Arsenal report: Mikel Arteta set to bring Gini Wijnaldum to the club in a shock loan deal in the coming days
Arsenal are losing Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny this month due to AFCON – but Premier League Gini Wijnaldum may arrive to plug a hole in the side
Arsenal are set to make the shock addition of Gini Wijnaldum to their AFCON-decimated midfield this month.
That's according to reports that claim the former Liverpool star is unsettled at Paris Saint-Germain and will look for a loan move away from the French capital, with the Gunners poised to pounce.
Mikel Arteta is this month going to lose Thomas Partey – who put in a man of the match performance against Manchester City on Saturday – along with his DM deputy, Mohamed Elneny. Both are set to compete in the Africa Cup of Nations, for Ghana and Egypt respectively.
With Ainsley Maitland-Niles expected to join Roma on loan this January and Albert Sambi Lokonga still extremely inexperienced, Arsenal will surely need to bring in at least one midfielder before they face Tottenham on January 16.
Wijnaldum is a good stylistic fit for many reasons – but also not the player needed for others.
The Dutchman excelled for Liverpool in a midfield three, showing technical security, strength and intelligence in the middle of the park. Wijnaldum was one of the key performers both in the Reds' Champions League and Premier League titles, with Jurgen Klopp trusting his no.5 implicitly – and relying on his ever-presence.
While Wijnaldum would be perfect to the left of Partey, offering more attacking thrust and better positional discipline than Granit Xhaka currently does in that position, this isn't the spot in midfield that Arteta is concerned about in the short-term. A back-up no.6 is required over the next month.
Other options for the Gunners include using Ben White or Calum Chambers in this position. White featured as a midfielder for Brighton, while Chambers was voted Fulham's player of the season in his loan spell at Craven Cottage, after playing in defensive midfield.
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.