Arsenal chief Edu could sign five players as January transfer window opens

Arteta reflects on two years since becoming Arsenal boss

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Arsenal’s expensive transfer dealings have seemingly paid off as the Gunners head into 2022 perched comfortably inside the Premier League’s top four. Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu embarked on a lavish summer spending spree in order to enable Arteta to launch a bid to bring Champions League football back to north London.

Arsenal spent in excess of £140million in the summer, but the likes of Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White and Martin Odegaard have all played crucial roles in a strong season.

Attention now will turn to the January transfer window, with Arsenal expected to be busy once again with club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang seemingly destined for an acrimonious exit.

Here, Express Sport takes a look at five players who could be set for a switch to the Emirates in the New Year…

Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho has been continuously linked with a return to the Premier League over the past 12 months after fading into obscurity at Barcelona.

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The Brazilian midfielder was plucked away from Liverpool by the La Liga giants in a whopping £142million transfer back in January 2018 but has struggled to make much of an impact at the Nou Camp.

Barcelona are desperate to cut their bloated wage bill – and are also in the unique position of needing to move players on before any new recruits, such as Ferran Torres, can be registered.

With that in mind, an exit for Coutinho looks like a safe bet in January.

Arsenal have been linked with a loan move for the 29-year-old, who could come in and boost the Gunners’ top-four hopes with his ability to play in a variety of attacking roles.

Although talk of a surprise switch to the Emirates has intensified in recent weeks, it remains to be seen if Arsenal would be interested in taking on Coutinho’s mammoth salary when the main priority would appear to be sourcing a long-term replacement for Aubameyang.

Ruben Neves

Wolves ace Ruben Neves is another player who has been persistently linked with a switch to one of the Premier League’s big-hitters.

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The Portuguese conductor has adapted to life in the top flight seamlessly since Wolves returned to the Premier League in 2018.

His silky performances have earned him a host of admirers – and he appeared to be on the cusp of sealing a transfer to the Emirates as recently as last summer.

The breakdown of Granit Xhaka’s proposed move to AS Roma turned out to be terminal for Arsenal’s hopes of striking a deal for Neves, with Arteta shelving a deal for the 24-year-old to strengthen other areas.

But after the success of Arsenal’s £140m summer spending spree, the time could be right for Arteta to reignite his interest in Neves in the January window to boost the Gunners Champions League hopes.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin

With uncertainty surrounding a host of Arsenal strikers, it’s no surprise that the Gunners have been urged to consider a move for Everton talisman Dominic Calvert-Lewin in January.

Although Arsenal’s very public divorce from Aubameyang has captured the majority of the headlines, it’s also worth noting that both Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are due to become free agents in the summer.

Both have been amongst the goals for Arsenal recently – but there are no guarantees that either will still be at the club next season.

Given Arsenal’s current attacking conundrum, a move for Calvert-Lewin makes perfect sense.

The England striker notched 16 league goals last term and started the season in red-hot form once again before he was sidelined by injury.

Calvert-Lewin, who has been talked up by a host of ex-Arsenal players such as Paul Merson and Lee Dixon, would offer the Gunners a new dimension in attack and at just 24, could be Arsenal’s main man upfront for the best part of the next decade.

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Emmanuel Dennis

Given Arsenal’s striking woes, it would be a surprise if Arteta and Edu were not keeping a close eye on Watford hotshot Emmanuel Dennis.

The Nigerian striker has quickly become the Premier League’s surprise new star after netting eight times in just games.

Given how quickly the 24-year-old has adapted to life in England, it’s already beginning to feel as though Dennis’ stay in Hertfordshire will be brief.

Whilst it may prove difficult for Arsenal to prise Dennis away from Watford in January, especially with his participation in the Africa Cup of Nations, the Gunners could still get the ball rolling ahead of a summer move for the Hornets striker.

And given that Dennis’ agent recently claimed that both Arsenal and Manchester United had previously shown an interest in the attacker during his time at Club Brugge, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Gunners reignite that interest.

Jack Wilshere

Jack Wilshere’s name may be a left-field option to bolster Arsenal’s squad, but stranger things have happened in football.

After an excessive spending splurge last summer, it’s unlikely that Arteta will have vast funds to help bolster his squad midway through the season – which could pave the way for Wilshere to make an emotional homecoming.

The Gunners academy graduate has been back training at London Colney for a couple of months as he bids to resume his football career and could be a shrewd option to beef up Arsenal’s engine room as Arteta bids to secure Champions League football once again.

Given that any deal to sign the 29-year-old up for a second spell at the Emirates would be hugely cost-effective for the Gunners, it makes more and more sense for Arteta to consider giving Wilshere’s romantic return to north London the green light.

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