Arsenal’s depth is a constant source of discussion regarding the key area needing strengthening. The team that started and beat Chelsea at the weekend is certainly a strong one but options to change the game from the bench are comparatively weaker than the likes of Manchester City’s.
Arsenal know that the January transfer window will be crucial in ensuring that they reinforce to maintain their Premier League title push. The two names currently are Palmeiras’ Danilo, who football.london understands the Gunners might go back in for in the winter window after holding prior interest in the summer, and Mykhaylo Mudryk.
football.london understands that the Gunners hold a long-standing interest in the Ukrainian international. Currently the attacking options from the bench have been Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson and Fabio Vieira, with the likes of Nicolas Pepe on loan.
Now, a report by 90Min claims the north Londoners are eying a double swoop for both Tielemans and Danilo in the January transfer window. The report claims that Arteta is looking to bolster his squad with quality and depth in the winter market, adding that the midfield is a main priority.
The Gunners were heavily linked with making a move for Tielemans last summer, and it’s thought the Belgium star is keen on a move to the Emirates Stadium with his contract up in 2023. However, football.london reported in the summer, before the transfer window closed, that Arsenal were prepared to wait until Tielemans’ current contract expires to secure the 25-year-old on a free transfer.
There has been interest from the likes of Newcastle United and Manchester United for Tielemans, but the Gunners have had an agreement with the player in place for some time and are confident of tying him down to a contract next summer, when he will be available for free.
With Danilo, football.london understands Edu is a long-term admirer of the 21-year-old and was interested in bringing the youngster to north London in the summer. A deal failed to materialise, however, but it’s understood Arsenal remain keen on the midfielder and could go back in for him in January. It’s believed Palmeiras value Danilo at around £20million.
Of course a lot can change between now and the January transfer window, mainly due to the World Cup in Qatar being played mid-season. But, judging by Arteta’s comments after Arsenal’s 3-1 Carabao Cup defeat to Brighton on Wednesday, the Spaniard is keen for reinforcements.
Asked if his side need to strengthen in January, Arteta said: “That’s the squad that we have and we have to utilise in the best possible way and today we came short, especially because we didn’t do what we have to do in both boxes to win a football match. We paid that price.”
“It’s the same squad as when we win,” he added. “I said from day one that we have a short squad because at the end we left some players. It’s what we have.
“If everyone’s available and no one is injured we are OK, but the moment there is, we know what it is. It’s nothing new. I think I said it the first day after the transfer window.”
Whether Arteta is granted his transfer wish by Edu remains to be seen. But with Arsenal mounting a serious title challenge, the extra reinforcements would certainly be welcomed.