Mikel Arteta will head into the World Cup break as a happy man. His Arsenal side are five points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table, while they are also through to the Europa League knockout stages.
His thoughts will now turn to how he can improve his squad ahead of a crucial second half of the season which could see the club win their first league title since 2003/2004.
The North London side will be aiming to add some midfield cover for Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard, with Brazilian prodigy Danilo high on the list.
Arsenal had initially hoped to sign the Palmeiras youngster in the summer, with the Brazilian club slapping a €35m (£30m) price tag on the player, however, no move materialised.
Journalist Pete O’Rourke believes that Arteta could revive a deal for the 21-year-old, revealing in a recent interview with Football FanCast: “He’s been a long-term target, Danilo.
“Arsenal have been watching him for a long time, they did consider trying to sign him in the summer but were not able to get that deal done. So it’s something they’re planning to revisit in January.”
The Brazilian has played 34 league matches this season, chipping in with three goal contributions. Despite his age, he constantly wants the ball in order to generate attacks, averaging 51.3 touches per match while also making 0.8 key passes.
With games coming thick and fast during the second half of the season, injuries are likely to be common and Arteta could maybe do with adding in a couple of fresh faces.
Zach Lowy claimed back in August that signing Danilo “would be a shrewd pickup” for Arsenal and with his impressive performances for Palmeiras this season, the praise is certainly justified.
Although £30m was the price tag in the summer, this may have risen off the back of his splendid displays. The Spaniard’s priority now will be to sign his long-term target before interest in the player spreads to other European heavyweights, and this is inevitable given the 21-year-olds impressive development in his homeland.