Premier League • England

Arsenal urged to snub £140m Prem duo and go all out for ‘perfect midfielder’ available at better price

Asier Illarramendi and Martin Zubimendi of Real Sociedad

A transfer expert has explained why Arsenal should end their interest in two top Premier League midfielders and instead put all their effort towards signing a La Liga star.

Arsenal spent big money to give their midfield a major boost over the summer, as both Declan Rice and Kai Havertz arrived at the Emirates. The Gunners smashed their transfer record by paying West Ham United a huge £105million for Rice, while Havertz joined from Chelsea in a £65m deal.

Despite those arrivals, Arsenal could still do with adding a more defensive-minded midfielder to their squad either in January or over the summer. That is because Thomas Partey’s injury woes have come back to the fore, as he has only made five appearances this term after suffering groin and hamstring problems.

Mikel Arteta does also have Jorginho and Mohamed Elneny in his squad. But they are both over the age of 30, like Partey, and Arteta would love it if a younger midfielder arrived to give the team extra energy.

Arsenal have been heavily linked with Aston Villa ace Douglas Luiz and Everton star Amadou Onana.

Villa are holding out for at least £80m for Luiz, while Everton have set Onana’s price tag at £60m. Given Arsenal’s big spending in the last transfer window, it had been thought that this would rule out a January swoop for either star.

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Although, on Friday it was suggested that Arsenal might be able to sign Toffees star Onana this month.

But Fabrizio Romano thinks Arsenal should move away from Luiz and Onana, with Real Sociedad man Martin Zubimendi a better option. And the Spaniard will not cost as much as the previously mentioned duo, as his release clause is worth £51.5m.

Martin Zubimendi would be ‘fantastic’ Arsenal signing

“We’ve had a lot of stories about Arsenal and different midfielders in recent times, with big names like Douglas Luiz, Amadou Onana and Martin Zubimendi linked with the Gunners. It looks difficult for a deal to happen this January, but we’ll see if the situation is different in the summer,” Romano said in an interview with CaughtOffside.

“So, which of those players would be the best fit for Mikel Arteta’s side? My personal feeling is that Zubimendi would be fantastic, even if Onana and Douglas have the advantage of both already knowing the Premier League. Zubimendi is [a] fantastic player, he can help with his vision, quality and intelligence on the ball – he’s the perfect midfielder.

“Still, it’s important to say that he’s very happy at Real Sociedad, only focused on his club and he already rejected chances to leave in recent years as he always wanted to stay there.”

As Romano points out, Zubimendi has previously rejected the opportunity to leave Sociedad for a new challenge in the Premier League as he loves the Spanish club. Although, a deal could finally happen over the summer. On Thursday, it was revealed that Arsenal chiefs are ‘willing’ to spend the £51.5m needed to agree a deal with Sociedad.

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