Three midfielders Arsenal could sign in the January transfer window
Iqbal Johal takes a look at three possible midfield signings for Arsenal in the forthcoming January transfer window
With seven players currently out injured, six of which midfielders, Arsene Wenger has made it clear he plans to strengthen in January as they battle it out for a first Premier League title since 2004. Speaking in a news conference ahead of the clash with Norwich, Wenger said: “We are in a position where we want to do something. I love a bargain. A bargain for us is to buy players of top quality, because only top quality strengthens out squad.” Perhaps a top quality player available at a cut-price deal would be Real Madrid’s 23-year-old Isco. The Spain international can operate either in central midfield or in a more attacking role, in the middle or on each wing. As the Independent reports, Isco could be available for around £28m as he finds himself on the outskirts of the first team at Madrid. The highly-rated Spaniard has impressed when given the chance at Madrid, scoring 18 in 123 first team appearances since signing from Malaga in 2013. His versatility across the midfield and his ability on the ball and his vision to spot a pass could make him an ideal fit for Arsenal.
With central midfielders Jack Wilshire and Francis Coquelin out for the coming months, Lars Bender could well fit the void if he joins in January. The Telegraph has Bender down as Arsenal’s top target in the new year as Wenger is desperate to strengthen in the middle of the park. The 19-time capped German international is strongest when playing as a defensive midfielder, which is exactly what Arsenal are looking for, and has been impressive at Bayer Leverkusen. The 26-year-old, who would be ineligible for the Champions League, is a born leader who is composed and intelligent in his role which is mainly to break up play. The Leverkusen captain is an exceptional reader of the game, who would make Arsenal more disciplined and harder to break down, and could be one of the players Wenger identified as being top quality but available at a bargain price.
The 24-year-old Kenya international certainly fits the bill in terms of what Arsenal need in January. After joining from Celtic in 2013 for £12.5m, Wanyama was outstanding last season and was key in Southampton finishing seventh. He offered excellent protection just in front of the back four and helped the Saints boast the second-best defensive record in the league last season. Despite being only 24, he has already amassed over 200 appearances during his career and has the experience to boost Arsenal’s midfield. The Kenyan won 78 tackles in the Premier League during Southampton’s highest finish for 25 years, which was the fifth-highest in the league. Wanyama is exactly the type of player Arsenal need in January in order to challenge for silverware and is a must buy for Wenger’s men.