Arsenal must make William Saliba-esque transfer call for Mikel Arteta as January plan emerges


Under Mikel Arteta, Arsenal are now battling with Europe's elite. A close push for the Premier League title last season followed by another race with Manchester City this term, the tide has turned in north London.

Since Arteta took over in 2019, the Gunners have simply got better through tactical innovations and smart signings. Throughout the squad there is world-class talent, all spearheading the club's return to the pinnacle of English football.

Marshalling the defence, William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes have formed a rigid partnership. Club-record signing Declan Rice has taken to life in red perfectly alongside Martin Odegaard while Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli are established world-class attackers out wide.

But in all honesty, the level of squad depth at the Emirates Stadium has been an obstacle faced on several occasions in the last 18 months. Injuries to Odegaard, Gabriel Jesus and Thomas Partey means Arteta is currently without three of key players.

However, many supporters will remember last season when Saliba missed the remainder of the season, ultimately costing them their advantage over City.

Looking ahead to the January transfer window, a new striker is expected to be at the forefront of technical director Edu Gaspar's wishlist but there could be scope to add another world-class centre-back to Arteta's side.

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Last winter, Jakub Kiwior was signed from Italian side Spezia for around £17.5million. The Poland international has made just 14 appearances for the club after finding it tough to dislodge Gabriel and Saliba at centre-back.

When he has performed, there has been little proof of his ability to fully compete with the first-choice pair. Now, reports in Italy claim Serie A side AC Milan could look to solve their injury crisis in defence by bringing Kiwior back to the country.

A loan deal with an option to buy has been discussed, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. The report claims the 23-year-old 'left a piece of his heart' and 'certainly wouldn't be sad' to return to Italy.

Now, only the right deal is expected to be enough for Arsenal to grant a deal. However, should Milan sign Kiwior, the Gunners will need to sign another central defender and this time, it has to be at the same calibre of Saliba.

The France international has established himself as one of the world's best centre-backs after breaking into the Arsenal squad. Alongside Gabriel, the north Londoners are well-stacked in the position.

Yet with the tough competition coming from the Premier League and Champions League, a new defender who is able to provide the best competition to Saliba and Gabriel is a must.

One player who should be on their radar is Bayer Leverkusen's Edmond Tapsoba. The defender has been a name linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium in the past and was most recently linked with Tottenham last summer.

The 24-year-old has made an impressive start to life in the Bundesliga under Xabi Alonso and is expected to be linked with a move in January. If Arsenal want to strengthen their squad, a move for the Burkina Faso international could make complete sense. Arsenal WhatsApp channel

Mikel Arteta celebrates Arsenal's recent Premier League victory over Manchester City

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