Arsenal Eye January Swoop For 23-y/o Winger As Mislintat Draws Up Transfer Hit List

By on November 14, 2018

The transfer window is closed but managers are planning ahead for January and next summer so we’ll bring you all the latest gossip. Today, Arsenal are eyeing replacements for Danny Welbeck….

Arsenal chief Sven Mislintat has identified Nicolas Pepe as a potential January transfer target as the club prepare to replace Danny Welbeck this winter, according to Football London.

Unai Emery was dealt a huge injury blow this week as Welbeck is unlikely to play again this season after undergoing a double operation on a broken ankle that he sustained during our Europa League stalemate with Sporting Lisbon last Thursday night.

The 27-year-old had been a dependable squad player this season with 5 goals in his 13 appearances and his ability to play anywhere across the forward line means his absence will be sorely felt when the games start to come thick and fast across four different competitions over the coming months.

Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are our primary strikers but without Welbeck – who’s started in the cup competitions this season – we are low on back-up options with teenager Eddie Nkhetiah now promoted to third-choice while we have one less wide player to call upon.

Arsenal’s Head of Football, Raul Sanllehi, suggested just last month that he was reluctant to dip in to the January transfer market unless there was an ’emergency’ such as a serious injury.

Sanllehi is quoted by Football London as saying:

“I don’t believe much in the winter window. There are exceptions, but if you have the right plan in the summer and the team are performing at the level you expect, you should not go to that window or try to avoid it.

“It’s there for emergencies, a big injury or if something is really not working and you need to recover there.”

I think it’s safe to say losing a versatile player such as Welbeck can be deemed as an ’emergency’ so Arsenal are expected to bring forward plans to sign a wide forward until January and Head of Recruitment Sven Mislintat is ready to get to work.

Targets

Football London claim Mislintat has already drawn-up a list of possible transfer targets with Lille winger Nicolas Pepe being closely monitored ahead of a potential swoop this winter.

The 23-year-old has been hugely impressive since joining Lille in 2017 and he’s enjoying an excellent campaign having provided 8 goals and 7 assists in his 13 Ligue 1 games so far this season.

The Ivory Coast international is predominantly a right winger but he’s also capable of playing up front so he’d be the ideal replacement for Welbeck if Arsenal were able to get a deal agreed for his signature in January.

Obviously Arsenal aren’t putting all their eggs in one basket and the report says Mislintat is also keen on Boca Juniors forward Cristian Pavon, who was linked last summer and has continued to impress this season.

We’ll have to wait and see how things develop over the coming months but if Arsenal want to maintain their top four challenge and compete in the cup competitions then I think we need to replace Welbeck in January and it seems Pepe and Pavon are the leading candidates.

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