Five defensive midfielders Arsenal could target in January transfer window
Tom Phillips examines five potential defensive-midfield targets for Arsenal in the January transfer window
William Carvalho is said to be top of Arsene Wenger’s transfer wish-list in January as the manager looks to solve Arsenal’s injury crisis. The 23-year-old midfielder has already announced his affection for the Gunners, which puts Wenger in pole position when the transfer window opens. The Angolan-born Portuguese international has been in fine form for Sporting before a stress fracture in his tibia sidelined him for three months. Having just come back into frame at Sporting, Wenger will need to be extremely vigilant to not sign another injury-prone midfielder.
Another target for Wenger last summer, Grzegorz Krychowiak was a key part in Sevilla’s defence of the Europa League trophy last season and continues to feature under Unai Emery. Arsenal may want to continue to secure his services in the January transfer window as the Polish midfielder rejected a new contract offer two months ago. This was in response to Arsenal trying to sign Krychowiak in the summer but the deal fell through. The new contract would have increased his release clause from £22.2m to £33.3m, with rumours in Seville suggesting that Krychowiak wants to secure a move to the Premier League in the near future.
A player who may be out of their range, Paul Pogba has certainly drawn the plaudits thanks to his dominant displays at Juventus. Since moving to Turin from Manchester United, Pogba has been critical of his time at Old Trafford and Sir Alex Ferguson’s reluctance to give him a chance to shine. The Frenchman has proved he is more than capable of stepping up to the mark and playing a key part in Juventus’ Serie A dominance. Pogba could be the new Patrick Vieira for Arsenal fans – their style of play is very similar, with Pogba having a great eye for goal. With Manchester City and Chelsea looking to get his services, Wenger may need to up his negotiation game if push comes to shove.
Javi Martinez’s style of play would be a perfect fit for Arsenal. Martinez is a superb tactician in midfield and has been able to break down the likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta in Champions League matches against Barcelona. Martinez is also a player who is very similar to Vieira and would want to return to his favoured position as Pep Guardiola has continued to play him in either defence or in a very restricted role in midfield.
Having already expressed a desire to move to Arsenal back in the summer, Victor Wanyama could be another potential target for Arsenal. The Kenyan has displayed his dominance in midfield and used his strong physique to his advantage for Southampton, he would be an easy fit for Wenger with Wanyama’s Premier League experience. Wanyama would also be tempted with a return to Champions League football having experienced the joys of it while at Celtic before joining the Saints.