Thomas Partey injury hands Arteta a problem
The north Londoners will reportedly be without Thomas Partey for an extended period after the Ghanaian underwent a specialist procedure, with reliable journalist Fabrizio Romano claiming that Arteta’s side will dip into the transfer market for a new midfielder as a result.
Partey could also depart Arsenal in the winter window, as reports suggest that the former Atletico Madrid star has told his club that he’s open to leaving. The 30-year-old’s absence would leave just Jorginho, the rarely-selected Mohamed Elneny and summer signing Declan Rice as Arteta’s senior defensive midfield options.
In terms of who could come in and replace Partey, one player who’s been regularly linked is Aston Villa star Douglas Luiz. The Brazilian has been subject to intense Arsenal interest before, as they did attempt a coup to sign him in 2022 which came to no avail.
Arsenal “set” to move for Luiz
According to Football Transfers, Arsenal are now “set” to move for Luiz in particular when the January transfer window reopens.
There has even already been contact made for the 25-year-old ahead of this swoop, but Villa look set to dig their heels in. Unai Emery’s side have apparently told Arsenal that it will take an “extraordinary” fee to convince them to do a deal, and they must be able to source a replacement as well.
Nevertheless, it is claimed that Arsenal will chance their luck and push for the South American anyway.
Douglas Luiz’s excellent form
Luiz has been one of Villa’s star players so far this season, ranking as their second-best performing player overall behind striker Ollie Watkins according to statistical site WhoScored.
The midfield general has five goals and an assist to his name already, starting all 11 of Villa’s league matches as one of Emery’s most crucial assets.
Man City boss Pep Guardiola is also a known fan of Luiz‘s, calling him a “strong” player and “lovely guy” all the way back in 2021.
“He’s a guy who plays all of the minute,” said Guardiola after Villa played City in 2021. “He’s an important player for Aston Villa. A guy who’s clever with the ball, so physically strong. He’s a lovely, lovely guy.”
Meanwhile, Sky pundit Paul Merson more recently branded Luiz one of the most underrated players in England.
Douglas Luiz’s style of play
Long distance shooter
Plays the ball off the ground
“As I said last week, Douglas Luiz is the most underrated midfielder in the Premier League currently,” said Merson. The lad can do it all and shows up every week; it’s not hard to see why Arsenal wanted him earlier this year.”
Providing goals, assists and a tenacious playing style, he could be perfect to shore up Arteta’s options, but it will be a hard transfer to pull off.