Arsenal transfer news: Sky's Dharmesh Sheth delivers midfield transfer verdict
Dharmesh Sheth has claimed that Arsenal “will go hard in the summer” for a new midfielder.
The Sky Sports reporter also says the Gunners will have a look for reinforcements this month, but “it won’t be easy”.
Arsenal currently lack strength in depth in the middle of the park.
Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka have been doing well as Mikel Arteta’s first-choice pairing just behind Martin Odegaard.
However, Arsenal could certainly do with improving their options beyond those two.
Albert Sambi Lokonga is yet to convince that he can be a long-term solution in defensive midfield.
In addition, Mohamed Elneny is currently on the sidelines with a knee injury.
The 30-year-old suffered the injury in training before Arsenal’s derby win over Tottenham earlier this month.
This led to Arteta admitting that the Gunners could do with bolstering their ranks.
“We need some more cover in midfield ideally if we can,” The Guardian quoted Arteta as saying.
“In this market it’s pretty complicated to do that.
“The most important thing is that we get the performances and the time on the pitch that we need with the players we have available today that are already really good.”
On Wednesday’s Transfer Show, Sheth elaborated on Arsenal’s need for midfield reinforcements.
“I think it is a priority position for them and they will go hard in the summer to strengthen this department,” he said (25/1/23, 19:18).
“At the moment, there is a slight problem with Mohamed Elneny who is one of the players who would back up the three they’ve been playing all season in Xhaka, Odegaard and Partey but he has a knee issue that is being assessed.
“It is clear that Arsenal want to try to do some business in the next six days but it won’t be easy as who will now want to sell? Maybe, they’ll explore the loan market to bring in the numbers.
“Arsenal will want to make their bench a lot stronger just to strengthen the back-up they’ve got in midfield.
“We know there’s interest in Declan Rice. It would be nigh-on impossible for him to move now but come the summer, Rice will have two years left on his West Ham. I feel that’s when Arsenal will make a move for him.”
Who could Arsenal sign in January?
With Rice clearly more of a summer target, Arsenal will likely have to look elsewhere for targets this month.
Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans was a regular on the Arsenal rumour mill in summer, but there haven’t been anywhere near as many links this month.