Premier League • England

Arteta clear over transfer thinking, as Arsenal step on gas to land enforcer

Matthew Briggs
Georginio Wijnaldum PSG January 2022

Arsenal are stepping up their efforts to land unsettled Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, according to a report.

Wijnaldum has had a rough time in the French capital after his free-transfer move last summer. He has made just 10 Ligue 1 starts and failed to convince Mauricio Pochettino he should be a regular starter. He has though started the last three games in varying positions from left to right wing, as well as his favoured central midfield role.

Now Arsenal are pushing their claims to bring the Holland international back to England. Fichajes report that there is a high chance that Wijnaldum returns this month and they have the Gunners ahead of Newcastle in the race.

Arsenal have set their sights on landing the 31-year-old to share the responsibility of the “double pivot role” with Thomas Partey. Partey is currently at the African Cup of Nations with Mohamed Elneny and it has left Mikel Arteta light in midfield.

The midfield for Arsenal in Sunday’s FA Cup defeat at Nottingham Forest consisted of  Charlie Patino, 18m and Sambi Lokonga who had not started a game since the end of November.

Arteta was also without Granit Xhaka and Folarin Balogun due to Covid-19 while Emile Smith Rowe was also out injured. And the Spaniard knows they need to add to the squad in January.

“I think it is clear where we need to strengthen but at the moment it is what we have and what we have, we have to play,” said Arteta after the City Ground defeat.

“I want to try to get the best out of the players that we have. We have what we have (available) and we know we have issues in many different positions.

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“But we try to put out the most competitive team that we could to try to win and it wasn’t good enough.

“We have the players to perform better than what they’ve done and we have the level to beat them if we are at our maximum and we didn’t have that.”

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Wijnaldum signing would be ‘amazing’

A permanent transfer for the former Liverpool man would cost between €15m and 20m, per the source. Whether or not Arsenal are looking at that or a loan option is unclear, but Wijnaldum is “discontent” in Paris.


In fact in October the player said: “I’m not completely happy. The situation is not what I wanted.”

According to FourFourTwo, the Gunners preference is a loan offer for Wijnaldum. 

And Ian Wright believes he would be a superb signing for Arsenal.

“I saw Wijnaldum’s name. That would be amazing. A loan signing from PSG,” Wright told Premier League Productions (via Football London).

“Someone like that in the midfield. Of that experience. He is a Premier League winner. Just to help with the youngsters and a Sambi Lokonga just to keep it going.”

READ MORE: Ben White explains why Arsenal have no need to sign Tottenham target