Being a fan of Arsenal FC has become more of a tedious voyage than a walk in the title and glory ridden park that “Gunners” fans remember from times past. While before Premier League odds experts would always have Arsenal as one of the main teams to follow in the EPL title hunt, nowadays the team is more about fighting to become relevant once again rather than to fight for a spot in the title contention table.
The beginning of the new EPL season saw the south London squad begin in a wobbly and almost lifeless form, with siren calls for skipper Mikel Arteta to be sacked, but since then, the team has been able to regroup and mount up the beginning of what looks like a comeback with intentions of putting the league on notice. The question here is not if they have it in them to continue in their path, because all signs point towards a positive outcome, but which players could come in through the January transfer window to help the team in their quest to title relevance once again? Here we break down three players that Arsenal should definitely be targeting once the new transfer market is open.
Donny Van De Beek
There are some teams that stay lodged in the memories of football fans without regards of their fandom. For example, the historic “Invincibles” Arsenal team from the 2003/04 EPL season, where the “Gunners” were able to win the Premier League title once again in the most dominating fashion, going undefeated throughout the whole season. Another team that comes to mind is the 2018/19 Ajax squad that were one goal away from reaching the UCL finals, only to have Tottenham beat them out in one of the most heartbreaking forms ever. That team though, produced some of the best young talents that European football has seen in recent times, with players like Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie De Jong, Hakim Ziyech, and Donny Van de Beek all becoming some of football’s biggest up and coming stars.
After a promising move to Manchester United, Donny Van de Beek was touted to be on his way to becoming one of the best center midfielders in the EPL, only to see his time at United become more of a hazard than anything else. After showing clear signs of wanting to move away from Manchester, Arsenal should definitely be prepared to make a move to nab the Dutch midfielder away from Manchester in order to give their midfield a much needed upgrade. Having Van de Beek pair up with Odegaard, Thomas, Xhaka, Smith Rowe and Saka would make for a perfect mix of attacking explosiveness and defensive toughness and precision for Arsenal. Van de Beek has the skills of a seasoned veteran with the age of a player who is still a couple of years away from reaching his top competing form. If Arsenal can land the Dutch midfielder and give him the room and playing time he deserves, they could be looking at their next great team leader for the future.
Arsenal has always been known to be a team to have a special preference to youth rather than experience when it comes to signing, which is why targeting 21-year old French attacking midfielder and left winger Amine Gouiri. Gouiri has shined in his time at French side Nice, especially after leaving Olympique Lyon to have more playing time and bigger exposure. Just last season Gouiri scored 16 goals and assisted for seven more and with his skillset and youth, he could become a generational talent for Arsenal both playing as an attacking midfielder or as another striker.
While Gouiri’s Nice contract is set to expire in 2022, it would be a very wise move for Arsenal to move upon him during the January transfer market in order to keep away other teams like Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid from getting to him once his contract is up. If Arsenal is looking for a player with tons of talent and enough growing room to go around, signing Gouiri would definitely be a championship caliber move.
Arsenal is in dire needs of finding a suitable striker to command their attack, that is a fact that as clear as a summer’s day. While they’ve been waiting for Aubameyang to pick his game up, all while seeing the possibility of having him move on from the team alongside French striker Alexander Lacazette, Arsenal should definitely be looking to add another commanding striker to their roster as soon as possible if they wish to continue in competing form. While there are clear hopes that players like Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe will be the spearheads in Arsenal’s attacking future, adding a player like Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic would definitely be a step up.
Vlahovic, whose playing style resembles Erling Haaland’s form has already proven that he’s ready to make a move out of Italy into another of the most important football leagues in Europe. With 21 goals and three assists under his name last season and four goals with 1 assist already in this season, Vlahovic is more than certain that staying in Italy is not a move he wishes to make, especially with his contract expiring in 2023. While Arsenal might not be taken as a priority by Vlahovic’s camp regarding a potential move, if Arsenal can make a convincing and financially enticing move for the striker come January, they could end up stealing up one of the best attackers in European football right now, which would automatically make their attacking core relevant and dangerous once again.