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Arsenal are plotting a swoop for former ace Ismael Bennacer

Arsenal are set to target winter signings to aid the pursuit of the Premier League crown in January, with AC Milan‘s Ismael Bennacer one target that could slot a layer of quality into the fold.

What’s the word?

According to Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness), Gunners chief Edu Gaspar is ready and poised to lure the player back to the Emirates, with the Algerian ace departing the outfit for Italian club Empoli for just £850,000 in 2017.

The Italian reports claim that Bennacer’s contract holds a transfer release clause that can only be activated by foreign outfits for a total of €50m (£44m), consequently putting him back on Arsenal’s radar.

And with the Rossoneri looking to renew their maestro’s current deal, Gunners technical director Edu will need to instigate swift action in order to prise him away from Milan clutches and bring him back to north London, where he could flourish among others in a team rising toward the pantheon of Europe’s very elite.

Lokonga upgrade

With Arsenal indeed looking to bolster the ranks, the signing of Bennacer would encapsulate the shifting momentum at the club, issuing in a prevalent quilt of quality to finally challenge at the forefront of the Premier League for seasons to come once more.

Hailed a “complete midfielder” by Milan boss Stefano Pioli, Bennacer has made 126 appearances for his current outfit, scoring four goals and registering eight assists.

The 40-cap ace, who was estimated to be worth around €45m (£40m) in the summer, has made 21 appearances for last season’s Series A winners, would enter the crop at the Premier League table-toppers and dazzle with his authority and technical prowess, proving to be a massive upgrade on Albert Sambi Lokonga, who was signed from Belgian outfit Anderlecht last year.

Should Arsenal re-sign Ismael Bennacer?

Yes

Yes

No

No

The 23-year-old Lokonga has made 37 appearances for Mikel Arteta’s side, and in the league this term has recorded only an average rating of 6.75.

With Bennacer recording a rating of 7.29 in the ongoing Serie A campaign, completing 89% of his passes. making 2.0 key passes per game and displaying his defensive pedigree with 2.3 tackles, he would add a far more robust and all-encompassing game to the team.

Indeed, Arteta has high aspirations for this Arsenal team, challenging for the Premier League crown after the side have missed out on Champions League qualification since 2017, and already offering a taste of silverware by clinching the 18/19 FA Cup, and Bennacer would be a sterling acquisition.

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The club’s quality in the starting 11 is unequivocal, but closest title rivals Manchester City certainly boast the greatest depth of quality in the division, and Bennacer will take the Gunners that one step closer to soaring to success and yielding a formidable squad to rival even that of Pep Guardiola‘s high-flying Sky Blues.