Four Realistic January Transfer Targets Arsenal should be pursuing
By Allan Riley
Arsenal are in desperate need of a squad overhaul, with several members of the squad not good enough to take Arsenal back in to the Champions League. That rebuild can start as soon as January. However, when you offload players, they need replacing.
There are a host of top-quality players who Arsenal can realistically acquire in January from smaller clubs. From Brighton to the Championship, there are several potential players who can turn Arsenal’s fortunes around. Here are four who we should be looking at.
It's no secret that Arsenal are looking for a long-term partner for Thomas Partey in midfield. Dani Ceballos has had a period of sustained poor form this season, and is likely to return to Madrid in the summer, Granit Xhaka continues to have his problems with immobility and Mohamed Elneny is merely a useful squad player at best.
Yves Bissouma of Brighton is a potential option. The 24-year-old is currently in his third season at Brighton and is a key player for the Seagulls. Usually sitting in front of Brighton’s defence, Bissouma has blossomed under manager Graham Potter and expertly links defence to attack.
The Malian is an expert all-round midfielder. He is highly combative and very technically adept, however he is also capable of pulling out moments of trickery. Bissouma is integral to Brighton’s recycling of possession and offers a threat going forward, represented in his heatmap.
Bissouma would probably be available for around the £30 million mark, and given Arsenal's insistence on targeting players using data analysis, you'd think he'd be on their radar.
With news of interest in both Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Arsenal may well be in the market for a new right-back in the upcoming month.
A teammate of Bissouma’s, Tariq Lamptey has been one of the Premier League’s breakout stars this season. Predominantly a right-back,the Englishman has been one of Brighton’s main attacking outlets this campaign.
Lamptey is very quick and very talented with the ball at his feet. However, his physicality can be a hinderance in his aerial duels and he can be quite easily outmuscled.
Despite this, Lamptey is good defensively and going forward, and in a better team, he could become one of Europe’s best full-backs.
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa
A part of Fulham’s 2018 shopping spree, Zambo Anguissa returns to Craven Cottage following a loan spell at Villareal. Last season, the Cameroonian was used as a pressing machine at the Yellow Submarine.
Two of Zambo Anguissa’s biggest strengths include ball progression and ball retention. Anguissa is able to combine his quick feet and dribbling skills along with his physicality to allow him to retain possession in tight spaces or move out of tight spaces. He is also good going forward, with 2 assists this season and 0.09 xA per 90.
The 25-year-old is also a defensive behemoth, with 5.14 tackles and interceptions per game this term. He is hard to beat in a one-on-one, being dribbled past only 1.14 times per 90 this season. Zambo Anguissa is a dynamic midfielder, who is capable of playing at a higher level.
Arsenal fans need no introduction to this man, with a move to the Emirates a very real possibility this January for the Argentine. Despite being relegated last season, Buendia was one of Norwich’s best players last season and is arguably the best player in the Championship.
The great love of WLYA’s editor, Alfie, Buendia was one of the Premier League’s top creators last season, ranking third for xA and key passes last season. He is a fantastic dribbler and is also capable of operating in a pressing system.
Buendia is the player most likely to join in January and with Arsenal starved of creativity, the signing of the Argentine would be a very shrewd one.