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Arsenal must win Mohammed Kudus race

Arsenal are in need of reinforcements in the January transfer window if they are to maintain their impressive form in the Premier League.

That is largely owing to the fact that there is a lack of substantial depth in Mikel Arteta’s playing squad, an issue that has been accentuated following the recent injury blow to Gabriel Jesus.

When the league returns to action on Boxing Day, the Gunners will kickstart the second half of the campaign as the leaders but are instantly tasked with some tricky ties, starting with West Ham United before Newcastle United, arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, who are all vying for a place in Europe.

They’ll have to do so without their £45m summer signing, who picked up a serious knee issue during the World Cup that has since required surgery. Some reports suggest that he’ll be out for around three months, leaving Eddie Nketiah as the only senior striking option at the Spaniard’s disposal.

The forward role isn’t the only place on the pitch that Arteta needs more depth as similar setbacks to players like Granit Xhaka, Ben White or Bukayo Saka would leave him shortchanged in what could be a historic season.

Should Arsenal pay £30m for Kudus?

YES!

YES!

NO!

NO!

Of course, the club will try to bolster his squad and several names have frequently been linked, most notably – perhaps – has been Mykhaylo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk.

A versatile left-winger, the Ukraine sensation is certainly a player that Arsenal need to sign but he isn’t the only coveted star that they must win the race for as Mohammed Kudus – another mooted target – could provide the manager with everything he needs for a title push in early 2023.

The Ghana sensation was one of the stars of the World Cup group stages and his performances – which drew a 7.70 average rating from Sofascore – saw him outperform players like runner-up and final hat-trick hero Kylian Mbappe (7.61), as well as the aforementioned Saka (7.6) and Cody Gakpo (7.42).

Kudus shone with two goals from his three outings, despite facing tough opposition in Uruguay, South Korea and one of the pre-tournament favourites in Portugal.

He also showed his defensive awareness with an average of 1.7 tackles and 1.3 possession won per game, also via Sofascore, and did so whilst playing in a variety of different roles but largely upfront or out wide.

The 22-year-old’s exploits in Qatar drew some serious praise from the media, including a particularly glowing endorsement from journalist Rahman Osman, who claimed: “Ajax will struggle to hold on to Kudus after the World and Everton will be kicking themselves for not going all out for him. Some player, alongside Bellingham and Musiala the stars of the World Cup.”

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Starting off with an easy one...

Also previously lauded as a “special talent” and a “monster“, the Ajax gem won’t be too expensive with a reported asking price of around £30m – nearly £60m less than what Shakhtar want for Mudryk – thus making him an absolutely ideal candidate for Arsenal.

Not only could he be cover for Jesus whilst he faces a lengthy spell on the treatment table but he could also play on the winger and deeper in the engine room.

His reasonable price tag, versatility and Arteta’s desperate need for additions must surely put Kudus high on the priority list heading into the new year and as such, sporting director Edu Gaspar can make a serious statement to the rest of the English top-flight by winning the race for the Ghana gem.

AND in other news, Arteta could clinch his own Bellingham with Arsenal swoop for “magic” £66m maestro