Arsenal currently sit top of the Premier League table, 5 points clear of second place Manchester City. Arteta mentioned after the draw against Newcastle of the club’s intent to “improve the squad in every window”. Fabrizio Romano has said that Mykhailo Mudryk is the “priority target for January” and it has been widely reported that for a deal to be completed, Arsenal would have to fork out north of £80 million.
Recent reports suggest that a deal is close. Whether the signing of Mudryk is a success or not remains to be seen (should the deal eventually go through), although Arteta’s recent track record with signings and his ability to develop wingers such as Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli would suggest it will, simply the signing of the £80 million man is a statement from Arsenal and here is why…
Arsenal have been criticised in the past of being very naive in the transfer market and failing to make the most of opportunities by utilising the transfer market when appropriate. This can be seen as recently as last season where Arsenal lost the battle for a top 4 finish against North London rivals Spurs arguably due to the fact that they didn’t strengthen in the transfer market.
Arsenal were heavily linked with strikers such as Vlahovic and Isak, however left January empty handed. Conversely, Spurs brought in Kulusevski and Bentancur in order to push for the top 4. This proved to make a real difference as Kulusevski ended the season with 13 goal contributions.
The same criticism can be made of Arsenal in the 2015/16 season where Arsenal found themselves in a title challenge against the miraculous Leicester, yet failed to bring in a striker to lead the line ahead of Giroud and ultimately Arsenal finished a disappointing second. Now with Arsenal top of the table, a rare opportunity to fight for the title has arisen. It looks as though the club backed by the Kroenke’s are keen to take this opportunity, despite their previous track record.
The signing of Mudryk would provide desperate reinforcements for Bukayo Saka on the right wing who has played in every Premier league game thus far. However, Mudryk isn’t just a bench warmer in case Saka gets injured, he is a player with buckets of ability who can really push Arsenal forward and fight for a first team place.
He has the ability to make the difference in games that Arsenal have dropped points in this season like Newcastle and Southampton where Arsenal lacked a cutting edge. It marks a real change of thinking in the Arsenal camp that shows just how serious of a threat they are to the elite teams in the world.
Additionally, a huge criticism of Arsenal both this season and in the past is their lack of depth. Arsenal’s lack of attacking reinforcements from the bench have let them down at times. When you look at Manchester City, who are able to bring on players like Foden and Grealish off the bench, you wonder how to stop them.
The signing of Mudryk would push Arsenal one step closer to Manchester City, because the ability to bring an £80 million player off the bench is something that should frighten opponents. That is of course assuming that Mudryk is on the bench given the brilliance of both Saka and Martinelli this season.
Ultimately, the signing of Mudryk is not only a significant step forward for the Arsenal squad, bringing them one step closer to the likes of Manchester City. It is also a real statement from the Arsenal board who are showing teams around them that they are reading to fight for this premier league title and really cement themselves as a top team.