To have the strongest squad to withstand the second half of the season, Arsenal will need to have a little squad shakeup in January, with some players leaving to make way for reinforcements who can fire them to triumph.
It is worth noting that the decision to sign David Raya on loan was made in part due to Arsenal’s financial fair play restrictions. That (financial fair play) combined with Arsenal’s full 25-man team means it may be difficult for them to close any deal if players do not leave in the winter.
That being stated, who might leave? Cedric Soares, Thomas Partey, and Emile Smith-Rowe are all possible departures.
Soares has certainly fallen out of favor at Emirates. He’s only made the matchday squad once in the Carabao Cup. Emile Smith Rowe was expected to have a busy few weeks fighting for his future, but an injury has sidelined him yet again and rendered him unable to play for the time being. By January, he may not have secured a starting spot, and if a bid comes in, he may consider a fresh start, and who knows, Arsenal may cash in on him.
There’s a lot of speculation concerning Partey’s future. There is speculation that he has told the club of his wish to depart, which might result in the club profiting from him. Selling the Ghana international may be a good idea to generate funds for at least one new arrival.
Who could be signed if these three and several others I haven’t mentioned depart in January? There has been much talk regarding Arsenal pursuing Ivan Toney. I believe he is a player the Gunners should definitely be considering. Toney has been positioned as the answer to Arsenal’s offensive problems. He might certainly be that, but the concern is that Brentford will demand a high transfer fee for him.
Aside from the strikers, the midfield may use a breath of fresh air. Partey might need a fresh start elsewhere. His injury issues are becoming too much for the club. Even if a player is talented, he is useless if he is injured and misses a large portion of games that he could have influenced. Arteta should inject new life into his midfield by bringing in one of Aston Villa’s in-form Douglas Luiz or Real Sociedad’s midfield engine, Martin Zubimendi (who they’ve been linked with on numerous occasions).
Despite managing without Jurrien Timber, who was injured early in the season, Arsenal should sign a defender if a good one becomes available. Currently, they are reliant on six defenders: Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel Zinchenko, White, and Kiwior. If two of these players are injured, there may be a defensive dilemma because there will be the Champions League, FA Cup, and league to battle for.
Overall, it will be interesting to see how Mikel Arteta tackles the winter transfer window; all we can hope for is that he will do everything possible to see Arsenal succeed this season.
What would you like Arteta and Edu to do in the coming transfer window?
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