It feels as though the January transfer window is either ongoing or just around the corner. It isn’t. Instead it’s the classic case of international break filler with rumours galore to keep peoples’ attentions ahead of football returning.
As a rule of thumb, most of the gobbledygook in and around these periods tends to be just that. Links of all varieties emerge, some more ludicrous than the next, sensationalised, or downright made up.
Mikel Arteta has already undergone massive change at Arsenal both in a cultural sense and in terms of personnel. He now has the closest edition of his team to choose from.
There are still a few stragglers, some players here and there who don’t fit the bill, are already on the way out or who may fetch a fee: Alexandre Lacazette is the latest to be linked with a move away and Sead Kolasinac is also edging closer to the exit door.
Arsenal looking to submit £25m January transfer bid for Club Brugge winger Noa Lang as Mikel Arteta eyes attacking reinforcements
As for arrivals, looking at the squad and what may need seeing to, the two positions that spring to mind are midfield and centre-forward. The overwhelming likelihood is that neither will be tended to, in all honesty, and departures will be the focus of the winter.
As much as Arteta may want to move Lacazette and Nketiah on and bring in a new striker, the difficulties of the window remain as ever. Midfield, too, is going to be an area to look at yet with Granit Xhaka signing a new deal, Ainsley Maitland-Niles staying on and Mohamed Elneny due to leave at the end of the season, it could also be put on the backburner.
So where does a winger fit in?
Arteta’s ideal starting lineup – from what he has – sees Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka occupy the wide berths, with Gabriel Martinelli and Nicolas Pepe vying for places behind them in the pecking order.
One name that has arisen as a target is that of Noa Lang. The Dutchman has been with Club Brugge since October 2020 when he joined from Ajax on an initial loan, and has been nothing short of spectacular since.
28 goal contributions in his first campaign in Belgium – 17 goals and 11 assists – saw him garner continental admiration, while he’s also carried that form into European competitions enough to make his Netherlands debut in the recent 6-0 win over Gibraltar.
A progressive carrier and passer, it’s impossible to tell what foot he is. Exceptional technical ability when running at pace, his usage on either flank as well as a roaming No. 10 in central areas is demonstrative of his on-the-ball ability. As is customary in the modern world, he’s become the new Dominik Szoboszlai or Houssem Aouar. The hype train has taken off with no stops in sight.
He has the technical security to play out of trouble, burst through lines or break down blocks. Lang is someone to get you up off your feet.
Arsenal’s interest has been prevalent in the media, as has AC Milan’s, although Dutch outlet Voetbal24 have gone one further and claimed that a £25.5m (€30m) is being prepared by the Gunners for the coming January window.
Who, what, when, where and how? Let’s take a look.
Continued on next page…
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