guimaraes is among the names that have been heavily linked in recent days, and it would seem the Brazil international fits perfectly into the type of game Arsenal are looking to add this window.
Speaking after the 0-0 draw with Burnley, Arteta revealed the club would only be looking to target players who would offer an upgrade on what already existed in their current squad.
“The players who come here must be able to take us to the next level,” said the Spaniard.
“We already have a standard, and we want to see much better standards than we already have, and that’s how we’re going to recruit.”
Bruno would certainly tick that box, a step above the backup options Arsenal currently have in midfield behind Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka.
At just 24, he would also match the age profile of players the Gunners are trying to bring in due to their Josh Kroenke-set transfer policy.
However, if Arsenal want him, they will have to act quickly as it has been reported that Newcastle have submitted a bid of around £33million.
At the time of this writing, the Gunners are not believed to have made a bid for Guimaraes, but after receiving another timely reminder of their lack of depth in the central midfield position this month, there has a chance that this may change before the window closes. January 31.