As the January transfer window draws to a close, Arsenal are facing mounting pressure to bolster their midfield.
Despite leading the Premier League by five points after a strong first half of the season, the Gunners are in need of additional cover, particularly with Mohamed Elneny currently out with a knee injury.
“We need some more cover in midfield ideally if we can,” said Manager Mikel Arteta ahead of the FA Cup game against Manchester City on Friday.
However, he acknowledges that finding the right fit in this market is a difficult task. “In this market it’s pretty complicated to do that,” he said. “The most important thing is that we get the performances and the time on the pitch that we need with the players we have available today that are already really good.”
One player that has been linked with a move to the Emirates is Real Sociedad’s 23-year-old Martin Zubimendi.
The Times has reported that Sociedad is demanding that any suitor meet the midfielder’s £53 million release clause.
This would make Zubimendi the third most expensive player in Arsenal’s history.
Despite this, Zubimendi’s former coach, Xabi Alonso, has praised the 23-year-old’s talent, calling him “a player all coaches would want.”
Alonso went on to say, “He’s generous, he always thinks more about his teammates than himself. He has that ability to generate play, to make those around him better, always offering solutions; to improve the move.”
Other potential targets for the club include Brighton’s Moises Caicedo and West Ham United’s Declan Rice, however, it appears that signing either of these players this month will be a difficult task.