The January transfer window is an opportunity for Arsenal to assess their squad and react to any shortcomings which have emerged throughout the course of the season. This in addition to the African Cup of Nations, which will see four players leave the group, is likely to cause action.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny are all set to leave the club to join up with their respective nations. It is the latter pair that draw much concern thinning the Arsenal midfield considerably.
With Granit Xhaka suffering from a long-term knee injury, it could leave the Gunners with just Sambi Lokonga and Ainsley Maitland-Niles as the senior available options.
Therefore it has been unsurprising for Arsenal to be linked with a number of players who could reinforce Mikel Arteta’s roster this winter.
In particular, has been Xhaka’s international colleague Denis Zakaria. The 24-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season but Borussia Monchengladbach could be tempted into parting with the player this January in order to avoid losing an asset on a free deal.
Valued at £24.3m according to Transfermarkt, it is likely that the Gunners would pay a lesser fee considering the length of time remaining on Zakaria’s contract.
However, a recent twist in this transfer story could see Arsenal benefit further and obtain the midfielder on an even smaller fee.
Gladbach are reported to be interested in signing Gunners striker Eddie Nketiah. The England youth goalscoring record holder is also out of contract in the summer and has so far not signed a renewal.
Mikel Arteta has spoken of his desire to see Nketiah stay at the club but there appear no signs of this occurring.
“I am happy to have him in the team. He is our player and I consider him and regard him really highly, and from my side I want him to stay,” Arteta explained after the 2-0 win.
Therefore, Arsenal may use this link to their advantage. Gladbach sit ninth in the Bundesliga table but are the second-lowest scorers in the top eleven sides.
The available attackers only have 8 goals between them. Lars Stindl (3) Breel Embolo (3) and Alassane Plea (2) have failed to become consistent converters leading to the apparent interest in Nketiah.
The 22-year-old has scored in both his League Cup appearances including a brilliant technically created goal versus Leeds United in the fourth round.
With both Arsenal and Monchengladbach having an interest in one another’s players, it would make sense for the sides to come to an agreement if personal terms between Nketiah, Zakaria and the clubs can be found.
This could save Arsenal a considerable investment this winter and in turn move off a surplus player from their books and avoid losing Nketiah for nothing in the summer.
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Source by Football London