Arsene Wenger has reportedly identified Southampton’s Victor Wanyama as his next transfer target as he looks to freshen up his aging midfield options, despite the arrival of fellow defensive-minded midfielder Mohamed Elneny (according to Daily Mail).
The report suggests the Gunners are looking to replace to beef up the midfield, especially with Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini the wrong side of their 30’s. However the suggested move will most likely come in the summer, spelling the end of their transfer business this January.
Elneny signed yesterday for the north London outfit and is expected to slot into the squad ahead of Sunday’s trip to Stoke City – potentially making his debut against the Potters.
Francis Coquelin remains Wenger’s first choice in the defensive midfield position with Elneny providing backup and competition for the rejuvenated Frenchman who cemented the deep lying midfield role in what was an incredible 2015 for the 24-year-old. But Arsenal require more options to be able to fight on all fronts in the future, with both Arteta and Flamini likely to end their stay with the Gunners as their contracts come to an end.
Wanyama has long been linked with a move to Emirates, and was even close to making the move in 2013 before signing for Southampton from Scottish side Celtic. The battle-hardy Kenyan remains a beast in the midfield and gave the Gunners all sorts of problems with his combative nature, helping his side to beat Arsenal 4-0 over the festive period.
While he may certainly be a handful and a solid athlete, it’s likely Wenger has not been convinced so far he’s really at the calibre to play for Arsenal despite playing for a number of years in the Premier League. The 24-year-old is not even necessarily a first choice at Southampton, so would he be a perfect fit at Emirates? Unlikely.
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Much will depend on how Elneny adapts of course, but Wenger may look to keep Flamini on a one year rolling contract as a stop-gap option or look internally for solutions such as Calum Chambers.