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.
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. He is a keen player of the Football Manager series and creates Twitter accounts for his Fantasy Premier League team every year, before losing interest in his team every September.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.