Norwich City

3 cheap midfielders to target in January


Arsenal: 3 alternative midfielders to target in January on cheaper deals to help fund signing of a centre-forward. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Arsenal midfielders are disappearing in their droves. Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny have jetted off to AFCON, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been shipped to Roma.

An already light position then entered zero gravity with Granit Xhaka getting sent off in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Liverpool, a game Arsenal held on to draw 0-0 in.

The midfield area has been one that has been tagged for improvement sooner rather than later, even before the recent issues that have arisen. January is, however, always a difficult time to conduct deals as clubs are loath to let go of their players in mid-season for a variety of reasons.

Arsenal’s showing against Nottingham Forest drives home the point that Arsenal have no choice but to move this window for midfield reinforcements.

3 cheaper midfielders for Arsenal to target in January on cheaper deals to help fund signing of a centre-forward

So far this month a few names have cropped up. The most prevalent one of all is that of Arthur Melo, the Juventus man who has been seemingly on the cusp of a loan move to north London for a number of days.

It’s believed that the Italian side are keen to secure a replacement before they sanction the deal, and if secured they will allow the Brazilian to join until the end of the season with the Gunners covering his entire salary.

Fellow Brazilians Danilo and Bruno Guimaraes have been mentioned – there appears to be a trend here – but as of yet those moves look more likely in the summer.

While Arsenal have been woe to fall into the trap of short-term thinking that has led to expensive and wasteful signings in the past, their hands are somewhat tied. They need to strengthen now as well as for the future, but finding both might prove difficult given the urgency of the situation.

With all in mind, including quick fixes and longer ones, here are three midfield signings that Arsenal could pursue this month that wouldn’t break the bank.

PARIS, FRANCE – DECEMBER 07: Georginio Wijnaldum of Paris Saint-Germain during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Paris Saint-Germain and Club Brugge KV at Parc des Princes on December 7, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

1. Georginio Wijnaldum – PSG

Georginio Wijnaldum was Jurgen Klopp’s ideal player. Gifted with a relentless engine and an impressive passing range, the Dutchman was an all-round midfielder. He could sit back and defend before nipping in and bursting forward. He could slip in Liverpool’s lethal attackers with delicate passes.

He even chipped in with crucial goals and assists.

Since moving to PSG on a free transfer, game time has been hard to come by, with Wijnaldum finding himself on the bench more often than he would like. This is not an indictment on his talent as player, rather it speaks volumes of PSG’s exceptional (and expensive) depth of talent. Should Wijnaldum be open to a move to Arsenal – reports open up the possibility of a loan – they should be keeping an eye on a loan deal for the midfielder.

Importantly, he knows what it is like to play in the Premier League and would not need time to adapt. A loan deal would ensure that Arsenal needn’t splash the cash in case the deal does not work as expected, and can put off their main targets until the summer as initially planned.

Wijnaldum has a point to prove in Paris, and the eventual return to PSG may see him play with additional focus and an desire as he attempts to convince Mauricio Pochettino to give him the starting berth.

Add his on-field strengths (finally some mobility) with his dogged work rate and winning mentality developed after years of working with Klopp and you have a smart loan deal for a solid midfielder.

Continued on next page…

Arsenal: 3 alternative midfielders to target in January on cheaper deals to help fund signing of a centre-forward. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Arsenal midfielders are disappearing in their droves. Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny have jetted off to AFCON, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been shipped to Roma.

An already light position then entered zero gravity with Granit Xhaka getting sent off in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Liverpool, a game Arsenal held on to draw 0-0 in.

The midfield area has been one that has been tagged for improvement sooner rather than later, even before the recent issues that have arisen. January is, however, always a difficult time to conduct deals as clubs are loath to let go of their players in mid-season for a variety of reasons.

Arsenal’s showing against Nottingham Forest drives home the point that Arsenal have no choice but to move this window for midfield reinforcements.

3 cheaper midfielders for Arsenal to target in January on cheaper deals to help fund signing of a centre-forward

So far this month a few names have cropped up. The most prevalent one of all is that of Arthur Melo, the Juventus man who has been seemingly on the cusp of a loan move to north London for a number of days.

It’s believed that the Italian side are keen to secure a replacement before they sanction the deal, and if secured they will allow the Brazilian to join until the end of the season with the Gunners covering his entire salary.

Fellow Brazilians Danilo and Bruno Guimaraes have been mentioned – there appears to be a trend here – but as of yet those moves look more likely in the summer.

While Arsenal have been woe to fall into the trap of short-term thinking that has led to expensive and wasteful signings in the past, their hands are somewhat tied. They need to strengthen now as well as for the future, but finding both might prove difficult given the urgency of the situation.

With all in mind, including quick fixes and longer ones, here are three midfield signings that Arsenal could pursue this month that wouldn’t break the bank.

PARIS, FRANCE – DECEMBER 07: Georginio Wijnaldum of Paris Saint-Germain during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Paris Saint-Germain and Club Brugge KV at Parc des Princes on December 7, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

1. Georginio Wijnaldum – PSG

Georginio Wijnaldum was Jurgen Klopp’s ideal player. Gifted with a relentless engine and an impressive passing range, the Dutchman was an all-round midfielder. He could sit back and defend before nipping in and bursting forward. He could slip in Liverpool’s lethal attackers with delicate passes.

He even chipped in with crucial goals and assists.

Since moving to PSG on a free transfer, game time has been hard to come by, with Wijnaldum finding himself on the bench more often than he would like. This is not an indictment on his talent as player, rather it speaks volumes of PSG’s exceptional (and expensive) depth of talent. Should Wijnaldum be open to a move to Arsenal – reports open up the possibility of a loan – they should be keeping an eye on a loan deal for the midfielder.

Importantly, he knows what it is like to play in the Premier League and would not need time to adapt. A loan deal would ensure that Arsenal needn’t splash the cash in case the deal does not work as expected, and can put off their main targets until the summer as initially planned.

Wijnaldum has a point to prove in Paris, and the eventual return to PSG may see him play with additional focus and an desire as he attempts to convince Mauricio Pochettino to give him the starting berth.

Add his on-field strengths (finally some mobility) with his dogged work rate and winning mentality developed after years of working with Klopp and you have a smart loan deal for a solid midfielder.

Continued on next page…

NORWICH, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 20: Todd Cantwell of Norwich City looks on during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Southampton at Carrow Road on November 20, 2021 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)

2. Todd Cantwell – PSG

Todd Cantwell was impressive a couple of seasons ago with Norwich fighting for survival in the league. Along with Emi Buendia, his name was on everyone’s lips as established sides discussed who they might get on the cheap when Norwich went down. Liverpool in particular were heavily linked.

While it was unsurprising that the Canaries went down, it is surprising that Cantwell is still there.

He seems to have fallen out of favor with Daniel Farke. Although the club is now working under Dean Smith, he still can’t find game time. Injuries and purported illness have played a role in his drop down the pecking order. Yet regardless of the exact reason, speculation about his future with the club has increased.

Still only 23, the midfielder would certainly be a gamble. Primarily because he’s often found playing in more advanced positions or out wide. A natural central midfielder, he is not. However, he has operated in those areas before and his fleet-footedness and vision mean he has the potential to develop into a No. 8 long-term.

Out of contract in the summer, albeit with an optional 12 month extension on his deal, Norwich are said to be looking for around £15m. Turning 24 years old in February, there is still a lot to come from Cantwell.

Not a top drawer player by any means he also may not have the pedigree of a title challenger. Yet. However, as an inexpensive signing that could come straight in and improve the mobility of the midfield with the addition of goals assists, he could work. There would need to be some bedding in time and tactical work on a player who struggles with that side of the game, but when on song he is a hugely talented and versatile option.

Wijnaldum wasn’t a world beater at Newcastle but become an integral cog for an astonishing Liverpool side. Maybe it’s time for Arsenal to roll the dice on midfielders already adapted to the league.

Continued on next page…

WOLFSBURG, GERMANY – OCTOBER 02: Denis Zakaria of Gladbach celebrates scoring his tea’s first goal during the Bundesliga match between VfL Wolfsburg and Borussia Mönchengladbach at Volkswagen Arena on October 02, 2021 in Wolfsburg, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

3. Denis Zakaria

Denis Zakaria is a midfielder that has seems to have been linked to Arsenal every window since the dawn of time. His current contract situation, however, means that the London club should certainly attempt to get his signature this month.

The midfielder’s deal expires this at the end of the season. While Arsenal could certainly wait until the summer to secure him for free, there would undoubtedly be more competition for the impressive player. Paying a transfer fee – said to be a measly £5m – to get him now would be an intelligent move. It would obviously be more expensive than waiting, but with the risk of that happening, Borussia Monchengladbach want him to leave this window and that’s courted widespread attention.

On the field, Zakaria would revolutionize Arsenal in the center of the park. He offers a combination of physicality and technical proficiency that hasn’t been seen in north London for many a year. His strength on the ball belies his ability to tackle both strongly and elegantly, and this unique skillset will allow him to adapt quickly to the pace of the Premier League.

This list of midfielders are all relatively cheap. All of them also seem to be on the way out, ensuring that their transfers are possible and can be completed fairly quickly. With the exception of Wijnaldum, these midfielders would improve Arsenal both in the short-term as well as in the seasons ahead. Cantwell and Zakaria, meanwhile, would provide less experienced options who still have time before they hit their prime years.

Next:Does Vlahovic want to join Arsenal?

What is absolutely certain is that Arsenal would be wise to bring in some solid options this window to truly push for top four spot. They can’t run the risk of having so few options.

>


Page 2

NORWICH, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 20: Todd Cantwell of Norwich City looks on during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Southampton at Carrow Road on November 20, 2021 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)

Todd Cantwell was impressive a couple of seasons ago with Norwich fighting for survival in the league. Along with Emi Buendia, his name was on everyone’s lips as established sides discussed who they might get on the cheap when Norwich went down. Liverpool in particular were heavily linked.

While it was unsurprising that the Canaries went down, it is surprising that Cantwell is still there.

He seems to have fallen out of favor with Daniel Farke. Although the club is now working under Dean Smith, he still can’t find game time. Injuries and purported illness have played a role in his drop down the pecking order. Yet regardless of the exact reason, speculation about his future with the club has increased.

Still only 23, the midfielder would certainly be a gamble. Primarily because he’s often found playing in more advanced positions or out wide. A natural central midfielder, he is not. However, he has operated in those areas before and his fleet-footedness and vision mean he has the potential to develop into a No. 8 long-term.

Out of contract in the summer, albeit with an optional 12 month extension on his deal, Norwich are said to be looking for around £15m. Turning 24 years old in February, there is still a lot to come from Cantwell.

Not a top drawer player by any means he also may not have the pedigree of a title challenger. Yet. However, as an inexpensive signing that could come straight in and improve the mobility of the midfield with the addition of goals assists, he could work. There would need to be some bedding in time and tactical work on a player who struggles with that side of the game, but when on song he is a hugely talented and versatile option.

Wijnaldum wasn’t a world beater at Newcastle but become an integral cog for an astonishing Liverpool side. Maybe it’s time for Arsenal to roll the dice on midfielders already adapted to the league.

Continued on next page…

Arsenal: 3 alternative midfielders to target in January on cheaper deals to help fund signing of a centre-forward. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Arsenal midfielders are disappearing in their droves. Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny have jetted off to AFCON, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been shipped to Roma.

An already light position then entered zero gravity with Granit Xhaka getting sent off in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Liverpool, a game Arsenal held on to draw 0-0 in.

The midfield area has been one that has been tagged for improvement sooner rather than later, even before the recent issues that have arisen. January is, however, always a difficult time to conduct deals as clubs are loath to let go of their players in mid-season for a variety of reasons.

Arsenal’s showing against Nottingham Forest drives home the point that Arsenal have no choice but to move this window for midfield reinforcements.

3 cheaper midfielders for Arsenal to target in January on cheaper deals to help fund signing of a centre-forward

So far this month a few names have cropped up. The most prevalent one of all is that of Arthur Melo, the Juventus man who has been seemingly on the cusp of a loan move to north London for a number of days.

It’s believed that the Italian side are keen to secure a replacement before they sanction the deal, and if secured they will allow the Brazilian to join until the end of the season with the Gunners covering his entire salary.

Fellow Brazilians Danilo and Bruno Guimaraes have been mentioned – there appears to be a trend here – but as of yet those moves look more likely in the summer.

While Arsenal have been woe to fall into the trap of short-term thinking that has led to expensive and wasteful signings in the past, their hands are somewhat tied. They need strengthen now as well as for the future, but finding both might prove difficult given the urgency of the situation.

With all in mind, including quick fixes and longer ones, here are three midfield signings that Arsenal could pursue this month that wouldn’t break the bank.

PARIS, FRANCE – DECEMBER 07: Georginio Wijnaldum of Paris Saint-Germain during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Paris Saint-Germain and Club Brugge KV at Parc des Princes on December 7, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

1. Georginio Wijnaldum – PSG

Georginio Wijnaldum was Jurgen Klopp’s ideal player. Gifted with a relentless engine and an impressive passing range, the Dutchman was an all-round midfielder. He could sit back and defend before nipping in and bursting forward. He could slip in Liverpool’s lethal attackers with delicate passes.

He even chipped in with crucial goals and assists.

Since moving to PSG on a free transfer, game time has been hard to come by, with Wijnaldum finding himself on the bench more often than he would like. This is not an indictment on his talent as player, rather it speaks volumes of PSG’s exceptional (and expensive) depth of talent. Should Wijnaldum be open to a move to Arsenal – reports open up the possibility of a loan – they should be keeping an eye on a loan deal for the midfielder.

Importantly, he knows what it is like to play in the Premier League and would not need time to adapt. A loan deal would ensure that Arsenal needn’t splash the cash in case the deal does not work as expected, and can put off their main targets until the summer as initially planned.

Wijnaldum has a point to prove in Paris, and the eventual return to PSG may see him play with additional focus and an desire as he attempts to convince Mauricio Pochettino to give him the starting berth.

Add his on-field strengths (finally some mobility) with his dogged work rate and winning mentality developed after years of working with Klopp and you have a smart loan deal for a solid midfielder.

Continued on next page…

NORWICH, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 20: Todd Cantwell of Norwich City looks on during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Southampton at Carrow Road on November 20, 2021 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)

2. Todd Cantwell – PSG

Todd Cantwell was impressive a couple of seasons ago with Norwich fighting for survival in the league. Along with Emi Buendia, his name was on everyone’s lips as established sides discussed who they might get on the cheap when Norwich went down. Liverpool in particular were heavily linked.

While it was unsurprising that the Canaries went down, it is surprising that Cantwell is still there.

He seems to have fallen out of favor with Daniel Farke. Although the club is now working under Dean Smith, he still can’t find game time. Injuries and purported illness have played a role in his drop down the pecking order. Yet regardless of the exact reason, speculation about his future with the club has increased.

Still only 23, the midfielder would certainly be a gamble. Primarily because he’s often found playing in more advanced positions or out wide. A natural central midfielder, he is not. However, he has operated in those areas before and his fleet-footedness and vision mean he has the potential to develop into a No. 8 long-term.

Out of contract in the summer, albeit with an optional 12 month extension on his deal, Norwich are said to be looking for around £15m. Turning 24 years old in February, there is still a lot to come from Cantwell.

Not a top drawer player by any means he also may not have the pedigree of a title challenger. Yet. However, as an inexpensive signing that could come straight in and improve the mobility of the midfield with the addition of goals assists, he could work. There would need to be some bedding in time and tactical work on a player who struggles with that side of the game, but when on song he is a hugely talented and versatile option.

Wijnaldum wasn’t a world beater at Newcastle but become an integral cog for an astonishing Liverpool side. Maybe it’s time for Arsenal to roll the dice on midfielders already adapted to the league.

Continued on next page…

WOLFSBURG, GERMANY – OCTOBER 02: Denis Zakaria of Gladbach celebrates scoring his tea’s first goal during the Bundesliga match between VfL Wolfsburg and Borussia Mönchengladbach at Volkswagen Arena on October 02, 2021 in Wolfsburg, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

3. Denis Zakaria

Denis Zakaria is a midfielder that has seems to have been linked to Arsenal every window since the dawn of time. His current contract situation, however, means that the London club should certainly attempt to get his signature this month.

The midfielder’s deal expires this at the end of the season. While Arsenal could certainly wait until the summer to secure him for free, there would undoubtedly be more competition for the impressive player. Paying a transfer fee – said to be a measly £5m – to get him now would be an intelligent move. It would obviously be more expensive than waiting, but with the risk of that happening, Borussia Monchengladbach want him to leave this window and that’s courted widespread attention.

On the field, Zakaria would revolutionize Arsenal in the center of the park. He offers a combination of physicality and technical proficiency that hasn’t been seen in north London for many a year. His strength on the ball belies his ability to tackle both strongly and elegantly, and this unique skillset will allow him to adapt quickly to the pace of the Premier League.

This list of midfielders are all relatively cheap. All of them also seem to be on the way out, ensuring that their transfers are possible and can be completed fairly quickly. With the exception of Wijnaldum, these midfielders would improve Arsenal both in the short-term as well as in the seasons ahead. Cantwell and Zakaria, meanwhile, would provide less experienced options who still have time before they hit their prime years.

Next:Does Vlahovic want to join Arsenal?

What is absolutely certain is that Arsenal would be wise to bring in some solid options this window to truly push for top four spot. They can’t run the risk of having so few options.

>

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