Two players Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta should target in January
Arsenal have announced the appointment of Mikel Arteta as their new manager, replacing interim manager Freddie Ljungberg. The former Manchester City assistant was unveiled on Friday evening after signing a three-and-a-half-year contract.
Ljungberg replaced Unai Emery after his poor start to the season and guided the Gunners to a single win against West Ham United. His last two outings were a draw against Standard Liege and loss to Manchester City, highlighting the need for a swift replacement.
Arteta, 37, has no experience as a head coach, having worked as an assistant to Guardiola at City the last few seasons. The Spaniard, who is the youngest manager in the Premier League at 37, faces a massive challenge in rebuilding Arsenal.
The north London giants have won just five of their 17 Premier League matches this season.
They currently sit in 10th place, seven points behind Chelsea and the last Champions League spot. He will watch Arsenal’s clash with Everton from the stands, with Ljungberg taking charge of the team for one last time.
With the January transfer window looming large, Arteta must look to bring in a couple of players to boost his squad. That being said, here are two players the new Gunners boss should target.
1. Merih Demiral (Juventus)
The first and foremost thing Arteta needs to do is bring about defensive organization and stability back to this Arsenal team.
The Gunners have leaked 27 goals in 17 games this season, which is simply not good enough for a team aspiring for a top-four finish. None of the club’s central defenders has performed consistently, with the backline clearly lacking leadership.
Thus, signing a new centre-back is an absolute must and Arteta should go for Juventus’ Merih Demiral, who has been linked with Arsenal this year. (h/t The Daily Mail)
Merih Demiral, 21, he has struggled to get in the Juventus side ahead of Leonardo Bonucci and Matthijs de Ligt this season. He has played just three league matches for the Italian champions, meaning he clearly isn’t getting regular game time at the Old Lady.
The Gunners should take advantage of the Turk’s situation at Juventus and attempt to sign him, as Demiral’s acquisition would add some much-needed solidity at the back.
2. Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid)
Apart from a lack of quality in defence, Arsenal are also currently lacking character and bite in the engine room.
Lucas Torreira has blown hot and cold this term, while Matteo Guendouzi’s form has tailed off. Granit Xhaka had a dispute with the club’s fans in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace in October and was stripped of the captaincy duties as a result.
The Swiss is in talks with Hertha BSC over a January move to the Bundesliga, as per the ESPN.
Keeping that in mind, the Gunners could do a great job by signing Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid.
Partey, 26, has made quite a name for himself in the La Liga over the last two seasons and he has become an integral part of Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side. He is a strong, aggressive, confident and versatile central midfielder, who can also play at right-back if required.
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In the Ghanaian, the North Londoners will finally have a midfield powerhouse and a straight upgrade on Xhaka. Just like Demiral, Partey has also been linked with Arsenal earlier this year. (h/t The Express)