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Arsenal's transfer window: Mudryk, Felix and the players Arteta needs to sign in January

8:00 AM GMT 09/01/2023
Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2022-23 HIC 16:9
Arsenal may be top of the Premier League but it's clear that they will need reinforcements if they are to sustain their title challenge.

Arsenal’s strength in depth has been the topic of much discussion since Tuesday's 0-0 draw with Newcastle.

Mikel Arteta looked to try change the game as it wore on but his options were very limited, so much so that his only substitution saw him bring on Takehiro Tomiyasu for Ben White at right-back.

The Arsenal manager has stated that the club is active in the transfer market and their attempts to bring in winger Mykhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk are now common knowledge.

But just how shallow is Arsenal’s pool of players and where are reinforcements most required? 

GOAL takes a look below and ranks each area in terms of importance...

  • Ben White Arsenal 2022-23

    Full-back

    This is an area where Arsenal are very well stocked. Indeed, that there is a chance that they could even let one full-back leave.

    Cedric Soares is wanted by several clubs, including Fulham, and has made just two substitute appearances in the league this season due to the number of options Arteta has available to him.

    White has made the right-back spot his own since the start of the campaign, while Takehiro Tomiyasu represents an excellent alternative.

    Arsenal then have Oleksandr Zinchenko and Kieran Tierney competing for the left-back spot, with Tomiyasu also more than capable of filling in there as well if needed – as he has already demonstrated this season.

    So, full-back is not a position that needs to be prioritised right now, even if Cedric is allowed to move on.

  • Aaron Ramsdale Arsenal 2022-23

    Goalkeeper

    Arsenal also have plenty of depth here, so there is no need for the club to go looking for a goalkeeper this month.

    Aaron Ramsdale is the undoubted No.1 and is enjoying a fine season, while summer signing Matt Turney has proven himself to be a more than adequate understudy, both in terms of his performances in the Europa League and during the World Cup with the United States.

    Third-choice Karl Hein is an impressive young shot-stopper, while talented 21-year-old Arthur Okonkwo is out on loan at Crewe Alexandra.

  • Martin Odegaard Arsenal 2022-23

    Attacking midfield 

    Arsenal spent £34 million ($41m) on Fabio Vieira last summer, so they will not be investing in another attacking midfielder in January.

    Vieira is still adapting to a new club and country, but has shown in flashes why Arsenal invested so heavily in the former Porto ace.

    Captain Martin Odegaard, meanwhile, is having a superb campaign, while Granit Xhaka continues to write his own redemption story having been asked to play in a more advanced role by Mikel Arteta.

    And with Emile Smith Rowe about to finally return after his long-term injury, there is no pressing need for Arsenal to bring in another attacking midfielder.

  • William Saliba Arsenal 2022-23

    Centre-back

    Arsenal have an exceptional centre-back pairing in Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba.

    Mikel Arteta also has Rob Holding to call upon if needed, with the former Bolton man still an integral part of the Spaniard’s squad.

    And there is, of course, White, who it’s easy to forget is actually a centre-back by trade – despite his superb performances on the right side of the back four this season.

    Looking to the long-term, Arteta will be hoping to add another left-sided centre-back option to his squad to provide natural cover for Gabriel, but it’s unlikely that Arsenal will try to do anything in that position before the close of the winter window.

    Indeed, with those four strong centre-back options already at the club, and Tomiyasu capable of providing further cover if required, Edu will be prioritising other positions.

  • Youri Tielemans Leicester 2022-23

    Central midfield

    The fact that Arsenal ended the summer transfer window pushing to sign Douglas Luiz from Aston Villa shows that the centre of midfield is an area lacking depth.

    Arsenal did have injuries to Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny at the time, which made the need for immediate reinforcements stronger, but it’s still a position that is being looked at.

    Youri Tielemans is a long-term target and Arsenal could decide to test the waters at Leicester City with an offer for the Belgian this month, given he only has six months left on his deal.

    But so far they have resisted the urge to move Tielemans, while the Gunners have also opted against firming up their interest in Danilo at Palmeiras, for not at least.

    Partey is absolute essential for Arsenal’s success and if he can remain fit, then the league leaders should have enough to get them through to the end of the season, with Xhaka, Elneny and Sambi Lokonga also at the club.

    But Partey’s injury record since moving to Arsenal does not inspire great confidence and should something happen to the Ghana international, it would have a massive impact on the Gunners’ title chances.

  • Joao Felix

    Centre forward

    Gabriel Jesus’ injury makes this more of a priority.

    It’s not clear exactly how long the Brazilian will be out for, but he is still wearing a knee brace following his operation, so his return still feels some way off.

    That leaves Eddie Nketiah as Arsenal’s only striker. Is that enough to sustain a title charge, or even secure a top-four finish?

    One injury to Nketiah, or a setback in Jesus’ recovery, would leave Arsenal woefully short of options through the middle.

    That is perhaps why Joao Felix is being considered, with the Portugal international currently being offered around a number of clubs as he looks to secure a move away from Atletico Madrid this month.

    Whether Arsenal opt to actually make a firm move for the 23-year-old remains to be seen, but you can see why he would be of interest – especially on loan.

    Felix may not be an out-and-out central striker, but he has very similar traits to Jesus and could prove to be a very useful addition, should the Gunners try and get a deal done.

  • Mudryk-2022-23

    Winger

    There’s no doubt Arsenal need to improve in this department.

    Wingers are so important in Arteta’s system and, as it stands, he has very little choice but to start Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli each week.

    He needs another top-quality option so that he can rest one of his main men if needed, and give him someone who can come off the bench and change a game.

    Mudryk certainly ticks those boxes, so it’s no surprise to see Arsenal pushing so hard to try and prize the 21-year-old away from Shakhtar Donetsk. 

    The Ukrainian could make a huge difference over the second half of the season and is just the sort of player Arteta needs.