One pundit has told Arsenal to land a ‘powerhouse’ so they can replace a disappointing summer signing.
The Gunners seemed to have a successful transfer window, with six exciting players arriving for a total of around £147million. English stars Ben White and Aaron Ramsdale both joined and look set to create a solid defensive partnership.
£16m right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu is doing an effective job at replacing Hector Bellerin, while Nuno Tavares appears to have a bright future on the other side of defence.
In midfield, Arsenal brought in former loanee Martin Odegaard for £30m and Belgian talent Albert Sambi Lokonga.
However, the latter is yet to fully convince manager Mikel Arteta. He put on a sub-par display during the 4-0 mauling by Liverpool. That saw him come off for Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the 53rd minute.
Former Arsenal man Kevin Campbell reckons the Gunners should bring in Renato Sanches as Lokonga’s replacement.
He told Football Insider: “I think he would be very good if they can get him in.
“He’s suffered with injuries but he’s still young. He’s a powerhouse in that midfield – he can pick the ball up, run, he can shoot, he can create.
“Having that power in the midfield can make a huge difference. No disrespect to him but against Liverpool, for example, Sambi Lokonga was taken off by Arteta to save him. He was getting robbed time after time in that midfield.
“Maybe there needs to be a bit more experience in there, and Sanches would bring it.
“There’s a big opportunity for Arsenal – they’re still fifth in the table. They will be trying to improve the top end of the pitch and pushing for those top four places.”
Arsenal target to come with €35m price tag
Sanches will not come cheap, however. French champions Lille want €35m (£30m) for the Portugal international’s services. That will give them the funds to land a decent replacement in midfield.
Sanches’ impressive performances in Ligue 1 have seen him emerge on Newcastle’s wish list. Recent reports claim the Magpies are preparing to outmuscle Milan for the 24-year-old.
Eddie Howe’s side are willing to put a significant financial package on the table, something Milan cannot match. It means Arsenal will have to be intelligent if they want to fulfil Campbell’s wishes.
Sanches featured 29 times last term as Lille won the French title on 83 points.