The Gunners look very active in the January transfer window, with two confirmed exits so far, Maitland Niles and Balogun while Pablo Mari is close to joining Udinese.
Arsenal are planning to bring in a midfielder to bolster their squad and have initiated talks with the representatives of Youri Tielemans, according to reports.
Mikel Arteta is in desperate need of midfield reinforcements due to the unavailability of multiple first-team midfielders. Thomas Partey and Mohammad Elneny have left to represent their countries at the AFCON. Meanwhile, Maitland-Niles have left on loan.
Granit Xhaka was unavailable due to Covid earlier, but now suspension will keep him out of contention. He was absent during the FA Cup loss against Nottingham Forest. Xhaka returned to the squad against Liverpool in the EFL Cup semi-final and received his second red card of the season. His unpredictability often gets Arteta short-handed.
The Leicester City midfielder could be the permanent solution to Arteta’s midfield problems, especially given his injury-free track record. He has missed only five games due to any injury or illness and has received zero suspension since joining the Foxes.
The 24-year-old has made 131 appearances for Leicester City across all competitions, producing 23 goals and 22 assists, including a memorable long ranger at the FA Cup final against Chelsea. The Belgian midfielder has just 18-months left on his current contract at Leicester and is becoming a potential target for teams in the Premier League as well as in Europe.
According to Goal, Arsenal are interested in signing Youri Tielemans to the Emirates. The Gunners held talks with the player’s representatives at the London Colney base to determine whether a switch would be possible this month or the coming summer.
However, the report suggests a move for the Belgian in January is very unlikely as Leicester’s manager Brendan Rodgers would not allow a key player like him to leave in the middle of the season. Moreover, Leicester are trying to convince the player to sign a new long-term deal at the club.
When asked about the midfielder, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers also admitted to a likely transfer move:
“He is at an age and at a stage in his contract where he has to ensure he looks at every option,” he said. “I would love it to be here at Leicester, that is natural, but I understand it’s a very short career.
“For players, it’s about ambition, the challenge and sometimes it’s about a different environment. We have seen it before many times.
“Teams have won the Champions League and the player will move on. That’s the nature of it. For me, I can only worry about keeping improving him as a player, keeping him focused and letting everything else be taken care of.”
“If we are going to lose one we have to be ready for the next one to come in.”
Nevertheless, Arsenal sits in an appealing position to hire Youri Tielemans and qualifying for the Champions League would certainly boost their hopes of securing the ex-Monaco man. The fact that the Belgian has not shown any desire to continue at the King Power Stadium serves to the Gunners’ advantage.
Youri Tielemans would be an excellent addition for Arsenal in the middle of the park. He can resist the press from the opposing team and defend astutely ahead of the backline, making intelligent interceptions. He is also excellent at making diagonal balls and long passes.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are also looking at a loan move for Juventus’ Arthur Melo as a short-term option before making their moves next summer. Burno Guimaraes from Lyon and Yves Bissouma from Brighton are also probable candidates for the spot.