Five Arsenal transfer targets that could boost their Premier League title challenge: Mudryk, Tielemans…

Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk Credit: Alamy
Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk Credit: Alamy

Arsenal have exceeded expectations this season and are currently at the top of the Premier League – but reinforcements may be required in the January transfer window to consolidate their strong position.

The Gunners strengthened the squad in the summer transfer window and go into the mid-season break five points clear of Manchester City.

While Mikel Arteta will be happy with their work so far – two of their players make the top 10 stars in the Premier League so far this season – the manager will also be looking at areas where they can improve.

We’ve taken a look at five players they’ve been linked with and should be targeting in the January transfer window.

Evan Ndicka

Having conceded just 11 goals in their opening 14 league games, Arsenal have the joint-best defensive record in the Premier League in 2022/23.

William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes have formed a promising centre-back partnership while Ben White – who has been featuring at right-back – and Rob Holding can fill in for them. 

But they’re still looking to bolster their defence and have been linked with Eintracht Frankfurt’s Evan Ndicka, who won the Europa League last season and has established himself as one of the leading centre-backs in the Bundesliga.

As a left-footed centre-back, he represents something of a commodity and Gabriel is the only centre-back at Arsenal who favours using that side. The Brazil international has been playing well but is prone to making the odd mistake and N’Dicka would certainly challenge him. 

According to the Evening Standard, Ndicka has emerged as a transfer option for Arsenal and Italian outlet Il Romanista claim they will rival Roma in the battle for his signature.

“Arsenal like the player,” CBS reporter Ben Jacobs told GiveMeSport. “They’ve certainly done their legwork and their due diligence and their scouting on him.

“There’s a lot of interest in the player, not just from the Premier League but from all across Europe as well.”

He’s out of contract at the end of the season and it has been suggested that Arsenal feel they can sign the 23-year-old for as little at £7m. 

Danilo

While Thomas Partey is regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League, he has struggled with injury problems during his time at the Emirates. 

Arsenal have only lost one Premier League game this season and that came when Partey missed their trip to Manchester United.

Mikel Arteta wanted to add more depth to his midfield in the summer and tried to sign Douglas Luiz but saw bids of £20m, £23m and £25m rejected by Aston Villa on transfer deadline day.

Luiz has since signed a new contract at Villa, but he wasn’t the only Brazilian midfielder that was linked with a move to Arsenal in the summer. According to Goal Brasil, the Gunners made a £20m bid for Palmeiras’ Danilo at the end of August.

Palmeiras refused to sell Danilo at the time due to their involvement in the Copa Libertadores semi-finals but the Brazilian season has now finished and Arsenal are expected to reignite their interest in January.

According to 90min, talks with Palmeiras are at an advanced stage and the deal could even be finalised before the window officially opens. Reports in Brazil have also claimed that a move in the region of £25m is close to being agreed. 

A tough-tackling midfielder with a keen eye for a pass, Danilo recently helped his side win the top-flight title and Arsenal technical director Edu reportedly believes the 21-year-old can make an instant impact in the Premier League. 

Danilo celebrates winning the Copa Libertadores with the trophy after Palmeira beat Flamengo at Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay Credit: Alamy
Danilo celebrates winning the Copa Libertadores with the trophy after Palmeira beat Flamengo at Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay Credit: Alamy

Youri Tielemans

Granit Xhaka has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance under Arteta but Arsenal should probably buy another box-to-box midfielder as they need more strength in depth. 

The Gunners have been heavily linked with Tielemans in recent months and it’s understood that the Leicester City midfielder is keen on a move to the Emirates.

“It’s an intriguing one because they’ve put in a lot of work for Tielemans,” Ben Jacobs said“They know that Tielemans wants Arsenal, so this is not the type of transfer where Arsenal have to worry about player buying. If they move for Tielemans, then Tielemans will join Arsenal.”

Once the January transfer window opens, Tielemans will be into the final six months of his Leicester contract, and he has already told the club that he won’t be extending his deal.

While Leicester have indicated they want to keep the 25-year-old until the end of the season, the January transfer window represents their last chance to cash in on a player who cost more than £30m. 

According to 90min, Arsenal will test Leicester’s resolve by making a bid for the Belgium international in January.

Given that he has plenty of Premier League experience and provides a goal threat from midfield, Tielemans would be quite a shrewd signing for the Gunners. 

Mykhaylo Mudryk

In Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka, Arsenal are blessed with two of the most exciting and talented wingers in the Premier League.

The duo have been in excellent form this season as Saka has four goals and six assists in the Premier League while Martinelli has five goals and two assists.

But Arsenal didn’t sign a replacement for Nicolas Pepe in the summer and Arteta reportedly wants to bring in another top-class winger to provide cover and competition for Saka and Martinelli. 

Arsenal have reportedly been monitoring Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykhaylo Mudryk, who has five goals and six assists in 10 league appearances this season.

The Ukraine international also showcased his skills in the Champions League group stage by registering three goals and two assists in the competition.

According to Calciomercato, Edu has recently sent Shakhtar Donetsk a £52.3m bid and negotiations between the two clubs are now at a decisive stage.

While the likes of Juventus and Real Madrid have also been linked with Mudryk, he has done little to play down the connections with Arsenal. 

“Yes yes, it’s hard to say but Arsenal is a very good team,” the 21-year-old said when asked if there was one club in particular he’d like to play for. “Very good coach, I like the way they play.”

Marcus Thuram

After Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette both left the Emirates, Arsenal spent £45m to sign Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City.

Jesus, who is renowned for his tenacious work rate and selfless nature, has helped transform Arsenal’s attack with his impressive performances and he has seven assists to his name so far this season.

But he’s not a prolific goalscorer and the Brazil international has failed to find the back of the net in any of his last 11 appearances for the Gunners.

If they want to win the Premier League, Arsenal might also need a striker with a killer instinct in front of goal and they’ve reportedly been looking at Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram.

Thuram – son of France legend Lilian – has 13 goals in 17 appearances in all competitions this season, including strikes against Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

The 25-year-old could be available for as little as £25m in January as he’s the third player on this list who is out of contract at the end of the 2022/23 season.

According to Milanlive, Arsenal are leading contenders to sign Thuram on the cheap but AC Milan, Aston Villa and Atletico Madrid are also in the hunt.

READ MORE: Ranking the 17 Brazilian transfers Arsenal have made in the Premier League era: Gilberto, Santos…

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