It seems Arsenal are looking for alternatives to Lyon’s Houssem Aouar to find solutions to their creativity deficient midfield.
According to The Athletic, the Gunners have some reservations about Aouar and are now exploring alternatives, with Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Brandt on the list. The German has slipped down the pecking order in Dortmund this season after excelling in Germany for the three previous years. Arsenal could use his dip in form as an opportunity to pick him up for a slightly cheaper price than his value.
TransferMarkt value the player at £31.5million currently, down from a £45million peak back in 2019. Around £30million could be enough for Dortmund to be willing to part ways with the player, given his presence in the first team is now limited and many other young midfielders coming through the ranks.
Brandt would bring a host of creative and technical qualities that are badly needed in the Arsenal team. He’s also physically deceptively strong, standing at 6ft 1′. Crucially Brandt is known for carrying the ball well between the lines, transitioning his team from defence to attack. He’s also capable of a defense-splitting pass and despite a poor season this season has averaged more key passes than any other Arsenal player.
Brandt is versatile, capable of playing in a deeper CM, as an attacking midfielder or as a left midfielder. This versatility will appeal to Arteta who is desperate for a player of those qualities in that area of the pitch.
My only concern for Brandt would be a lack of consistency and also at times a lack of work rate. He reinvented himself at Leverkusen as a more central player and has had glimpses of looking quality in that role for Dortmund, but he does at times have to be removed before the 90 minutes is over in games where he is required to press more.
January deals can be hard to do but given the 24-year-old’s current position in Dortmund’s squad, it’s not impossible that this could be a deal that happens in the winter.