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Arsenal have smart deadline day contingency deal set up if Edu fails to deliver forward targets – Tom Canton

The January window has frustrated Arsenal and their supporters in particular with no incomings to the senior squad acquired thus far.

Arsenal have been linked with a number of players, but the club has either failed in their pursuits, as shown in the prospective deal for Dusan Vlahovic who is closing on a move to Juventus. Or the Gunners were not committed to completing a deal with reservations held by some in the club.

This appears to be the case for Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo who Edu agreed on an 18-month loan with a €40 million buy option according to The Athletic. However, members of the hierarchy were not convinced, and the deal has therefore hit a dead end and is unlikely to be completed.

Despite this, Arsenal’s need in their forward line is the most pressing. January saw the Gunners shrink in midfield numbers, but the conclusion of player suspensions and the end of the African Cup of Nations will see Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny all return to join Sambi Lokonga in the squad for the trip to Wolves.

Whereas in the striking position, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s continual exile since the stripping of his captaincy has left Mikel Arteta’s options in the role light. Folarin Balogun left for Middlesbrough on loan and Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah have been left to cover.

Neither scored a single goal in all of January and it seems a foregone conclusion that without reinforcement or a dramatic turnaround from Aubameyang goals will continue to be left wanting.

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Links to Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak, Lille’s Jonathan David and Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin point towards a summer move than anything being completed in the final days of the current transfer period.

However, suggestions are one player linked with the club heavily in December will be available for a loan and is one to ‘Keep an eye on’ according to Goal Italia’s Romeo Agresti.

Dejan Kulusevski was linked by a number of Italian outlets including Gazzetta dello Sport, via The Express, to Arsenal and the wide forward could be a contingency option if all other routes close.

Typically played in the wide right position, Kulusevski is a versatile forward who can operate in a central role if required and at the age of 21 would fit the profile that Arteta has been targeting.

The Swedish international’s goal tally has not been anything to write home about since his 2019/20 season when he scored ten goals and got nine assists on loan at Parma at just 19.

This hasn’t been followed through on at Juve however, and Kulusevski has nine goals and ten assists in 74 appearances. Granted many have been from the bench, however.

What is clear is that Kulusevski needs a move away from the club and if Vlahovic is coming into the setup perhaps Arsenal could offer the Swede a route to more regular game time whilst remaining at an elite level in the Premier League.

Arsenal had success with the loan of Martin Odegaard in January of 2021 which became a permanent deal in the summer. The scope for the deal revolves again around another big club’s surplus becoming Arsenal’s newest renaissance project.

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