As we draw closer to the winter window, the transfer talk is heating up. Today we examine the Arsenal transfer news and five players who are strongly linked with a winter move to north London.
Arsenal Transfer News: Who Could Come in January?
Thus far under Unai Emery, Arsenal’s greatest weakness has been defence. While the club has improved under the Spaniard, the Gunners will have to strengthen at the back before making a serious title challenge.
That’s where Polish wonderkid Sebastian Walukiewicz comes in. The 18-year-old centre-back has done enough to catch Sven Mislintat’s keen eye, according to Football.london.
Walukiewicz has grown into his body over the course of the last two seasons, going from a reserve player to a regular starter at Pogon Szczecin. While physically impressive, the defender is also comfortable on the ball, making him a good fit for Emery’s style.
His modest age suggests that should a deal happen, it may be some time before fans see Walukiewicz play for the first team. Meanwhile, the young Pole is also being monitored by Barcelona, Southampton and a few clubs from Serie A.
Hermoso joined Real Madrid at the age of ten in 2005. However, the defender couldn’t play his way into the first team, leading to a transfer to Espanyol in 2017.
Since then, Mario Hermoso has made quite a name for himself. This season, the 23-year-old has helped his side to five clean sheets already and just received his first cap for the Spanish national team.
Real Madrid have a buy-back clause from the deal which sent him to Espanyol, so should Florentino Perez want the player back, he could be acquired for less than the Gunners are willing to offer.
Along with defensive issues, Arsenal are a bit unbalanced going forward. They are overly-reliant on their full-backs for width as they lack any true wide forwards in the squad.
The 23-year-old is left-footed but prefers to play on the right wing. He’s had a wonderful season so far for Lille, netting eight goals and setting up a further nine. Pépé’s main strength is his technical ability.
Guillem Balague reports that the Gunners have already approached Lille about a possible January move.
The links between Arsenal and Ousmane Dembélé have not cooled much since the summer. After a massive transfer to bring him to Barcelona in 2017, the winger has not impressed on the field or off.
One sordid story holds that Dembélé once missed a training session due to a mysterious illness. When a club doctor went to his house on a wellness check, he found nothing physically wrong with the player.
Reports coming from Spain suggest that Barcelona have now issued Dembélé an ultimatum due to these off-field issues. He will have to work his way back into the favour of club officials or face a transfer away.
These reports dictate that a January move is highly unlikely, so his potential suitors may have to wait until the summer. Even then, however, the club’s asking price will approach £100 million so the Gunners would have to make a huge offer.
As Arsenal prepare for life after Aaron Ramsey, one possible replacement has been identified. 22-year-old midfielder Pablo Fornals of Villareal would fit the bill and is Unai Emery’s preferred Ramsey replacement.
While usually deployed as an attacking midfielder, Fornals can play on the wings. This versatility must be attractive to Arsenal, as is his modest age.
Villareal also find themselves languishing near the foot of the La Liga table, taking just two wins from 12 matches to leave the Yellow Submarine in 16th. Fornals also has a very modest £17.8m release clause in his contract.
All this means that the Gunners will be very interested in making a deal this January.
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