Arsenal midfield overhaul is transfer priority for Mikel Arteta as he builds for the future

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Arsenal could try to sign more than one midfielder this summer as Mikel Arteta looks for younger players to come in and provide more long-term alternatives to the likes of Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey and Jorginho.

The Gunners are enjoying a superb season under Arteta, with one of the Premier League’s youngest squads currently sitting five points clear at the top of the table and dreaming of a first title in 19 years.

However, while the defence and attack are full of players in their early to mid 20s, and either at their peak years or approaching them soon, there is something of an imbalance as Xhaka, Partey and Jorginho are aged 30, 29, and 31, respectively. Mohamed Elneny and Albert Sambi Lokonga also don’t look like being key members of the squad any time soon.

CaughtOffside understands Arsenal pushed hard to sign Moises Caicedo from Brighton in the January transfer window, though they remain very happy to have signed an experienced figure like Jorginho on the cheap.

Still, while an old head with the experience of winning major trophies will be useful for Arteta’s side in the weeks and months ahead, the Gunners will also be thinking more long-term, and want to look again at younger midfielders in the summer.

Declan Rice is one of Arsenal’s top targets in midfield

Declan Rice is in Arsenal’s sights and CaughtOffside understands they’re currently viewed as favourites for the West Ham midfielder’s signature, even if no talks have taken place with the Hammers just yet.

Martin Zubimendi was also looked at in January and will be a priority again in the summer as he never turned the club down, but preferred to wait until the end of the season before leaving Real Sociedad.

Real Madrid’s Eduardo Camavinga was also considered as a loan target in January, though he was not available at the time, and he’ll be another player the north London giants will continue to monitor.

There is no truth to links with Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, who will likely command a huge fee, and with Arteta already having Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah, Leandro Trossard and potentially the returning loanee Folarin Balogun to choose from up front.

Gabriel Jesus joined Arsenal last summer so a new signing up front seems unlikely

The bulk of Arsenal’s budget will go on strengthening in midfield, and in Rice and Zubimendi they could bring in two long-term options that they need without spending a fortune, with West Ham resigned to letting Rice go as he won’t sign a new contract, while Zubimendi has an affordable €60m release clause at Real Sociedad.

Depending on funds and on the opportunities that arise in the market, a new winger also remains an area Arsenal could look at strengthening, CaughtOffside understands, with Arteta remaining a big fan of Barcelona’s Raphinha after trying to sign him from Leeds last summer, while Edu even explored a deal again in January.

It’s also well established that Arsenal were prepared to invest big money in Mykhaylo Mudryk before he joined Chelsea, so the club will again be prepared to move if the right target becomes available for the right price, though sources have denied recent links with Raheem Sterling.

More Stories Declan Rice Eduardo Camavinga Jorginho Martin Zubimendi Mikel Arteta Moises Caicedo Mykhaylo Mudryk Raheem Sterling Raphinha Victor Osimhen

1 Comment

  1. Arsenal have a lot of young guys who are ready for the step up.

    GKs – Ramsdale, Turner, (Arthur Okonkwo, Karl Hein, Tom Smith, Ovie Ejeheri)

    CBs – Saliba, Mangalese, Kiwior, (AaronTrusty, Zach Awe), Rob Holding has to leave at the end of this season.

    SBs – White, Tomiyasu, Zinchenko, Tierney, (Lino Sousa, Reuelle Walters, Ryan Alebiosu, Brooke Norton-Cuffy)

    CMs – Partey, Xhaka, Jorginho, Elneny, Odegaard, Lokonga, Smith Rowe, Vieira, (Miguel Azeez, Charlie Patino, Matt Smith, Ibrahim Bradley)

    FWs – Saka, Martinelli, Jesus, Nelson, Eddie, Folarin, Marquinhos, (Billy Vigar, Nathan Butler, Joel Ideho)

    By the way, concerning our game tonight. I have this thought:

    Is Elneny back from his injury?

    Moreso, it will be extremely hard for Arsenal to beat this Sporting CP side. This is not the game to rest players or tweak things too much. We have to be at our best, else this Sporting CP looks very good to knock us out.

    We are facing a proper cup side. Sporting CP plays 3 very good centrebacks, 2 deep lying playmakers who are all the more very strong defensively, then 2 speed-demon fullbacks, 2 explosive wingforwards and a proper target man. This 2legged tie is not going to be joke at all.

    This is not a game for Rob Holding, twill be too much of a gamble or not taking things serious.

    My proposed line-up;

    Tomiyasu, Saliba, Kiwior, Zinchenko;
    Odegaard, Partey, Xhaka;
    Saka, Martinelli, Nelson;

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