Arsenal may be forced to bring in a new midfielder during the January transfer period. The Gunners spent nearly $200 million on duo Declan Rice and Kai Havertz earlier this summer. However, a recent injury to Thomas Partey spoiled manager Mikel Arteta’s plans in the middle of the pitch.

Partey has been a key figure at the north London club since he made the move from Atletico Madrid in 2020. The Ghanaian midfielder has typically been penciled in as a regular starter for Arteta ever since. Nevertheless, Partey has suffered a series of injuries during his time at the Premier League club. He has already missed over 50 total matches for Arsenal.

The dynamic midfielder lined up a return to action from his latest setback in late October. His comeback, however, was hampered by yet another injury. The Athletic now reports that Partey may miss up to eight more weeks of action due to a thigh injury. The news outlet even claims that the 30-year-old midfielder underwent a procedure this week to fix the issue.

Gunners send scouts to watch Sociedad star midfielder

As a result of the latest injury news regarding Partey, Arsenal will now likely make a move in the January transfer market. 90 Min is claiming that the Gunners sent scouts to watch Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi feature on Wednesday. The Spaniard played the entire Champions League match against Benfica, as Sociedad topped the Portuguese side 3-1.

Zubimendi’s talent as a defensive midfielder earned interest from clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid. The 24-year-old midfielder, however, resisted previous moves and signed a new contract at Sociedad in late 2022.

Zubimendi is a different style of player compared to Partey, but his talents have shown through with Sociedad.
Zubimendi is a different style of player compared to Partey, but his talents have shown through with Sociedad.

Zubimendi is a different style of player compared to Partey, but his talents have shown through with Sociedad.

Unfortunately for the Gunners, they were not the only club to send representatives to watch Zubimendi on Wednesday. According to the aforementioned news outlet, scouts from at least three other top teams were present. This reportedly includes Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, and Paris Saint-Germain.

The Spanish midfielder is currently under contract with Sociedad until 2027. Zubimendi’s club is also currently performing well in both LaLiga and Champions League play so far this season. This means that the Gunners will likely have to pay the player’s full release clause to sign him in January. The stipulation to trigger a transfer is reportedly about $53 million.

Arsenal likely to reignite interest in Villa’s Luiz

Zubimendi is, however, not the only serious option for Arteta. Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano also suggests that Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz remains a target as well. Arsenal previously had three separate bids turned down by Villa for the midfielder back in 2022. The Gunners reportedly went as high as $30 million. Nevertheless, the Birmingham-based club rejected every offer at the time.

Despite seemingly being open to departing Villa, Luiz agreed to a new contract at the club in October of 2022. The midfielder has been a highly-rated figure ever since his time at Manchester City. However, he has significantly stepped up his game in the current season under manager Unai Emery. The defensive midfielder has already racked up five goals in just 11 Premier League matches.

Much like Sociedad, Villa is also experiencing a fast start to the season. Emery has taken the club up to fifth in the English top-flight table. Villa is currently just two points behind Arsenal at the moment. With the club in a strong position, the Gunners will have to put up a significant amount of money if they want to pry Luiz away from Villa.