It’s been a solid start to the season for Arsenal following the disappointment of missing out on the Premier League title last season, with the Gunners sitting third in the table and a point behind first-placed Manchester City
Mikel Arteta’s side also look well placed to make it through to the knockout stages of the Champions League following a summer of big spending which saw the club sign David Raya, Kai Havertz, Declan Rice and Jurrien Timber.
But winning the Premier League title over Manchester City will likely take further strengthening in January, especially given the injury problems Arteta has had to contend with this season.
The transfer budget likely won’t be significant following a summer which saw an outlay of more than £200m on new signings, so with that in mind here’s three players the Gunners should sign to strengthen their title challenge in the second half of the season…
Adrien RabiotEmbed from Getty Images
While his name might not sound that exciting as a potential signing, Adrien Rabiot should not be underestimated and has been really good for Juventus this season. The all-round central midfield player can play a number of different roles, whether deeper or more attacking, and is excellent at carrying the ball forward, ranking among the best midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues for progressive carries. His strength is a huge asset, allowing him to win duels and maintain possession well in midfield.
With Jorginho out of contract in 2025 and both Thomas Partey’s injury problems and uncertainty around his future, Arsenal need to think ahead and not be left with a shortage in central midfield. At 28, Rabiot is likely around his peak age and his performances in Serie A this season show he is a player that could come in and contribute to a team challenging at the top of the Premier League straight away. He is out of contract at the end of the season, meaning Juventus may want to cash in now or risk losing him for nothing in the summer. A versatile, experienced midfielder like Rabiot would be a valuable addition to Arteta’s squad.
Presnel KimpembeEmbed from Getty Images
The France World Cup winner has not played for PSG in eight months after rupturing his ACL last season but has recently returned to training with the French club ahead of a return to the first team. Kimpembe had established himself as one of the world’s best central defenders prior to his injury and will be hoping to get back to that level in the near future. But his future with PSG is uncertain given that he is out of contract at the end of the season and has yet to sign a new deal with the club.
Kimpembe will surely be of interest to plenty of Europe’s top clubs despite his long-term absence from football. It may take him some time to get back up to speed again but if he does get back to anywhere near his best, whichever club signs him will have a brilliant defender. Arsenal should look to use the opportunity to lure him away from his boyhood team in January in a cut price deal given his contract situation and while he may not be able to contribute immediately, he can certainly be a big player for Arsenal if given time and would provide more depth in a position where Arteta could use more options.
Youssouf FofanaEmbed from Getty Images
Another France international and Ligue 1 star, Youssouf Fofana is reportedly attracting the interest of several clubs including Manchester United and Liverpool, and Arsenal should absolutely be one of those on that list too. With Partey struggling to stay fit and perhaps needing to move on, Fofana would be an excellent replacement and at 24, is a player for the future too and not just the short-term. Like Rabiot, he is a well-rounded midfielder but perhaps with a focus more on the defensive side of the game and is excellent at regaining possession, like Partey.
He could play as a number six or a number eight for Arsenal alongside Declan Rice and is very mobile, meaning that, like Rice, he can drive forward and link with the attack after winning the ball back which suits Arsenal’s identity perfectly, ranking among the best in Europe’s top five leagues for both interceptions and progressive passes. He looks set to become the next player to leave Monaco for bigger things and with his contract set to run out in 2025, Arsenal should be able to get him for a cheaper price than he is actually worth.