The January transfer window is approaching in less than a fortnight, and Arsenal are facing huge injury issues in midfield. No less than EIGHT first-team regulars including Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott sat out the 2-2 draw at Anfield yesterday through injury.
In a panic move, manager Arsene Wenger has even recalled Francis Coquelin from his loan at Charlton Athletic. But, the Frenchman knows that to address the situation for the long-term and ensure a strong finish to the campaign, he needs to get in some proven and experienced talent in the middle of the park.
There have been lots of players Arsenal have been linked over the past couple of months. Here, we take a look at three midfielders Arsenal must look to sign in January:
1) Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton):
There were lots of rumours in the summer about a possible move for Schneiderlin to Tottenham. The Frenchman was reportedly keen on joining the mass exodus from St. Mary’s which saw the likes of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Luke Shaw all leave The Saints for pastures new. Schneiderlin though, agreed to stay, and has only enhanced his reputation in the footballing world by having a stellar campaign so far. Many believe the box-to-box midfielder is a perfect fit for Arsenal. He is a fantastic tackler and passer of the ball, and also has the eye for an odd goal. Tried and tested in the Premier League, Schneiderlin has been at Southampton since 2008 and has feature in nearly every game since their promotion to the top-flight in 2012.
It is though, unlikely that Southampton will let him go after seeing so many major players exit last summer. The Saints are also currently ahead of Arsenal in the Premier League table, and Schneiderlin may see fit to stay, at least for the moment.
2) Christoph Kramer (Bayer Leverkusen/on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach)
The German has been in the news recently over a possible move to Arsenal in January, with Wenger believed to be looking at the possibility of a £20 million move. The 23 year-old has been very impressive on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach this season, and has a style of play similar to that of Schneiderlin. Parent club Bayer Leverkusen though, are reportedly not willing to sell Kramer for anything lesser than £25 million. For a player who is yet not proven in the Premier League, that is a sizeable amount to pay, but the talented youngster may be someone Wenger is willing to take a gamble on.
3) Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United)
The French midfielder is an absolute powerhouse and is sure to be courted by several Premier League clubs in January. Even though Sissoko revealed yesterday that no offer has been received yet and that it was unlikely that he would leave St. James’ Park next month, he wasn’t shy in expressing his love for Arsenal. Like Schneiderlin, the Magpie would be a perfect fit for the Gunners’ midfield and would add the physicality and tenacity that the team is so clearly lacking at the moment.
It is imperative for Wenger to bring in at least one of these names to the Emirates in January. After such widespread rumours, if he fails to spend money and address Arsenal’s injury issues, the already-irate fans will turn on him even more. Arsenal are currently 6th in the league table and are under the threat of failing to finish in the top 4 for the first time since Wenger took over in 1996. A strong second half to the season is needed, but with the ever-growing injury list, there are reinforcements that need to be urgently brought in.