Arsenal icon Emmanuel Petit has name-dropped two players he believes would seriously beef up Mikel Arteta’s midfield.
The Gunners have been in fine nick following their disastrous start to the season and are now knocking on the Premier League top-four door.
Arteta’s side put together an impressive autumnal run that saw them shoot up the Premier League table and book a ticket in the League Cup semi-final.
Liverpool await the Londoners in the penultimate stage of the competition for a place in the final against Chelsea, who recently knocked out Tottenham 3-0 on aggregate.
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However, Arteta will be without one of his standout performers over the next month, and is currently in the midst of a central midfield crisis. Both Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny are currently away for Afcon, while Granit Xhaka recently tested positive for Covid-19.
As a result, summer signing Albert Sambi Lokonga and highly-regarded teenager Charlie Patino were utilised in a double midfield pivot against Nottingham Forest at the weekend, but the Premier League club suffered an early FA Cup exit, losing 1-0 to Steve Cooper’s men.
The Gunners have naturally been linked with a host of names in this current transfer window, but Petit believes they should be focusing their attention in Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, name-dropping Lyon duo Bruno Guimaraes and Lucas Paqueta as two midfielders Arteta should have his eye on.
Petit told bookmakers.co.uk: “Bruno Guimaraes is a very talented player. He is a physical guy with very good technique, vision and mentality.
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“But Arsenal have been targeting players in the midfield position for the last ten years and so many of them have come to the club only to leave again after two years.
“So they need to be very, very careful about the profile of the players they look for. I believe Guimaraes could be something good for Arsenal, just like his teammate at Lyon, Lucas Paqueta – who is a very good player as well.
“But I still don’t know what both of them can do at the highest level. I know they have the quality to play at that level, but to do it week after week, I’ll have to be convinced they can do it.”
Guimaraes has been a revelation since trading Athletico Paranaense for Lyon in 2020, and is a central part of Peter Bosz’s midfield, holding the fort further back to allow former Milan playmaker Paqueta greater freedom going forward, where he has netted seven Ligue 1 goals this term — the most of any Lyon player in 2021/22.