BREAKING NEWS: 4 deadline day contingency midfield options for Arsenal

BREAKING NEWS: 4 deadline day contingency midfield options for Arsenal

REGGIO NELL’EMILIA, ITALY – AUGUST 30: Ismael Bennacer of AC Milan looks on during the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and AC MIlan at Mapei Stadium – Citta’ del Tricolore on August 30, 2022 in Reggio nell’Emilia, Italy.

REGGIO NELL’EMILIA, ITALY – AUGUST 30: Ismael Bennacer of AC Milan looks on during the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and AC MIlan at Mapei Stadium – Citta’ del Tricolore on August 30, 2022 in Reggio nell’Emilia, Italy.

The final hours of the summer transfer window are fast approaching and Arsenal appear intent on striking a few last-minute deals to consolidate their strong start to the domestic campaign.

The Gunners have impressed on the recruitment front to date and now boast significant strength in depth that should serve them well for the relentless bi-weekly schedule ahead. However, additional midfield reinforcements were required even after the recent £120m outlay and injuries to Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey last week may prompt further business before the deadline.
4 alternative midfield options Arsenal should consider on deadline day

Mikel Arteta has repeatedly stated the club is active in the market and assured supporters that more players will arrive if Arsenal can “implement their plan”, but also warned he will not be pressured into panic buys if the right profiles are not available.

There is an undoubted preference to operate under the radar and the board have already demonstrated a willingness to explore Plan B if priced out of their primary targets. Therefore, as Leicester remain steadfast in their efforts to keep the wantaway Youri Tielemans, here are four alternative midfield options Arsenal ought to feature on their contingency plans.

Option #1: Denis Zakaria (Juventus)
Denis Zakaria isn’t very happy in Turin.

He has been linked to Arsenal previously and would bolster our Swiss representation in the engine room, so perhaps this is an opportune moment to finally make a move for out-of-favour Juventus star Denis Zakaria.

Despite only joining the Bianconeri in a cut-price January transfer, regular injury setbacks have severely limited Zakaria’s first-team involvement and the imminent arrival of Leandro Paredes suggests Allegri considers him to be surplus to requirements.

It is an unfortunate fate for the former Monchengladbach man as he possesses a range of desirable attributes such as an eye for progressive passes and bravery in possession, once declaring that he likes to carry the ball and “take on” opposition players. Zakaria is also a formidable defensive presence and is adept at screening the backline, where he can use his tremendous stamina and athleticism to cover the pitch and win the ball back for his side.

An extensive history of muscular issues means he will rank low among the list of priorities in these final hours, but for now, he is injury-free and desperate to prove himself at the highest level.
Ismael Bennacer was once on Arsenal’s books.

Option #2: Ismael Bennacer (AC Milan)

Arsenal may be tempted to break one of Arsene Wenger’s cardinal rules and instead make a late move for AC Milan enforcer – and former Gunner – Ismael Bennacer.

Speaking in December 2020 about his decision to leave north London, Bennacer revealed how he struggled to adapt to life in England at 17 and was not ready for the “crazy pressure” he felt when granted his League Cup debut in a chastening 3-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.

However, the Algerian has shone since completing a switch to the San Siro and offers much of what Arteta demands from his midfield – a mobile, technically gifted performer blessed with great tactical intelligence and is well accustomed to participation in build-up phases. He can also perform in the single pivot and has both the acceleration and passing range to drive the team forward, while his tenacious style somewhat compensates for any struggles in physical duels.

‘Le Professeur’ opposed the idea of resigning former Arsenal players and wanted his men to realise that if you leave the club, you don’t come back. But the Emirates landscape has changed dramatically over the years and if there is any prospect of negotiating a deal with Milan, we should be on red alert.
A move for Danilo will be tough to pull off.

Option #3: Danilo (Palmeiras)

The Brazilian market is another avenue Arsenal can consider and, having availed of Edu’s South American contacts earlier in the window, the Gunners might revisit their interest in Palmeiras talent Danilo.

Unlike some of the popular choices for the midfield role, Danilo is a more conservative candidate who frequently opts for safe passes and recycles the ball. But he can use his plentiful energy reserves to make forward runs from deep and augment the offensive threat. He also has a fantastic positional sense and forms the cornerstone of the Palmeiras defensive system, with his N’Golo Kanté-like work rate and knack for interceptions making him a complete, technical defender.

His raw skillset is a possible deterrent for a Premier League switch and, just as Arteta instructed Gabriel Martinelli to incorporate “some gears into his play”, Danilo would gain similar benefit from a more controlled playing style as excessive commitment can sometimes cause him to get spun by an opponent and leave the defence exposed.

The Campeonato Brasileiro Série A is currently in progress and a new contract in February until 2026 makes it difficult to see a deal materialise this summer, but he has been on the radar for a while and could be one to watch.
Florian Neuhaus was once linked with a move to Liverpool.

Option #4: Florian Neuhaus (Borussia Monchengladbach)

Borussia Monchengladbach have helped Arsenal to address their midfield needs in the past, and the Gunners may want to rekindle that partnership now by registering an interest in German international Florian Neuhaus.

Neuhaus is a long-standing Premier League target and can comfortably execute many of the non-negotiables demanded of any prospective member of the Arsenal engine room, including dropping into the backline to initiate attacking play and being a competent performer in various midfield roles.

However, a wonderful passing range is arguably the most impressive facet of his game, with a mixture of short intricate efforts, passes between the lines and searching balls behind the opposition backline adding variety to the Monchengladbach attack. Meanwhile, Neuhaus’ superb vision, close control and agility enable him to make the right decision and create chances almost at will.

He is much weaker defensively than the aforementioned names and both his lack of recoveries and poor tackling technique – in addition to sub-par mobility – tend to leave Die Fohlen vulnerable in transition.

Perhaps the arrival of Fabio Vieira reduces the need for a Neuhaus-type player and Arsenal may prefer a protective presence rather than another recruit for their ever-expanding creative hub. But Neuhaus is still a very good option and is about to enter the final two years of his contract, so this could be the best time for Monchengladbach to cash in...CONTINUE.YOUR.READING

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