Arteta comments on Arsenal transfer plans ahead of January window
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Arsenal have a new transfer priority despite their reported interest in two strikers. Dusan Vlahovic and Alexander Isak are claimed to be on the radar of Gunners boss Mikel Arteta. However, the impending departure of Ainsley Maitland-Niles could change Arteta’s immediate plans.
There is no doubt that Arsenal will need to sign at least one striker at some point this year.
Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are both out of contract at the end of the season.
Both have rejected offers of a renewal, with Nketiah keen to move elsewhere due to a lack of game time.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could also be on his way after being frozen out by Arteta.
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Aubameyang could even leave in this window if the right offer comes in for the former captain.
Therefore, Arteta could be desperately short of experienced strikers come the summer.
Interest in Vlahovic is no surprise – the Serbia international is having another stunning season in Serie A with Fiorentina.
Real Sociedad frontman Isak is having a quieter season in front of goal and is attracting less interest than Vlahovic.
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But Arsenal are big fans of the Sweden international, who only turned 22 last September.
However, there is another priority for Arteta to solve before signing a striker.
Maitland-Niles is getting ever closer to joining Roma on loan for the remainder of the season.
That will leave Arsenal with just two first-team central midfielders available.
With Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny at the Africa Cup of Nations, Granit Xhaka and Albert Sambi Lokonga are the two remaining midfield men.
Arsenal are an injury or a Covid case away from throwing 18-year-old Charlie Patino in for his full debut.
Elneny is set to leave at the end of his contract and Xhaka’s long-term future at the Emirates is uncertain.
But Arteta has to bring forward his plans for the summer into this window.
Maitland-Niles has made just two starts in the Premier League this season.
But he impressed in both and has also made several cameos from the bench.
Arteta cannot afford to be so short in such an important position heading into the second half of the season.
Arsenal are aiming to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2016.
Signing a midfielder as soon as possible must be the aim or that dream could go up in smoke.
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