It is clear that Arsenal need to strengthen their midfield and soon. Both Sambi Lokonga and Charlie Patino deputised against Nottingham Forest in the wake of Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka and Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ absences.
Forest won the match over Arsenal and looked fairly comfortable doing so despite the close scoreline. The midfield was crucially an area that was vulnerable and a big reason for the loss. Therefore, calls for the club to improve the position and add strength to the side have grown.
Arsenal have been a club to impress in the market of late, adding players who have improved the squad but challenged established starters for their positions. Aaron Ramsdale, Martin Odegaard, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Ben White are all regulars in the team having usurped players who consistently played last season.
Whilst Lokonga and Nuno Tavares also both have plenty of opportunities this season despite their young ages.
For Arsenal to take the next leap forward they will need to bring in some truly transformative figures. The midfield is an area that the club needs to see a greater progression of quality.
Linked with Bruno Guimaraes already, the Brazilian would certainly represent a significant step up in the level of quality from the existing options.
However, Arsenal have succeeded of late acquiring talent from rival Premier League teams. Ben White and Aaron Ramsdale have shown the success of buying league-ready talents.
Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans enters the final year of his contract at the end of the season and CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs has revealed in a conversation with The Gooner Talk that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is a big fan of the player.
“I do know that Arteta admires Tielemans so it is just one to watch to see if it gathers pace over the coming two or three weeks,” explained Jacobs.
Ben also confirmed that reported interest from Liverpool is wide of the mark, giving Arsenal even more incentive to push for a move.
“He was speculatively linked with Liverpool a few months back and there’s no truth in that whatsoever. Liverpool are not interested in him, no bid, not looking at him. Definitely not on their radar for January.
“But I don’t see Tielemans staying at Leicester and if they want a fee for him, somebody has the opportunity to come in for him in January with a big offer and try and wrestle him. He wants to stay in the Premier League.”
With Arsenal chasing a deal for the expensive Dusan Vlahovic, it would likely require them to switch investment plans to the midfield this winter if Arsenal did want to move for the Belgian.
However, Tielemans would represent a serious step in the right direction for the club’s middle third and would be recognised by Arsenal’s rivals as a move that signifies their intent to push for even higher places in the table.
It is a move Arsenal should certainly consider, but also understand a balance must be struck regarding their needs in the centre forward role too.