News broke that a deal to send Ainsley Maitland-Niles to Roma on an initial loan move was progressing nicely, suddenly the midfield took over the conversation. If and when he goes Mikel Arteta will have only two senior options to choose from over January: Sambi Lokonga and Xhaka. Arsenal can land Bruno Guimaraes from Lyon on bargain transfer fee of £38m – really, that is a bargain for a player of his quality. It turns attentions to the market where Arsenal must be looking to reinforce given their willingness to sanction Maitland-Niles’ departure. There are internal solutions, but none with the experience needed to aid the cause. One of the players linked with a move to Arsenal back in the summer, when it looked like Xhaka might be on the move, was Bruno Guimarães, and the Brazilian has remained a fan favourite ever since.
Mikel Arteta will miss Arsenal’s match against Manchester City on New Year’s Day after testing positive for Covid-19. The Spaniard, who also contracted the virus in March 2020 prompting the shutdown of football at the start of the pandemic, is now isolating. Despite the positive test, the Arsenal manager is still planning to speak to the media from his home on Thursday to preview the match against City. Arteta will face an isolation period of one week. At present, people who receive negative lateral flow results on day six and day seven of their self-isolation period – with tests taken 24 hours apart – no longer have to stay indoors for a full 10 days.
A mountain of names have been mentioned in recent weeks for strikers with differing profiles, as the likes of Dusan Vlahovic, Arthur Cabral, Jonathan David and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have been banded about in connection with the Gunners. One of the newer names to emerge among the rest is Patrik Schick, who has emerged as a potential 2022 target for a number of Premier League clubs, including Manchester City. A standout name at Euro 2020 in the summer, notably scoring from his own half against Scotland to get a nomination for the Puskas awards, the Czech international has continued his fine form into club level where his tally of 16 goals for Bayer Leverkusen has him second in the Bundesliga top scoring charts.