With just one week left of the January transfer window which slams shut on Monday 31st January the pressure is mounting on teams to get their deals done.
Every manager at every major club has a transfer wish list to work through and will be scrambling to tick off the names at the top of that list in the coming days.
The clock is against managers and with the board, agents and players all to deal with, it is a testing time. Bosses are eager to get the big deals done early and concentrate on upcoming matches.
Arteta must be bold
That is the case for Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta who knows deals done over the next few days could prove to be the difference between making it to the UEFA Champions League next season and missing out on a top four finish. A title challenge is dead for the Gunners this season with Man City and Liverpool left to battle it out, but Arsenal have another fight on their hands. They are involved in a five-way battle to fill the fourth place.
Money spent in January would be seen as an investment if it ensures Arsenal return to the riches of the Champions League but which areas do the team need to strengthen and which names are in the frame?
It promises to be an interesting few days for followers of the Gunners and fans can ramp up their excitement levels by betting on the January transfer window. You can wager on a player signing for Arsenal with some eye-catching names and odds on offer. Check out the newly licensed bookmaker recommendations to ensure you get the best odds
A check on Arsenal’s stats so far this season shows they are just two points behind Manchester United in fourth and have a game in hand over the Red Devils after 21 appearances. The Gunners have scored 33 goals which is the lowest number of any team in the top six. Arsenal have found the next fewer times than Leicester City who are currently stuck down in the middle of the table.
Creativity is needed and that’s something former midfielder Arteta will appreciate. There has been no shortage of names linked with a move to the Emirates but two players who are continually being brought up are Arthur Melo and Renato Sanches. The head coach would like strength in depth and would love to add both men to his player pool but a single midfield signing is seen as more likely.
All the talk recently has focussed on the need to strengthen the Arsenal attack but the pressure is also on to defend what they already have with some big name teams showing an interest in their best and brightest, including forward Aubameyang. The striker may be on his way out if a contract extension can’t be agreed and the club may look to sell him on in January rather than risk losing him on a free later down the line.
In terms of reinforcements for the attack, one name that refuses to go away is Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic. Arsenal are favourites in the race to sign the Serbian scorer but Italian Serie A giants Juventus could be about to crash the deal with a late bid. An offer of cash plus Swedish international striker Dejan Kulusevski is expected to come from Juventus as the Old Lady bid to improve their own chances of making it into next season’s Champions League by climbing the table.
Similar to the Aubameyang situation in London, Vlahovic’s contract is running down and his employers will be growing nervous. They can’t afford to lose their man on a free in 12 months time so will want to either tie him down to a longer contract or sell him now while interest is high. If Juventus and Arsenal get dragged into a bidding war, all the better for Fiorentina who could end up with a tidy profit. They will want to sort the deal out sooner rather than later, giving themselves enough time to re-invest that windfall in a replacement for their out-going striker.