Premier League

3 players Arsenal should have been targeting in January

Santiago Gimenez

Arsenal will reach the end of the 2024 January transfer window without having dipped into the market, leaving the squad as it is to challenge for the Premier League and Champions League.

Edu and Mikel Arteta have built the squad together over a number of recent seasons to a point where they mounted a first Premier League title challenge in 15 years in 2022/23, falling short at the end.

Nealry £200m was spent off the back of that progress to kick on, with only £70m brought in. That was always likely to make more deals in January a financial juggling act, but given the way that Liverpool and Manchester City are threatening to make this season’s title race a two-horse race without Arsenal, perhaps another body or two in targeted positions would have boosted their chances.

Santiago Gimenez

Santiago Gimenez is on fire at Feyenoord / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Arsenal’s defensive record, conceding 21 goals in 22 Premier League games so far this season, is bettered only by Liverpool (19 in 22). But the Gunners trail both the Reds and Manchester City in the goalscoring charts. Tottenham have also scored more, while they are matched by Aston Villa and Newcastle. Gabriel Jesus has admitted that finding the net isn’t his biggest strength and last season’s top scoring Arsenal players were all wingers or midfielders maxing out at 15 goals.

Arteta said in the middle of January that signing a striker wasn’t “realistic”. Certainly, splashing out the £80m or more Brentford were believed to want for Ivan Toney might have looked a slightly desperate and reckless move in the circumstances, but a more considered approach for a ‘number nine’ not governed by the indisputable ‘Premier League tax’ could have worked.

As 90min reported, Arsenal have watched Feyenoord striker Santiago Gimenez in action this season. The 22-year-old Mexican has scored 19 goals in 19 Eredivisie games so far in 2023/24, on top of his 28 in all competitions last season. Feyenoord have been understandably stubborn about his future, trying to scare off suitors with a price tag as big as Toney’s. But a team outside Europe’s top five leagues without the same guaranteed riches usually has a greater incentive to sell for a more sensible price, while Gimenez is five years younger than Toney and a better long-term investment.

Bundesliga defences can't stop Serhou Guirassy

Bundesliga defences can’t stop Serhou Guirassy / Sebastian El-Saqqa – firo sportphoto/GettyImages

On a similar theme but a potentially more immediately affordable option, Serhou Guirassy has left Bundesliga…

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