When looking at where Arsenal need to strengthen there is little debate about the two key areas that are in need of reinforcement. A versatile forward to support Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, with scope to support centrally too, and a midfielder who can provide competition to Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka or both.
There are serious links with players already that Arsenal are reportedly looking at. The two main names remain Brazilian midfielder Danilo and Ukrainian winger Mykhaylo Mudryk.
However, Mikel Arteta has not been specific about where he feels the club should be looking to reinforce and often the club has surprised people with serious investment in players in roles many weren’t expecting. Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale and Fabio Vieira cost a combined figure exceeding £110 million and yet few predicted such a serious spend on the positions at the time.
football.london takes a look at the three positions that could see a surprise spend this winter. All roles have a weakness that needs addressing either now or, at the latest, in the summer.
Gabriel Magalhaes is currently the only left-footed senior centre-half at the club. He has started every Premier League game this season and is unchallenged in the role, particularly after the loan departure of Pablo Mari to Monza last summer that could become permanent in 2023 should the Italian side avoid relegation.
Takehiro Tomiyasu is the obvious replacement if Gabriel is out and Rob Holding has also featured on the left. That said, Arteta has shown a preference and desire to have a left-footer in the role and in Gabriel’s absence the side has lacked the Brazilian’s presence physically and tactically as shown in many Europa League fixtures.
Therefore, there could be the potential to approach a left-footed centre-half this winter. Linked options thus far include Frankfurt’s Evan Ndicka, Bayer Leverkusen’s Piero Hincapie and Corinthian’s Robert Renan.
Despite the imperious Benjamin White holding down the right-back position strongly this season, and the presence of Tomiyasu and Cedric Soares in the squad, it could still be an area Arteta looks to add more variation to. Cedric’s days at the club appear to be numbered and there are already suggestions of a January departure.
Both White and Tomiyasu have been excellent defensively and the former has also significantly improved his offensive contributions. That said, it is possible that with Cedric’s leave, the Arsenal manager could be on the lookout for a more offensive-minded right-back to offer variation for different game states that better suit this style of full-back.
Last of all is the striker position. Having just invested serious money into Gabriel Jesus and having given a significant pay rise to Eddie Nketiah in his contract renewal, perhaps a striker signing isn’t on the cards. Hence why a look toward a versatile forward who could offer competition to the front three appears more obvious.
That said, Nketiah has so far not given much confidence that should Jesus be unavailable that he can fill the void. In addition, Folarin Balogun who is smashing in in France with Reims on loan, has not been overly optimistic about his Arsenal future.
Therefore, it could be Arsenal look at a striker this winter, especially if they’re priced out of any wide options, like Mudryk, that they are pursuing to ensure some firepower is added. Or a variation of the role, such as a loftier aerial threat could be considered to give the Gunners variation in their attacking options.