Arsenal transfer news: The Gunners are still looking to sign a new central midfielder before the end of the month and Edu has a big decision on his hands
Mikel Arteta has a problem position at Arsenal.
The Gunners allowed Ainsley Maitland-Niles to move on loan to AS Roma earlier in the month, meaning Arteta now has four senior options to play in the centre of midfield.
Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, Albert Damnit Lokonga and Mohamed Elneny. The latter of the four, Elneny, looks set to leave the club at the end of the season with his contract due to expire, with his ability being questioned by many supporters as well.
Sambi Lokonga, meanwhile, is still finding his feet in the Premier League following his move from Anderlecht last summer.
Xhaka has shown throughout his time at Arsenal that he can prove to be an unreliable option with his disciplinary issues. Partey has been inconsistent at the Gunners, but the Ghana international has shown his undeniable quality at times.
So, there is no doubt that Arteta wants to improve and bolster his midfield options as Arsenal chase European football this season. Four men, in particular, have been linked with a move to the Gunners this month and football.london assesses all of the options available to the north Londoners.
football.london understands that Arsenal are interested in bringing the Juventus midfielder to the Emirates Stadium this month, with a loan deal the preferred option.
The 25-year-old does not appear to be part of Massimiliano Allegri’s plans in Turin this season, but it is thought that the Italian club are keen to get a replacement before they sanction the loan move for Arthur.
Valued at £22.5million, the Brazil international possesses excellent technical ability and could be the ideal fit for Arteta’s style of play – bringing the ball out of the back, passing between the lines.
His passing and dribbling are listed as two of his strengths on WhoScored, something that Arsenal’s midfield are perhaps lacking at the moment.
Tielemans sees his contract at Leicester City expire at the end of next season and the Foxes are desperate for the 24-year-old to put pen to paper on an extension at the King Power Stadium.
However, there is reported interest from Arsenal, which could lure the Belgium international away from Leicester.
Valued at £49.5m, the Foxes star has shown throughout his time in the Premier League his ability in front of goal, especially from outside of the box.
Despite being just 5ft 7in tall, Tielemans is a powerful box-to-box midfielder who covers plenty of distance throughout the 90 minutes – similar to Partey in that respect.
This should not take away from his superb technical ability, though, with Tielemans’ all-round game right up there with the best in the English top-flight.
Another man who has been strongly linked with a January switch to the Emirates Stadium: Guimaraes.
The £27m-valued midfielder has caught the eye with his performances in France for Lyon, with Juventus also said to be interested in his services.
The 24-year-old’s strengths are undoubtedly his passing and ability to tackle and sniff out danger, something that Arteta has relied on throughout his time managing Arsenal with Xhaka.
He is not a ‘box-to-box’ option like the aforementioned duo of Arthur and Tielemans. He’s instead more of a sitting midfielder, who can act as a deep-lying playmaker when in possession.
A popular figure among Arsenal supporters, with his performances at Brighton certainly raising plenty of eyebrows over the past few Premier League seasons.
Bissouma, who is valued at £22.5m, has 18 months remaining on his contract with the Seagulls and could be tempted by a move elsewhere to play European football.
The 25-year-old Mali international has tremendous ability on the ball and likes to make powerful runs from deep into the attacking third.
The Brighton star loves a tackle, which can sometimes see him commit fouls more often than he perhaps should, but winning the ball back is a key strength in his style of play.
Combined, all these values add up to a whopping £121.5m – with Arsenal chief Edu facing a big decision this month.
The club are of course pursuing a deal for Arthur, and that does look like the most likely arrival at the moment, but that can always change in a matter of hours.
With the likes of Tielemans and Bissouma seeing their contracts expire at the end of next season, there is scope for the Gunners to revisit their situations when the summer transfer window opens.