Just as it seemed as if Arsenal were prepared to break their own club record transfer fee for Mykhailo Mudryk, fellow Londoners Chelsea hijacked the deal last week to bring the Ukrainian to Stamford Bridge.
The 21-year-old had been heavily linked with the league leaders following months of courtship, to which the now-ex-Shakhtar winger reciprocated on several occasions by uploading Arsenal related pictures and posts to social media.
However, Todd Boehly‘s bullish transfer negotiations proved to be enough to swing the transfer in their favour at the 11th hour as they bid £10m more than the Gunners’ final offer, along with a host of bonuses and add-ons to sweeten the deal.
This is certainly not the first time Arsenal have been unwilling to commit to a bidding war in recent years, with sporting director Edu and manager Mikel Arteta choosing to tread with caution when it comes to fresh acquisitions.
Nevertheless, the Premier League title hopefuls remain active in the window according to Arteta, and bolstering their squad depth may well prove to be a necessity if they are to remain at the summit of the table.
With this in mind, we are looking at four alternatives to Mykhailo Mudryk that Arsenal may realistically consider in this current window.
Arsenal Mudryk Alternatives
Proven Premier League experience must not be underestimated, and when you consider Chelsea paid £88.5m for Mudryk who has little over 40 professional appearances in the Ukrainian league, this first alternative could be an attractive choice.
Leandro Trossard has made no secret of his desire to leave the south coast after falling out with new Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi, and his agent confirmed the next step will be to look for a new potential suitor.
BREAKING 🚨: Leandro Trossard’s representatives have issued a statement saying the Belgian wants to leave Brighton pic.twitter.com/yUcdbcimwI
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 13, 2023
The 28-year-old has been a solid performer since joining from Genk in 2019, but he has shone for seventh-placed Brighton this season clocking in with 10 goal involvements in 16 appearances so far, and presents a constant threat when cutting in from the left. He was particularly impressive when scoring a hat-trick away at Anfield in a chaotic 3-3 draw back in October, while he has chipped in with crucial goals against Manchester City and Chelsea.
Arsenal will have direct competition with, you guessed it, Chelsea, and a potential link-up with former manager Graham Potter could be a crucial factor in negotiations.
However, a reported fee of between £25m – £30m could make this an attractive prospect for Arsenal mid-way through the season.
Shortly after the news of Mudryk’s u-turn, Moussa Diaby was one of the immediate names thrown into the hat as a potential alternative, and it was revealed the Gunners have made initial contact over a deal.
The Bayer Leverkusen winger has been one of the most effective attackers in the Bundesliga this season having registered six goals and three assists, and his electric performances earned him a call-up to the French squad earlier in 2022.
Throughout his career, Moussa Diaby has an even split of playing time on the left and right. He's a quick fleet footed winger who can beat his man in tight spaces, shoot with either foot and he scores / assists. He would be interesting for #Arsenal. #afc pic.twitter.com/a8iGyzwkPz
— Adam Keys (@adamkeys_) January 17, 2023
The PSG youth product has been likened to Bukayo Saka, who himself would benefit from some much needed rotation, and has been praised for his perfect blend of flamboyance, pace and maturity at just 23-years-old. He undoubtedly fits the mould of Edu and Arteta’s vision for the club moving forward, but they will have to fork out near-enough as much as they were prepared to for Mudryk if they are to pry one of Leverkusen’s prized assets away in January.
Despite experiencing a drop in output this season, Villarreal’s Yeremy Pino has been on Arsenal’s radar for some time and his performances under ex-Gunners manager Unai Emery last season showcased why he is so highly regarded in Spain.
10 goal contributions in La Liga last term is a respectable return, but he has many desirable attributes that would make him a welcomed addition in North London this winter.
He is a live-wire on the ball and intensely direct when he in possession, mirroring the prickly, pacy playing style of Arsenal’s own Gabriel Martinelli. One statistic that stands out is his ability to push his team forward with an average of 5.86 progressive passes per 90, something that Arteta seemingly values highly with his current cohort of boisterous youngsters.
The Yellow Submarine have valued him at around £70m, although reports suggest they would consider a bid as low as £50m for the 20-year-old.
Although Ferran Torres only joined Barcelona this time last year, he has emerged as an eye-catching target for Edu who is already said to have made initial contact with the Catalan club.
The 22-year-old has featured sporadically under Xavi after making the £48m switch from Manchester City, and although the Barcelona legend has publicly expressed his admiration for Torres, the club’s financial woes could be a driving factor in negotiations as they look to trim down their extortionate wage bill.
🔴⚪️ | 🗣: Dan Bardell feels the Gunners should target Ferran Torres as their attacking option this window 🇪🇸 #AFC #COYG #FCB pic.twitter.com/QPyIlLlEpS
— Punch Drunk Arsenal (@PunchDrunkAFC) January 18, 2023
He has played just two full 90-minute games so far this season, registering five goals and one assists in 22 appearances. His talent is clear to see, he has proven Premier League experience under Pep Guardiola, and his killer instinct in front of goal could be a welcomed threat should he be given room to grow in a thriving young team.