Arsenal’s 1-1 away draw against Southampton on October 23 was a reminder that the Premier League season is long and winding, and a lot of football is still left to play. It also reminded fans that Mike Arteta’s team isn’t the finished article, as the manager eyes up additional players for the January transfer market.

Arteta must navigate the FIFA World Cup 2022 break in November and December, as players will jet off to the tournament in Qatar. Fans are debating which team will win the tournament and the latest World Cup 2022 odds suggests Arsenal’s Brazilian players may lift the trophy in December.

The Gunners have five players in their sights with the midfield being the key area Arteta wants to address. Arteta and sporting director Edu have already shortlisted several players for the winter transfer market and could splash for the missing piece to a potential title-winning season.

Youri Tielemans – Leicester City

Tielemans has been Arteta’s top midfield option for some time. However, a deal didn’t occur in the summer. Tielemans is out of contract in the summer. He can move abroad for free by signing a pre-contract in January, but Arsenal could swoop in and sign the midfielder at a cut-price deal.

Naby Keita – Liverpool

Keita is an alternative to Arteta’s preferred choice of Tielemans. The Liverpool midfielder arrived at Anfield for £53m but has never nailed down a starting role at the club. Injuries have plagued Keita since arriving from RB Leipzig and he hasn’t played a minute in the Premier League in 2022-23 after 11 matches. Quality and creativity are present with Keita, it is just a matter of keeping him fit. Keita is also out of contract in the summer.

Evan Ndicka – Eintracht Frankfurt

Ndicka is an impressive 23-year-old French defender plying his trade with Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt. The centre-back was a part of Frankfurt’s brilliant Europa League winning campaign in 2021-22. Ndicka is out of contract in the summer of 2023. He looks set to leave on a free transfer unless Arsenal can snap him up in January.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic – Lazio

Milinkovic-Savic will have 18 months left on his Lazio contract by the time the winter transfer window opens. The midfielder has been linked with a move to the Premier League for the last five years, with Manchester United often the team cited as signing him. Milinkovic-Savic has been ever-present in Lazio’s team this season, as the Italians make a push for the Serie A title. Lazio are in a Serie A title race ahead of the World Cup break. If the Biancocelesti are still battling for the Scudetto, it is unlikely Lazio will sell their £54m-rated midfielder in January.

Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace

Palace have a big decision to make in January. Do they sell one of their greatest players of all time to a London rival or let him leave for free in July? Zaha is playing brilliantly for a Crystal Palace team with expectations of fighting for European qualification. Patrick Vieira will want to keep Zaha but the time could be right for Zaha to leave. He is older, wiser, and more headstrong than during a brief spell with Man United in 2013. Arsenal were linked with Zaha previously, but no deal occurred. He could finally make the move to north London.