According to Duncan Castles on the latest episode of the Transfer Window Podcast that he hosts alongside Ian McGarry, Arsenal have a budget of just €20m to find a first-team level attacking midfielder.
Castles reiterates that Arsenal’s priority for this transfer window remains a creative midfielder, particularly a cross between a No.8 and No.10 – so a box-to-box figure that can fashion chances.
The Scotsman has found that the north London outfit are working on a budget of around €20m – which is just shy of £17.8m by current currency exchange figures – to improve in a key area.
Creativity issues were one of the prime causes for Arsenal’s season being derailed for a pretty lengthy period before they reignited and strung together three straight Premier League win since Boxing Day.
90min reported recently the the Gunners are eyeing the addition of an attack-minded midfielder as an alternative to breakout star Emile Smith Rowe, in a move that would ease pressure on the ace.
It’s claimed by 90min that talks have been held with Julian Draxler over a move this month – or a pre-contract agreement for a free transfer this summer, as well as Norwich playmaker Emiliano Buendia and Celtic ace Ryan Christie being seen as options.
See More: Talks held: Arsenal discuss January signing of £120,000-a-week attacker with star’s representatives
Castles and McGarry discuss Arsenal eyeing a creator at the end of their talk regarding interest in Yves Bissouma, who is also attracting Liverpool and particularly the personal eye of Klopp:
“Arsenal, their priority in this window – in midfield, has been a creative midfielder, basically someone whose kind of a cross between a No.8 and No.10 – so a box-to-box midfielder with the creativity and pass creation skills.”
“I’m told there working on a pretty limited budget to do that of about €20m, so you want a player who would take a fundamental role in the team – and change the midfield in an important way – but you’re trying to do it for a price that will be very difficult to achieve.”
“Bissouma’s not that player, he doesn’t that fit that style, but we’ve talked about how Arsenal have a very heavy squad – a lot of unhappy players – there are a lot of players that Mikel Arteta is not convinced about and would like to shift out.”
“In that regard, you can see Bissouma as an option, Premier League ready, he’s had his adaption period.”
Castles’ comments on the matter are pretty spot on, Arsenal will find it very difficult to find what they seek for such a low transfer fee – relative to the money that big clubs now spend in this day and age.
Manchester United for example spent well over double that amount, per BBC Sport, for a roaming playmaker style of player in Donny van de Beek – with the star resigned to sitting on the bench so far.
It would be surprising to see Arteta’s side find someone that can meet their requirements for such a fee, which begs the question of if committing that level of funds is even worth it…
If the cash-strapped Gunners aren’t in a position to go all out for a proven figure that would slot into the team right away, aren’t they better off trusting Smith Rowe and other youngsters to fill the void?