Arsenal are still on the hunt for a defensive midfield addition, with that area of the pitch holding great importance ahead of the start of the transfer period.
What is clear is that Mikel Arteta is ageing and no longer capable of holding that position for the majority of the upcoming campaign. The other option in Mathieu Flamini plays with a lot of heart but doesn’t possess the technical quality to be a mainstay in the Arsenal team.
If the club are going to compete for the league title next season, a new midfielder is a must.
Here’s a look at FIVE options Wenger can look to this summer…
William Carvalho is the latest defensive midfielder to be linked with a move to Arsenal, with Arsene Wenger setting his sights on the Sporting midfielder after a breakdown in negotiations with Sami Khedira.
Carvalho is highly rated in Portuguese football and looks destined for a move to the Premier League, with others also interested in the 22-year-old.
But Sporting as said to be after a fee of €30 million for the midfielder, something Arsenal are capable of putting together.
If Wenger can get this deal done, Carvalho would certainly stand as another exciting arrival at the Emirates this summer.
It’s hard to believe Arsenal are not still watching Lars Bender, despite the German expressing his intention to stay at Bayer Leverkusen. He ticks all the right boxes for Arsenal in terms of what they need in central midfield, and, being 25, has many years at the top ahead of him.
The trouble is Leverkusen’s clear reluctance to sell the German international, with Arsenal failing with bids in the past.
Bender is an option, but due to the apparent difficulty in acquiring his services, he may be a way off the top of Arsenal’s wanted list.
Sami Khedira was widely tipped to join Arsenal following the World Cup, but the club and player were reportedly unable to come to an agreement with regards to wages. For now, Khedira’s future remains up in the air.
But Real Madrid are said to favour a sale of their midfielder this summer so as not to lose him from free next year. Bayern Munich and Chelsea have been tipped as clubs to pounce on the German international’s expiring contract.
Arsenal certainly have the funds to land Khedira, and there’s no doubt he’d be a great signing for the club. Khedira’s transfer saga looks set to carry on until the end of the transfer window.
Morgan Schneiderlin has made his feelings known about his position at Southampton. Having seen the first-team torn apart this summer, it’s understandable that Schneiderlin would also seek a move away.
But Arsenal are not the only club said to be interested, with Tottenham also looking to the French international. What is certain is that Schneiderlin would offer an upgrade in central midfield for both clubs.
At this stage, it appears Arsene Wenger has gone cold on the idea of bringing in Schneiderlin. But with plenty of time left in the summer window, it is still a possibility.
What a statement it would be if Arsenal managed to secure the signing of Arturo Vidal. In the same window that saw Alexis Sanchez arrive from Barcelona, a move for the forward’s countryman would confirm Arsenal as firm candidates for the Premier League title next season.
Thus far, there has been little clarity over the future of Vidal. He’s been linked heavily with a move away, especially to Manchester United, but Juventus have no desire to sell, and the player hasn’t yet made a firm move via the media to announce a desired departure.
But there could be something in Antonio Conte’s resignation as Juventus boss last month, with Vidal and Paul Pogba hotly tipped to leave Turin this summer. In terms of competing with clubs around Europe for Vidal’s signature, Arsenal are more than capable.
He’s not an out-and-out defensive midfielder, but Vidal would add a lot of power to Arsenal’s midfield and would be a great step in the right direction.