Arsenal to sign Aouar or Partey – Arteta before Transfer Deadline
For Arsenal supporters, though, the window has seen slightly less eye-catching business yet arguably still quite effective. Gabriel Magalhaes and Willian will strengthen the starting XI, while Pierre-Emerick Auabmeyang’s contract extension stands as the most important piece of business.
One transfer story that won’t go away is the prospect of a midfielder joining the ranks before the window shuts. Both Houssem Aouar and Thomas Partey have been frequently linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium and either player would add unquestionable quality in midfield areas.
That added quality in midfield could help take Mikel Arteta’s side to the next level and those claims are further strengthened by the ongoing speculation surrounding both Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira.
If Arsenal do try and sign either Aouar or Partey in this transfer window, both players would cost a significant amount of money – the type of money that the Gunners have been reluctant to pay in recent years without Champions League football guaranteed.
When you consider the players that Arteta reportedly wants to get rid of from the current squad, it would appear that he wants to add another midfielder. However, there are a number of reasons why he should trust in the players currently at his disposal.
Much of the early positivity surrounding Arteta’s reign at the Emirates Stadium has been due to his ability to get the absolute best out of his players. A degree of pragmatism and versatility from the Spanish boss has helped his squad play to the best of their abilities in a well-drilled 3-4-3 system.
Of those to operate in midfield under Arteta, Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos have proved an effective partnership that provides the right balance needed. The Swiss international has a good range of passing and defensive tendencies whereas Ceballos has the ambition to get further forward to support attacks.
While Aouar and Partey may have played at a higher level in Champions League contending teams, there is no guarantee that either would fit the system to the same level as Arteta’s current options.
When considering any potential signings, it is always worth bearing in mind how they could fit into the manager’s system. Aouar, for instance, could replicate a similar role to Ceballos with a progressive element to his game whereas Partey’s skillset matches closer to Xhaka.
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In that regard, Arsenal quite clearly have different options to ponder upon and going for either player may depend on the future of others already at the Emirates Stadium. Ceballos is perhaps the most pertinent example of that given his desire to one day play for parent club Real Madrid – signing Aouar could fill that long-term doubt.
However, the price that it could take to prise either player away from their current clubs suggests that Arsenal don’t have the flexibility to get this one wrong.
Transfers are more often than not entirely dependent on a series of events falling perfectly into place. In this case, Arsenal still have plenty of work to do to facilitate a big money midfield signing and there may not be enough time left in this window to do that.