Arsenal ‘decide’ on January transfer window priority as hero lifts lid | Football | Sport

Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva has revealed that the Gunners’ transfer priority in January is to sign a midfielder who can bolster Mikel Arteta’s squad. The club’s recruitment chief Edu has not been afraid to spend in recent years and they could dip into the market once again to help the likes of Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard.

Last year Arsenal used the January window to bring in Leandro Trossard, Jorginho and Jakub Kiwior. All three have gone on to become valuable members of the squad and the Gunners will be hopeful for similar success a year on, with Silva believing that the midfield especially is being focused on.

“I heard that they were maybe looking for some midfielders especially because of (Thomas) Partey being injured at times,” Silva told the Mirror. “I’m not sure if it’s 100 per cent going to happen but obviously, they have to be aware that this is a very short window and very specific.

“You have to be like a fisherman sometimes, to grab the right player that you really need that’s going to help you to win games and to be useful for the rest of the season. Also to improve the way you play.

“It’s not about sometimes bringing a player because you need [them]. Speaking to people there, Edu many times, they are working hard to have the data and what they think is right for the club in terms of targets. The market is very competitive as well, sometimes you have to be fast and not lose the opportunity.”

With Partey and Odegaard both spending time on the sidelines through injury, the likes of Kai Havertz and Fabio Vieira have been handed perhaps bigger roles than expected. Jorginho has also been relied upon heavily and Arteta may feel that further quality is necessary in the middle of the pitch.

Douglas Luiz and Martin Zubimendi have been two long-term targets that Arsenal could revisit in January. They came close to landing the Aston Villa star a year ago but former Gunners boss Unai Emery managed to keep hold of the Brazilian, who has since signed a new contract at Villa Park.

Real Sociedad’s Zubimendi was thought to be close to signing for Arsenal previously and the Spanish midfielder does have a £52million release clause in his contract.

However, he has stated his desire to play for the La Liga club in their Champions League campaign. As they currently top a group with Inter Milan, RB Salzburg and Benfica and have guaranteed a spot in the next round, he may wish to feature in their knockout run as opposed to leaving mid-season.

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