Arteta reckons Arsenal deal can be done for explosive forward with blockbuster transfer to cover for Gabriel Jesus falling into place

Mikel Arteta managing Arsenal Credit: Alamy
Mikel Arteta managing Arsenal Credit: Alamy

Mikel Arteta is reportedly growing increasingly confident that Arsenal can push through the signing of their No 1 January target – and already has ideas on how to help the player become even better under his guidance.

The Gunners sit on top of the Premier League and have somewhat surprise aspirations of winning the title this season. Before a ball was kicked this season, the aim would have been a top-four finish for Arteta’s side. However, 12 wins from 14 games gives them a five-point buffer at the top of the table.

Arsenal, though, will have their work cut out if they are to hold off Manchester City once the season resumes. Pep Guardiola’s side have unquestionable strength in their ranks, having won the title four times in the last five seasons.

And in order to maximise Arsenal’s chances, the board have promised a hefty January budget for Arteta to strengthen his ranks. Indeed, widespread reports claim the Gunners will have around £50m to spend, with two new arrivals in his sights.

Top of his list of priorities is a new midfielder. Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey are the unquestionable first choice pairing at Emirates. However, there is a lack of quality cover should they ever miss out with neither Albert Sambi Lokonga or Mohamed Elneny having Arteta’s trust.

As such, the Gunners boss is looking into a possible deal to sign Youri Tielemans. The Leicester midfielder is out of contract next summer so can leave for a cut-price fee in January. That said, one report claims Arteta does have some doubts over the Belgian and is also looking into an Eintracht Frankfurt star instead.

Arsenal ready to push through Mykhaylo Mudryk transfer

However, Arsenal’s No 1 priority is adding a new forward to their attack. Arteta allowed Nicolas Pepe to leave on loan for Nice last summer, with the club-record signing unlikely to play again for the Gunners.

As such, Arteta wants someone who can play out wide to cover for Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka. The Gunners wing duo are both enjoying successful seasons and are major factors in Arsenal’s rise to the top of the table.

But with Gabriel Jesus suffering a knee injury and now facing three months out, Arsenal have a dilemma. Reports claim Arteta could look to move Martinelli into a more central position, were he to sign a winger as cover.

His top target is Shakhtar star Mykhaylo Mudryk, though he comes with a seriously hefty valuation.

Arteta, though, remains undeterred and reports claim he believes a deal can still be done below their asking price.

Mudryk most often operates on the left wing, though has also played on the right.

Cover for Gabriel Jesus

Arteta likes that versatility though. As such, he also reportedly reckons he can operate through the centre to cover for Jesus were he to sign.

That’s according to CBS journalist Ben Jacobs, who told Givemesport: “Arteta feels that he can be developed into a more versatile player.

“At the moment he’s lightning quick, he’s got a good eye for goal. He weighs in with assists, he makes the pitch as big as possible, he starts on the left-hand side and he cuts in.

“I think Mikel Arteta thinks he can spend more time during games in central areas. And, even under select game management situations, switch sides as well.”

Jacobs added: “As he adds those strings to his bow, he could live up to his reputation as one of the best players in that position. So, it’s one to watch from Arsenal’s point of view.”

Arsenal do have Eddie Nketiah as an option too, while Arteta could also look to recall Folarin Balogun from Reims.

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