Mikel Arteta hails Arsenal fans ahead of north London derby
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Arsenal director Edu has already been tipped to improve Mikel Arteta’s ranks with a number of exciting January signings ahead of the business end of the season. The Gunners are reportedly eyeing a loan move for Barcelona misfit Philippe Coutinho, while the likes of Manchester United forward Anthony Martial and Sevilla marksman Youssef En-Nesyri have also been linked with the north London outfit in recent weeks.
Express Sport takes a look at the Arsenal side that could emerge if Edu and Arteta manage to lead a dream January transfer window at the turn of the year.
Goalkeeper – Ramsdale
Aaron Ramsdale is yet to concede a goal since replacing Bernd Leno as Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper earlier this month.
The former Sheffield United man looks set to retain the No 1 berth if he manages to keep his form up over the next few matches.
Meanwhile, Leno’s presence on the bench offers Arsenal a quality second-choice option between the sticks, meaning that a new stopper will not be required in January.
The Gunners have a number of important problems to juggle at present, but their goalkeeping situation does not stand out as one of the key contributors to their disappointing start to the campaign.
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Defence – Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney
Arsenal moved to sign Takehiro Tomiyasu from Bologna at the end of last month and the Japanese international has impressed thus far.
He is likely to keep his starting spot at right-back for the foreseeable future, while fellow summer arrival Ben White will continue to feature regularly at the heart of Arteta’s back four this season.
Gabriel Magalhaes has struggled with an injury in recent weeks but is arguably the club’s best central defender when fully fit and should play a central role over the course of the campaign.
He will be flanked on the left-hand side by Kieran Tierney, with Nuno Tavares lying in wait to provide adequate cover for the Scot off the bench and in cup matches.
Midfield – Coutinho, Lokonga, Odegaard
If Arsenal manage to bring Coutinho to the Emirates Stadium on a temporary basis in January, Arteta could switch to a 4-3-3 and deploy the Brazilian maestro and Martin Odegaard at the same time.
The Gunners were crying out for a new attacking midfielder before the latter swapped Real Madrid for north London over the summer, but he cannot shoulder the entirety of his side’s creative burden for the duration of the campaign.
Coutinho’s arrival could provide Arsenal with the quality required to play teams off the park, but they will be forced to battle Tottenham for his signature in January, according to reports.
Meanwhile, Albert Sambi Lokonga has been one of the club’s few shining lights as of late and looks set to develop into a hugely important asset over the coming months.
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Attack – Saka, Martial, En-Nesyri
Arsenal have only managed to score two Premier League goals this season, suggesting that reinforcements at the top of the pitch will be a priority in January.
En-Nesyri has established himself as a prolific operator during his time with Sevilla and has been linked with a move to the Gunners in recent weeks.
The Moroccan international could also be joined by Martial if Arsenal decide to land both players in a mid-season spending spree.
The United man has struggled to hold down a regular spot at Old Trafford and will reportedly be available for around £40million in the new year, with a front three of himself, En-Nesyri and Bukayo Saka potentially on the cards at Arsenal if things go smoothly.
Possible Arsenal XI: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Lokonga, Coutinho, Odegaard; Saka, Martial, En-Nesyri.
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