What must be Arsenal’s Number One priority in January?

Which position should Arsenal prioritize this month?

After an abysmal performance against Nottingham Forest on Sunday, Mikel Arteta will be scratching his head looking for answers.

The worst part is that he might not have one, ahead of a crucial week. The Gunners take on Liverpool at Anfield for the semi-final of the EFL Cup and then lock horns with North-London rivals Spu*s, which is certainly a six-pointer for the race for Champions League.

And there is Arteta standing, with a big hole in his team due to AFCON. Arsenal are without first-team players such as Thomas Partey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe and Mohamed Elneny.

The club’s hierarchy might have one question in front of them in the current transfer window: which position should they prioritize?

Central Midfield and center forward have been widely discussed as two positions Arteta wants to see someone brought in.

For central midfield, the Gunners have been heavily linked with Bruno Guimaraes, Arthur Melo and Danilo. While for the center forward position, Dusan Vlahovic is a name that has constantly popped up in the past fortnight.

The outlay on Guimaraes and Vlahovic, two of the most seriously linked players, might prove to be unsurmountable for Arsenal this month.

Thus, they must be looking at the position which needs improving almost immediately.

In my opinion, it should be the center forward position. Despite Arteta being left to work with bare bones at midfield, signing a center forward can genuinely make Arsenal favourites for the fourth position in the Premier League.

The North London outfit play just two league games before they will see Partey and Elneny back. Captain Granit Xhaka will also be expected to make his return against Spu*s, after contracting coronavirus last week.

A duo of Xhaka and Sambi Lokonga is good enough to hold the fort for the time being.

But on the other hand, the central forward position is worrying. Alexander Lacazette, despite being impressive this season, is not someone who will get you the goals every now and then.

While Aubameyang looks set to be shown the door by the club, either this month or the summer. Whereas Eddie Nketiah isn’t a reliable piece and last weekend’s game was a testament.

A new center forward is a figure which can inspire this current Arsenal team. A player in the mold of Vlahovic, Alexander Isak or even Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin can oil the Arsenal engine for the remainder of the campaign.

Everybody knows that the ride is bound to get bumpy in the second half of the campaign. But a lethal goalscorer will help the Gunners cause massively.

It might also turn out to be the decisive factor between Champions League football or Europa/Conference league football.

Yash Bisht  

Tags midfielder striker

37 Comments

  1. Break the bank and hire a proper manager. Erik tan Hag for me is the number 1 priority, either now or the comming summer.

    1. Don’t think he would leave Ajax now but in the summer possibly plus didn’t Overmars Extend his contract.

    2. Agreed, MA has done relatively well to steady the ship with a large backing but now we need a solid manager to fight for top 4 consistently and then for the EPL trophy in a few seasons.

      1. I think the board should look at possibly bringing in Mancini next after Arteta, he would be a great with a proven winning track record at City Inter Sampdoria and probably his most impressive feat with the Italian national team where after they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup he went in and managed a relatively young team to Euro 2020 champions and we have young squad.

  2. Definitely need a midfielder or two urgently. We still lack a top quality dm specialist like Guimaraes or Bissouma even when all our midfielders are available and I’ve come round to the idea of Wijnaldum on loan, hopefully he can be signed in time for Spurs on Sunday. Still feel we are a striker light but it will be difficult to get a ‘Vlahovic’ in, maybe Luka Jovic on loan

    1. The thing is that we have a proper DM specialist in partey. Partey is not a CM or AM. He is a DM. That is his role. Regardless of if he moves forward to take those his wayward shots that are always off target. A proper CM right next to him is our biggest challenge in midfield. Someone who can control a game, a ball progressor whose positional play is top notch. Who is good defensively and can serve as a link between defence and attack. A Gundogan, Modric, Kovacic, Wijnaldum, Teilemans, Kroos, Frenkie De Jong, Goretzka, type of player. A Patrick Vieira type of player. Vieira was also serving that role with us with Gilbert silva as his midfield partner. We really need a quality CM. The person serving that role for us currently is Xhaka and he is not good enough. The fact that Xhaka isn’t good enough but we seems to play better with him on the pitch shows how much we will improve with a very top class Central Midfielder. This team needs one and the earlier Arteta gets in a suitable one the better.

      1. Yeah a draw would be ok. Its an away game and they are in decent form. Beating Burnley is more important. Spurs will drop points in other games.

    1. Fairfan

      For-F-Sake…….what are you on? We’ve lost a sizable proportion of our strength and you say don’t sign anybody. Are you a supporter or just a nuisance?

  3. Start with a new manager, sounds like the best starting point. Any new players would then need to be his call. As this is highly unlikely, Arteta must know that a striker and a midfielder who can make things happen rather than plod about are a must.

  4. 🤡s calling for a new manager. We’re not that club from SW London that gets rid of their manager every couple of years, we’re The Arsenal. It took Ferguson over 5 years to sort the Mancs out.

    UTA.

    1. Survivorship bias…easy to take arguably the most successful EPL manager ever and say it took him 5 years. It’s a very different time now anyway, to compare the different periods is a bit of a joke.

      There’s other managers that were in charge for long and never progressed, stop cherry picking! Also if you are comparing MA to Ferguson you better have a good reason?

    2. Herr Drier We cannot stand another year wasted we need a proper manager before the start of next season

  5. Do you genuine believe doing all this in what is left of January is possible guys?

    (apart from maybe beating Burnley)

  6. Hardly survivorship, just going with what The Arsenal have done throughout our long history. How is it different, for years the Mancs spent heavily trying to win the league.

    Not comparing the two, just saying that it took Fergie years to turn them around by changing the coaching staff and players, much like what’s happening here !!

    1. There were no 3 clubs challenging for the title and 5 others challenging for the 4th spot in 1986. There will not be another Wenger or Ferguson anytime soon.

      It’s completely different period now as PJ has said. If you can find a recent example that will resonate more.

      1. From what I can remember, us, Liverpool, and the vermin all challenged Everton for the League.

        The fabled top 4 trophy didn’t exist in them days 🙄

        1. Was that every season?

          “The fabled top 4 trophy didn’t exist in them days 🙄” Yes because now it is a different period.

          My point is merely that if we cement our position as a mid table team waiting for a manager (any manager not only Arteta) to be the next Ferguson that is where we are always going to be.

          We won’t be able to attract top players for one no matter how much we offer them. No top player will come to a mid table club when there are a lot of options everywhere. In effect we won’t be able to catch up to title and top 4 contenders.

          You might say we will make our own stars but them too won’t wait 6 years. As soon as they have made names for themselves they will go elsewhere citing wanting to win trophies.

          We have been there before. We made van Persie, Fabregas, Clichy, Nasri etc but they all left. At least that time we still had top 4 and their leaving made it difficult to challenge for the title.

          This time it won’t be difficult to challenge for the title, it will be difficult to challenge for top 6 (it already is anyway).

          We can’t gamble 6 years in this day and age.

          1. Ah, so it’s every season now, not just the ’86 season that you mentioned.

            Teams were still battling for the highest position they could get, even though there was no European competition for them to enter due to the Mickey’s behaviour at the Heysel stadium in ’85. One would say the players had more pride in those days.

            I’ve seen a lot of people on social media say you can’t sign a top player when finishing mid table. DB 10 is my reply.

            1. It still a different era. 1995 is closer to 1986 than 2022. A lot has changed since then. I don’t think that has to be pointed out honestly.

              Arsenal as it is cannot attract players of Aubameyang or Ozil level (when they joined us) anymore.

          1. Yes Ferguson won a league title, in a 2 bob league. Also he won the CWC, not the European Cup.

            I wasn’t comparing the two men, just comparing their first jobs as managers in England !!!!!

  7. the fans want bruno, dusan, melo, Isak and Danilo in January….

    in the summer another 4 or 5 signings as well…

  8. The first thing I would be asking is why we let AMN leave in the first place, knowing how short we would be in midfield!!

    Then it would irritate me to hell, knowing that we have got to buy a replacement and probably at an inflated price…. also knowing that we have just lost any revenue that a FA cup run would bring in.

    Finally, after giving Aubemeyang a three year £300,000 plus a weekcreported contract, I would be asking why we need another CF and why we have also run down Lacazette’s contract in order for him to leave for nothing!!

    Still, as long as we improve on the 8th position (the lowest in over two decades) and finish 6th or 7th, everything is rosy in the garden…. because it’s, reportedly, harder to win the PL and/or finish in the top four than it was three years ago…isnt that right fairfan?

  9. It makes me wonder sometimes, why such disgust with the manager? Because, before the start of the season, it was felt that finishing in the top six would be a sign of progress, as a top four finish was completely ruled out. Surprise, Arsenal seats in the top four spot after round 21 matches and Arteta is the problem. This is really a crazy world that we are living in today. If only Arsenal owners and the board could strengthen the team in the January transfer window with a quality striker like Vlahovic or Isak, a defensive midfielder in the mold of Douglas Luis, Frenkie de Jong , Boubacar Kamara or Yves Bissouma and a right back ,then, the chances of qualifying for a top four finish would surely be enhanced. Failure to then qualify for Europe at the end of the season , should result in the sacking of Edu and Arteta. I wish some fans would be more objective , rational and positive .

    1. If the truth be known objective and rational has no part in most fans make up. At least not when it comes to football. In fact it is probable that football is another opiate an escape from the harsh realities of life. The fan can shout and scream, to be as opinionated as possible, to be part of an army fighting for pride and prestige and as David Bowie sang “We can be heroes just for one day ..match day 🙂

  10. We have to buy a midfielder and a forward before our league games or say goodbye to 4th place. Get a move on Edu/Arteta, Do you want to lose all the ground we have made up. You knew this was coming, why no action eh? You’re supposed to be our manager! Get into action!

  11. Before buying new players Arteta needs to get his head right and get his selections right. Against Southampton our midfield was very weak yet we could have used Chambers and White to solidify it. He used Holding on the left of the CB pairing when he could have used Mari. Despite missing Partey, Elneny, and Xhaka we had options to replace them which the coach didn’t opt for. Our problem is not squad depth but the manager who is full of strange decisions.

  12. im not as doom/gloom as everyone else. a signing like Gini in midfield would be a huge boost. signing a new striker as well. i think if arsenal rest on their laurels we will fade fast though. we’ve been in this position so many times in january, and it typically ends with us not acting, then having a horrible february/march, and then a comfortable april/may but all chances of meeting our goals are already gone.

  13. We need desperately a proper DM and if possible a quality CF to get something from this season. The Board must act fast to get these acquisitions asap.

    1. I agree Absolutely with the above sentiment!!!

      A top class DM to play alongside Partey in front of the back four is imperative.
      (Xhaka and Lakonga can be the back-ups).

      We will need to be dominant in midfield if we want to finish in the top four at the end of the season..

      I will say this one more time. Against the top teams Odegaard is just not strong enough.

      I would replace him with either Neves or Tielemans, although I am still not convinced of the latters consistency.

      Finally, can we buy a goal-scoring forward please!!

      The above would mean at least another $150m spending in January, but if Arsenal want to be a force to be reckoned with again, the Kroenkes will need to open their piggybank and break out the Shekels.

      As my dad used to say when he put his bets on. You have to speculate to accumulate!!

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