Arsenal set sights on three January transfer deals; forward ‘in Arteta’s plans for now’
Arsenal have been tipped to continue their transfer spending spree in the January window with three new arrivals, while the future of one expensive recruit could be in doubt, according to a report.
Arsenal were the biggest summer spenders in the Premier League over the summer with £150m outlaid on new players.
Ben White, Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares all arrived at The Emirates.
All six have played their part for Mikel Arteta this season as the Gunners have recovered from a dreadful start.
Defeats in their opening three games left Arteta staring down the barrel, but the Spaniard has steadied the ship. In fact the weekend’s demolition of Tottenham made it four straight wins in all competitions.
And instead of Edu and Arteta’s recruitment being under the microscope, the pair are carefully planning January’s dip into the market.
Arteta’s rebuilding is far from over, but he recently made it clear that finding the right characters for his squad was crucial.
“In my opinion, medium and long-term, I think it’s crucial. Because at the end a team is formed when individuals have the same purpose,” Arteta said in the press conference pre-Burnley.
“And to have the same purpose, you have to trust each other and be connected with each other. You have to create energy between each other.
“To do that there has to be some affection, some love, some belief between them and that only happens when you like what you see, you like the characters, you feel connected with them.”
Work is going on behind the scenes with Edu and Arteta apparently identifying the next positions they need to bolster.
And Football London claim that a midfielder and defender will be a top priority in January.
A back-up goalkeeper is also on the club’s radar, with Bernd Leno’s future far from assured. And one player who has been consistently linked with the Gunners is Ajax’s Andre Onana.
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The 25-year-old is currently in a state of limbo as he serves the final two months of a doping ban. That suspension concludes on November 4 and Ajax have been hard at work trying to convince him to pen fresh terms. His current contract expires next summer.
But the club have now admitted that Onana’s time is up in Amsterdam.
Granit Xhaka’s knee injury may well push Arsenal into signing another central midfielder.
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Pepe’s future in doubt
Mohamed Elneny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles may well be asked to fill in there. But Thomas Partey and Lokonga will likely be Arteta’s midfield axis.
Football London reporter Chris Wheatley also suggested that Nicolas Pepe’s future could be up in the air.
The £72m winger has yet to hit top form after his arrival in the summer of 2019. He has scored 25 goals and claimed 17 assists in 94 appearances, but he has yet to win over Arteta and the Arsenal fans. The Frenchman remains under contract until 2024.
He was benched for the 3-1 win over Spurs and in a Q&A Wheatley said the player’s future was “one to watch”.
“I haven’t heard anything on Pepe being offered a new contract. He’s in Mikel Arteta’s plans for now but it’s one to watch over the coming months.”
READ MORE: Takehiro Tomiyasu reveals why he couldn’t turn down Arsenal move