As the New Year and the January transfer window loom ever nearer, Arsene Wenger’s search for midfield reinforcements seems to throw up new possibilities at every turn.
The Arsenal manager has led his threadbare team to the Champions League Last 16 and will spend Christmas in the top four of a Premier League they’re 11/8 to win.
A rejuvenated Olivier Giroud has been the figurehead of a five-game unbeaten run for the north Londoners, despite the absence of a host of key midfielders and forwards.
Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere in midfield plus Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck up front are all absent for the Gunners, while Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have also endured spells on the sidelines this term.
Nevertheless, Arsenal are still ploughing on for three trophies this term, but success for Wenger and his men could rest on how much joy is found in the transfer market.
With fully-fit central midfielders lacking in the Emirates roster, PSG’s Adrien Rabiot could be the answer to Arsenal’s problems.
The 20-year-old has made over 20 appearances in both of the past two seasons as part of the Parisian side’s dominance in France, but cracks have appeared in recent weeks between player and club.
Only injuries to Marco Verrati have handed Rabiot a run in the first-team this term, but despite a string of fine performances, Verrati’s return looks set to put the French U21 star back on the bench.
Hoping to spend more time on the pitch, Rabiot – who spent some time with Manchester City as a youth player – has angered PSG boss Laurent Blanc by stating on French TV that he would like a loan move for the second part of the campaign, rather than sit on the bench at the Parc des Princes.
Arsenal look well-poised to take advantage of the discord, but they could face competition from both local rivals Tottenham and Serie A giants Roma.
On paper this is a perfect Wenger singing. A talented, young Frenchman who has experience of winning titles but whose best years are still ahead of him.
Will the Arsenal boss make a move next month? And will PSG let Rabiot go?
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