Arsenal urged to shift attention in January as pundit tells Arteta ‘brilliant signing’ is not priority

Ciaran McCarthy
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal, November 2023
Mikel Arteta standing on the sideline during Arsenal match

Paul Robinson has detailed how Douglas Luiz would be a “brilliant signing” for Arsenal in January, but the club should prioritise a move for a striker instead.

Luiz has been one of Aston Villa’s best players since Unai Emery took charge of the club. Last season, the midfielder bagged six league goals alongside six assists.

This term, he’s already scored five times, along with another assist in the league, and one in the Europa Conference League. He’s helped Villa to fifth in the league at the moment, after they finished seventh last term.

It’s no surprise that big sides are coming calling. Arsenal are back in the mix after they attempted the signing of Luiz in the summer of 2022, but they wouldn’t go above £25million.

Now, he’s likely to go for way more than that, but the Gunners seem unfazed by that, as they see Luiz as the “perfect” midfielder in their system.

While Robinson feels he’d be a top signing, he’s of the impression that it would be difficult to get Villa to sell given how vital the Brazilian is to them and can continue to be.

“I think he will be a very tough one to get out of Aston Villa,” Robinson told Football Insider.

“With the way they’re going and the direction Unai Emery is taking the club, they’re European contenders again this season. Whether they can compete on both fronts is yet to be seen.

“He’ll be a brilliant signing and make an excellent addition to the Arsenal squad. The left-hand side of the midfield is an area where they’ve played Kai Havertz – it’s maybe an area of potential strengthening that they could potentially look at.”

While Robinson clearly feels Luiz would be a top player for Arsenal, he also thinks the January window should instead be used to recruit a new striker.

“But for me, if they are to go for one area this January it’s a striker. I’ve been really impressed with their recruitment over the summer,” he added.

“We forget that Thomas Partey is yet to come back too, so we don’t know yet if Luiz would get in ahead of him.”

Gabriel Jesus has been injured more than once this season, and Bukayo Saka and Leandro Trossard – who’s deputised up top – are outscoring the central strikers.

As such, an elite forward joining the ranks would be a good addition. Ivan Toney and Victor Osimhen have been linked to Arsenal, but those moves could both prove difficult for them.

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