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Mikel Arteta completes first January transfer by signing highly-rated West Brom youngster



Arsenal Transfer News: The Gunners have officially completed their first signing in the 2022 January transfer window. The North London club has signed the highly rated 16-year-old Lino Sousa from West Bromwich Albion. 

It is quite evident that Mikel Arteta is designing a team for the future. The Spaniard took over the reins as Arsenal manager in December 2019 after Unai Emery was sacked. 

Arteta had an ordinary 2020/21 season owing to which Arsenal finished 8th in the Premier League table. This meant that the Gunners missed out in qualifying for European competitions for the first time since Arsene Wenger took over. 

But the Spaniard has redeemed himself to the Arsenal supporters this season. Owing to the performance of his youngsters, the Gunners are at 4th position in the Premier League table. Mikel Arteta would be hoping that new signing Lino Sousa would be another gem for his side in the near future.

Arsenal Transfer News: Club complete the signing of Lino Da Cruz Sousa

Arsenal Transfer News: Mikel Arteta completes first January transfer by signing highly-rated West Brom youngster

As per Football London, the Gunners have completed the signing of Lino Sousa. The 16-year-old West Brom academy player is understood to join the North London club in the next few days. 

Lino Sousa is a versatile player who chiefly played in the left-back position for West Bromwich Albion. The youngster has represented his former club in the U16 and U18 categories. 

The young English left-back reportedly caught the eye of several Premier League clubs over the last few months. Lino Sousa has also been picked for England’s U15 and U16 sides owing to his resolute performances. 

Lino Sousa has also represented his former club in the Premier League 2 match against Newcastle United in February 2021. West Brom under-18’s coach Peter Gilbert recently talked about the youngsters’ ability and was full of praise for Sousa. 

Gilbert said, “Lino’s an athletic full-back, reads the game well, has a lovely left foot and it’s not often a 16-year-old plays an entire season with the 18s, but that’s a credit to him because he has so much potential.”

Arsenal’s academy chief Per Mertesacker reportedly had a huge role to play in the signing of the player. Mertesacker reportedly identified the need for a left-back in the youth team, hence he earmarked Lino Sousa for the same. 

Mikel Arteta’s ‘youth centric’ project

As said earlier, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is focusing on the youth to drive the club forward. The signing of Lino Sousa was reportedly made with the same belief that he would break into the first team in a season or two from now.

Currently, the Arsenal setup has several first-team players including Bukayo Saka, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Aaron Ramsdale, Martin Ødegaard, Gabriel Martinelli, Emile Smith Rowe, Albert Lokonga, and others who are aged 23 or under. Hence, it would be interesting to see if Lino Sousa could help lead the Gunners to newer heights along with his fellow teammates.

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Vlahovic complicates his situation with Fiorentina




Arsenal Transfer News: The Gunners are on hot-pursuit to sign the Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic. But the deal looks more and more unlikely with every passing day as the striker seems uninterested in moving to North London. 

Mikel Arteta sidelined Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January. Thus, he is left with only Edward Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette as his possible options in attack. 

But both the strikers have failed to impress in recent weeks as Arsenal even got dumped out of the FA Cup last weekend. The Gunners failed to have even a shot on target as they lost 1-0 to Championship side Nottingham Forest in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. 

Owing to this, the Gunners have been in the market to sign a striker in January. Their chief target has been Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic. But the Serbian and his representatives have not been very keen on a move to Arsenal.

Dusan Vlahovic makes his feelings known to Fiorentina

Arsenal Transfer News: Dusan Vlahovic further complicates his situation with Fiorentina as the Gunners suffer another setback

As per TBR, Dusan Vlahovic has made his feelings clear to Fiorentina about a transfer in January. But this would further diminish the chances of Arsenal signing the striker before this month ends. 

Arsenal had made a bid for Dusan Vlahovic at the start of January itself. The Gunners bid for £60 million. It also included Lucas Torreira transferring to Fiorentina on a permanent deal. Torreira is currently on loan with the Italian club. 

But Dusan Vlahovic and his representatives have recently had a chat with Fiorentina’s management. And as per the report, Dusan Vlahovic is not looking to leave the Serie A club in January. 

Dusan Vlahovic’s Fiorentina contract ends in June 2023. The striker isn’t interested in extending it. Owing to this, Viola is looking to sell him in January to get more payout in terms of transfer money. 

But the Serbian apparently wants full control over his future. He isn’t interested in leaving just because Fiorentina wants a quick sale and this has been communicated to the club’s board as well.

Fiorentina is currently in the 7th spot and is vying to get into one of the European qualification spots. Hence, the club should not entirely mind Vlahovic staying and helping them to achieve their target. 

This would be a big blow for the Gunners

Dusan Vlahovic has scored 16 goals in 20 Serie A games for Fiorentina. Owing to this, he has generated interest from other clubs including Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Juventus, and others. 

All of these clubs would surely be monitoring Vlahovic in January. To add to this, the striker also wants to play in the UEFA Champions League regularly. Hence, If Arsenal fails to finish in the top 4, they may lose Vlahovic for good. 

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Bent tells Arsenal to offer midfielder Wilshere contract




Darren Bent has urged the Arsenal board to offer Jack Wilshere a contract to come back to the Emirates

The England international midfielder, who is a product of the Gunners’ academy system, has been a free agent since last summer after seeing his contract terminated by West Ham.

He has been training with the Arsenal team to maintain his fitness as he aims to return to club football in the January transfer window, and there has been some talk that Arsenal may in fact offer him a new contract

With Granit Xhaka suspended following his red card against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup on Thursday night, Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny at the Africa Cup of Nations and Martin Odegaard out with COVID-19, it leaves just Albert Sambi Lokonga as the only option in central midfield.

A horde of Arsenal fans want to see Wilshere back at the club to help out, calling for the former Gunners star to be given a short-term contract during their squad crisis, and Bent has opened up and admitted that he is all for this happening.

Speaking on Drivetime, the talkSPORT pundit said: “Bring Jack back! Bring Jack back!

“Of course, he’s one of our friends, he’s close to the station.

“But you’re talking about a guy who is in the building, he works for Arsenal Football Club.

“Arteta would see him every single day and he is light in that midfield area – give him a short-term contract!

“Let him go out and play, it’s not a daft idea. He knows the club inside out, that’s his club!”

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Wilshere was a player that could have been one of the best midfielders in the game and it was a shame to see that he never fulfilled his potential. But as a short-term, free solution, it could be a good move from Arsenal for the next six months


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ALSO CHECK OUT: Arsenal make Brazilian-born defender first signing of the January window


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The Gunners Are Interested in Diego Costa




Arsenal Transfer News: Arsenal wants to sign Diego Costa, a former Chelsea, and Atletico Madrid striker. He is now a free agent after canceling his contract with Atletico Mineiro.

Arsenal wants to acquire Diego Costa during the current transfer window. According to Fichajes, they are having difficulty chasing their major striker targets.

Since canceling his contract with Atletico Mineiro, the former Atletico Madrid and Chelsea player has been available to sign with any team he chooses.

When it comes to strikers, Arsenal finds themselves in a difficult scenario as the season enters its second half. The club has a significant paucity of options.

Arsenal Transfer News: The Gunners Are Interested in Diego Costa

Arsenal needs reinforcements in the attacking third

The Gunners were knocked out from the FA Cup. They do not have any European obligations. As a consequence, they are focusing to win the Premier League this season. Mikel Arteta presently has just one senior striker in the form of Alexandre Lacazette.

Gabriel Martinelli is capable of playing a central role. However, his recent success in a wide role indicates that Arteta is unlikely to make any changes to his current position in the team.

The Gunners have ruled out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from their plans, while Eddie Nketiah’s long-term future remains in doubt. Folarin Balogun, on the other hand, has left the club on loan and joined Middlesbrough.

Even if Arsenal’s initial goal is Dusan Vlahovic of Fiorentina, the process of brokering a deal for the Serbian has proven to be time-consuming and tough so far.

While it is unclear if the 21-year-old will join the Gunners, they are keeping an eye out for options such as Lille’s Jonathan David and Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak.

It is possible that chasing such players will be difficult. Arsenal believes that they will not be able to close the transfer window without bringing in a solid striker.

They are fine with bringing in someone only to serve as a backup for Lacazette. They need him to provide depth to the lineup.

Arsenal Transfer News: Will Diego Costa move to Arsenal?

Several strikers were linked to the club in recent weeks. The most recent of them is former Chelsea star, Diego Costa. His contract with Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro ended due to his poor performance. Thus, he is presently a free agent.

He has not been in his best shape for several years. This contributed to his demise at Atletico Madrid and subsequent problems in the Brazilian Premier League.

Arsenal is not confident in his ability to perform at the level required of him. Even though he has the background to play for a top-level club.

As per reports, Costa received an offer from the La Liga club, Cadiz. However, if Arsenal makes a serious bid, his thoughts may shift to returning to the Premier League.

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