With Francis Coquelin ruled out for at least two months, Arsenal’s midfield vulnerability has been exposed. Arsene Wenger took a risk and it has backfired. We can only hope the squad survives the hectic winter schedule but when it gets to January, Wenger must address the problem so we can’t find ourselves in this situation again.
But signing players in January presents a problem. The ‘big’ players rarely move, clubs are extremely reluctant to sell due to a lack of replacement being available on the market and you often have to overpay to get anything done – something Wenger hates doing.
With that in mind, here are four holding midfielders Arsenal have a realistic chance of acquiring in January.
1. Sergi Samper (FC Barcelona)
Dubbed ‘the new Sergio Busquets’, Samper cannot get a game for the first team at Barcelona and at 20 year old, is desperate to move on with his career. He has said his preference would be to stay with the La Liga Champions, but with a lack of minutes on the pitch, he now looks likely to move on. Arsenal have a very real interest in the Spaniard. He’s much more lightweight than Coquelin and wouldn’t be a direct replacement, but he could be the long-term heir to Santi Cazorla in that deep lying playmaker role. January may be the best time to sign Samper, who will surely be interested if the Gunners can offer him regular football at such a high level.
Press the page numbers below to reveal the other three midfield signings Arsenal could make in the coming transfer window.