As the frost of winter sets in and the Premier League title races heat up, Arsenal finds itself in a familiar but shaky top-four position. With the January transfer window ajar, the Gunners are on the prowl for reinforcements and strategic acquisitions that could provide an edge in their pursuit of the long-lost EPL title. Let's delve into five players who could be Gunners in January 2024.
1. Ivan Toney (Brentford)
Lots of have been said about Brentord's Ivan Toney moving to Arsenal. While Arsenal fans don't know how much work on the backend has already been done, they do know the £100million transfer fee is a huge stumbling block. That's an exorbitant amount for someone who hasn't played a professional match in 13 months, although he's been training with the Bees for the last 3.
But if the Gunners can sell some players first — Thomas Partey, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, and Smith Rowe are on the chopping block — that could raise at least half the funds needed for the Toney acquisition.
The Gunners spend a lot of time in the box but rarely convert — just ask goal-stricken Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah. Even Saka and Martinelli are exhausted from playing too many games. Assuming fitness and gambling free, Toney is a proven finisher and could be the missing ingredient in Arteta's lineup.
2. Martin Zubimendi (Real Sociedad)
Topping Arsenal's winter wishlist is Real Sociedad's midfield maestro, Martin Zubimendi. With Arsenal's midfield craving depth — also Thomas Partey continues to sustain injuries — Zubimendi's ability to dictate the tempo and seamless integration into Arteta's system could be pivotal.
The catch, however, lies in the £53 million release clause, a potential roadblock in the negotiations. A modest fee for Mohamed Elneny could help bolster the Zubimendi move.
3. Pedro Neto (Wolves)
Wolves Pedro Neto is another of Arteta's winter targets, with the Spaniard less keen on playing time for Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson. Neto could help fill in for the exhausted Bukayo Saka, who's recently come under goal drought.
Neto already has 8 assists and one goal in just 11 EPL appearances this season. He's been in and out of Arsenal's radar since October — can the Gunners seal the deal?
4. Jorrel Hato (Ajax)
Also on Arsenal's winter wishlist is Ajax starlet Jorrel Hato. The 17-year-old has served as a bright spot in the Dutch side's rocky season, even captaining the side twice.
Hato could also complement fellow Dutchman and former Ajax teammate Jurrien Timber, who signed for Arsenal last summer. Like Timber, Hato's versatility enables him to play center-back and left-back. He could also provide dependable cover for the injured Tomiyasu and inconsistent Zinchenko.
5. Benjamin Sesko (RB Leipzig)
Could 20-year-old Benjamin Sesko be Arsenal's Erling Haaland? A deal for Sesko may not happen in this transfer window, given Toney's priority. But just imagine the scenes when Arsenal fans see a front three of Saka, Sesko, and Jesus.
Just get him the ball. Proven finisher.