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.
🚨 Arsenal do have midfield targets. The issue they have is that most of the players they admire are important to their current teams, and consequently difficult to acquire in mid-season.🔴 #AFC
— Football Transfers (@Transferzone00) January 10, 2022
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.
Arsenal want Dusan Vlahovic but it’s gonna be expensive. Like…really expensive. https://t.co/dSeXh8Mxaz
— Sami Mokbel (@SamiMokbel81_DM) January 10, 2022
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.
We horribly need a center forward. Arsenal have nothing in the box.
— MD (@mddeange) December 6, 2021
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.