Mikel Arteta and Edu’s four transfer deals may hint at surprise Arsenal signing in January


Arsenal are expected to be busy once again when the transfer window opens.

Just like manager Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu were in the summer as the Gunners spent £142m – the most of any Premier League side – to bolster the first-team squad with as many as six new signings.

Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Ben White, Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale and Takehiro Tomiyasu were all recruited in an attempt to ensure Arsenal are playing European football once again next season after missing out completely this year.

Therefore, since being appointed in December 2019, the Spaniard has now signed 14 players, whether it be a loan or permanent deal, although moves for the likes of Willian and Alex Runarsson haven’t quite worked out.

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But Arteta is expected to increase that number by at least one when the north London outfit are permitted to do business in the new year.

As reported by football.london, whilst Arsenal won’t have a lot of business to do in January, they are assessing the midfield options as the opening of the winter transfer window approaches.

Whilst most of Edu’s focus will be on getting players out of the club, with Sead Kolasinac and Eddie Nketiah among those who could leave, he may need to bring in a central midfielder.

With Thomas Partey and Elneny expected to join up with pre-tournament favourites Ghana and Egypt, respectively, in the Africa Cup of Nations, the pair could be gone for quite some time.

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Furthermore, as Granit Xhaka is not expected to be back in training until the start of 2021 following a serious knee injury, Arteta risks just having just two senior central midfield options at his disposal in Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Albert Sambi Lokonga for a busy period in the season.

Although after spending big in the summer, the question is, will the Gunners have enough funds to make any more permanent signings during the next transfer window?

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Director of Football Edu with new signing Ben White. (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Director of Football Edu with new signing Ben White. (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Well, the January window is known for providing a lifeline to managers and head coaches needing to address a major issue in their squad as Arteta and Edu can confirm, after experiencing as many as two of them together at the Emirates Stadium.

As a result, we’ve taken a look at the business the duo have done in the two previous January transfer windows alongside each other to see what it can tell us about what’s in store for Arsenal in the new year.

January 2020

In: Pablo Mari (loan), Cedric (loan)

A very quiet first transfer window for Arteta and Edu double act – at a time when Raul Sanllehi was still around – in terms of incomings as Arsenal bolstered their defensive options by signing Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares on loan.

January 2021

In: Mathew Ryan (loan), Martin Odegaard (loan)

Another quietish January window, but only in terms of incomings as there were a number of first-team players to leave either on loan or permanently, such as Mesut Ozil, Shkodran Mustafi and William Saliba.

Arsenal needed a back-up goalkeeper and a creative midfielder during this window. In Mathew Ryan and Odegaard, they got exactly what they wanted.

What it tells us?

The fact that Arsenal have made full use of the loan market in previous January transfer windows under Arteta and Edu may serve as a big clue over what they have planned for the new year.

History tells us that in January, Arteta has completed four deals for first-team players, all of which have been to fill a gap in the squad temporarily at first, so there could be a midfielder arriving in north London and on loan.

Furthermore, the identity of the midfielder could be kept under wraps until a deal is imminent.

Mikel Arteta and Edu are already working on Arsenal's January transfer plans (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Mikel Arteta and Edu are already working on Arsenal’s January transfer plans (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Aside from Odegaard, the other three deals somewhat came out of the blue. Not many had even heard of Pablo Mari before fans started tracking his flight from Brazil to London, Cedric was a surprise signing especially as a new right-back didn’t appear to be a priority at the time.

Meanwhile, the Ryan announcement caught many off guard.

So given this approach and the fact that Arteta has signed at least one player on loan during the two January transfer windows he has experienced, maybe Arsenal supporters can expect another surprise signing in 2022.

Furthermore, of the four deals, three have been made permanent. So perhaps a loan plus option to buy is the route Edu will go down again.

Source by Football London

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