Premier League • England

Arteta urged to copy Gerrard and transform Arsenal into serious challengers with ex-Liverpool star

Mikel Arteta Arsenal

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has called on manager Mikel Arteta to transform his side into serious challengers by signing Georginio Wijnaldum.

The Gunners have enjoyed a dramatic turnaround in recent months following a poor start to the season. While they sat bottom of the Premier League table after three defeats in three games, they are now firmly in the top four hunt.

Arteta’s summer transfer overhaul has proved the main factor in that turnaround.

Indeed, fan-favourite goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has settled in well. In defence, meanwhile, Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu have formed a strong understanding with Kieran Tierney and Gabriel.

While new signings such as White and Tomiyasu took time to settle in, Wright believes that reported Arsenal target Wijnaldum is one potential January addition who can hit the ground running and instantly improve Arsenal.

The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder has admitted frustration at his situation in the French capital following his summer departure from Liverpool as a free agent.

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

“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.

Arsenal told to sign Wijnaldum

Arsenal targetting Wijnaldum, Richarlison

Their improvements need to be made further up the field, and these two targets show they clearly understand that.

“Then, they can add to the squad and, all of a sudden, Arsenal can start challenging and challenging seriously.”

Wijnaldum spent five years at Liverpool and racked up 237 appearances. The Netherlands international proved crucial in helping Jurgen Klopp’s side to Champions League and Premier League glory in successive years.

He was one of the first names on the team sheet at Liverpool. In contrast, Wijnaldum has somewhat struggled to adapt to having to fight for his place.

Newcastle set to miss out on Aaron Ramsey, with midfielder on the verge of a London return

He has played 17 Ligue 1 games this term but came off the bench in nine of those. In the Champions League, meanwhile, he started only two of PSG’s group stage games.

Should Arsenal sign him, they would be following Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard’s suit in signing a former Liverpool player this month. The Villains announced a loan deal for Philippe Coutinho on Friday.

Arsenal have other transfer priorities

PSG midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum holding up four fingers 2021

However, Arsenal are well-stocked in midfield and striker is an area that is more of a pressing priority for the club.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains frozen out following a disciplinary breach in December.

What’s more, Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette are in the final six months of their contracts and it remains unclear if they will renew.

As such, Arsenal are supposedly after a deal for Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic.

While Tottenham and Manchester United are also in the race, Arsenal reportedly feel confident of using Lucas Torreira as crucial leverage to bring Vlahovic to the Emirates Stadium.