Arsenal are looking to bolster Mikel Arteta’s playing squad in January in a bid to keep their early season form ticking into the second half of the 2022/23 campaign.
The north London giants head into Christmas atop the Premier League standings after an electric few months that has seen them put the heartache of missing out on Champions League football last term well and truly behind them.
However, everything is at risk of crashing down if the Spaniard were to suffer a couple of injuries in key areas of the squad – someone like Granit Xhaka or Gabriel Jesus being sidelined for a long period of time could have devastating consequences due to the lack of strength in depth.
That’s largely because the Gunners are still on their journey of rebuilding, though adding a couple of strong options at the turn of the year could really turn them into title contenders.
One name that has emerged on newly-appointed sporting director Edu Gaspar’s shortlist appears to be Marcus Thuram of Borussia Monchengladbach.
According to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano earlier in the week, Arsenal now have a “big opportunity” to sign the 25-year-old – who is representing France at the World Cup currently – because he isn’t going to extend his contract with the Bundesliga outfit, thus making him a bargain signing in January.
90min have also suggested that the north Londoners are keen admirers of Thuram but face stiff competition from arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur, as well as other top-flight clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool.
The Italy-born Frenchman will be available for absolutely nothing next summer, thanks to his expiring deal, and is currently valued at €30m (£26m) by Transfermarkt.
Some reports have suggested that he would cost as little as €10m (£8.7m) in January, so it would be foolish for Edu and co not to make a move.
Adding a versatile and exciting talent for nearly a third of his true worth would be something of a transfer masterclass, and one that would benefit Arteta hugely.
Indeed, Thuram can play on the flank and through the middle, where he has notched 13 goals and four assists across 17 appearances this campaign, as per Transfermarkt.
The 6 foot 4 dynamo has previously caught the eye of Arsenal’s legendary stalwart Arsene Wenger, who compared him to another club great in Thierry Henry, which should come as little surprise given the similarities in stature, position and nationality.
“Thierry Henry had the timing of the smartest footballers. He was also very strong physically, and technically he could do everything,” the veteran told Der Spiegel back in 2020. “In fact, there’s a player in the Bundesliga who reminds me of him – Marcus Thuram from Borussia Monchengladbach.”
The prospect of signing another Henry should be too good to ignore, particularly for a paltry fee of just £8.7m.
Not just that, though, as Arteta cannot expect the likes of Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli to play every game, with the Gunners still in the knockout stages of the Europa League too.
As such, Thuram could become the perfect foil for someone like Jesus heading into 2023.
His average of 3.03 shot-creating actions and 1.72 successful dribbles per 90, which sees him rank within the top 22% and the top 8% of his positional peers across Europe’s elite divisions (via FBref), would suggest that he could add way more than just goals to this Arsenal side.
The dynamic Gladbach gem – once described as a “physical monster” by Herve Renard – could be an ideal signing in January and one that could bring shades of Henry back to the red side of north London.