Arsenal completed their 2018 fixture list with a 5-1 away loss at the hands of league-leaders Liverpool on Saturday. Outside of two controversial penalties awarded to the home Reds, the heavy defeat came down to multiple individual errors by Arsenal’s defense. While the big match on Merseyside is done, the Gunners can help these habitual defensive mistakes from happening in the future by signing at least one quality defender in the upcoming January transfer window.
Along with defenders, there is also a need for pacy playmakers in this team as well. With that being said, here are five players that Arsenal should consider signing in January to significantly strengthen the team:
Arsenal desperately need a world-class defender and Koulibaly would be the perfect match. The 27-year-old Senegal international is most likely the top center back that could possibly move in January. Seemingly happy with his current club Napoli, Koulibaly is reportedly garnering interest from other big clubs such as Manchester United and Chelsea.
Although these teams are interested, it will take a lot for any deal to come to fruition. The center back recently signed a new contract with the Italian giants and the club’s president has reportedly already rejected a £95 million offer for Koulibaly from Manchester United. Nevertheless, Arsenal need to make a major move and a deal for Koulibaly would be enormous.
Borussia Dortmund currently have a plethora of talented, young center backs and Zagadou is certainly one of them. Though just 19, the 6’5” defender was becoming a mainstay in Dortmund’s defense prior to sustaining a minor injury a month ago. Arsenal’s head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, knows Zagadou quite well, as the German was partially responsible for bringing the French youngster to Dortmund from PSG in 2017. The teenage prospect will surely not be cheap though. Zagadou is widely considered one of the top teenage talents in his position and Mislintat will have to work his magic to get a deal done this January.
Though not as physically strong as Koulibaly or Zagadou, Militao would still be a good upgrade for the Gunners. The 6’1” defender could possibly be a potential long-term replacement to Laurent Koscielny. Both center backs have a similar frame and playing style, and the Frenchman is nearing the end of his Arsenal career.
Porto reportedly have a £45 million price tag on their 20-year-old defender, with Manchester United and Liverpool supposedly interested in his signature. If the Gunners cannot sign an imposing central defender, a talented player such as Militao could be solid plan B until the summer transfer window.
Arsenal have been reportedly interested in Ünder for some time now. The Roma winger would help the current Arsenal squad with his pace, creativity, and the ability to score a goal or two. Though the Gunners have scored 42 goals in their 20 Premier League games, they could use more creativity on the flanks. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette provide plenty firepower through the middle, but a pacy playmaker out wide would certainly get the most out of their dynamic duo.
Roma are reportedly asking for around £45 million for Ünder. Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, and Bayern Munich all are interested, with the player recently claiming that he eventually wants a Premier League move.
Much like Ünder, Lozano would give the Gunners similar attributes from the flanks. The Mexico international, however, is probably the more polished player out of the two as of right now. Lozano is currently on fire with PSV, as the forward has racked up 11 goals and six assists in just 17 league matches with the Eredivisie side. Not only is Lozano firing on all cylinders in the Dutch league, but he has also scored against Tottenham and Inter Milan during Champions League play as well. Reports suggest that PSV are looking for around £45 million for their star player. Arsenal would have to battle Chelsea and AC Milan, amongst other clubs, to sign with 23-year-old forward.
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