Arsenal can go some way to easing their concerns over Bukayo Saka by making a move for Leeds star Wilfried Gnonto in January. The Italy international reportedly wants to leave Elland Road and Mikel Arteta can bolster his attacking resources with his signing.
Arsenal have been searching for a player who can provide support to Saka in recent transfer windows. Moussa Diaby and Mohammed Kudus were both linked but have ended up at Aston Villa and West Ham respectively.
A lack of a direct replacement for Saka saw him rack up a club record of featuring in 87 Premier League matches in a row. But the addition of Champions League football this season has piled more onto the winger’s workload.
Saka is also one of the first names on Gareth Southgate’s England team sheet at international level. The 22-year-old suffered a string of knocks earlier this season before eventually injuring his hamstring which saw him miss the home visit of Manchester City and the recent international break.
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When fit, Saka starts for Arsenal. But Arteta needs to be able to rotate his best players too and he should be no exception.
Gnonto could provide an opportunity for the Gunners in the January window. Arsenal have been linked with the 20-year-old in the past, with Calcio Mercato claiming in March that they and City were following his progress at Leeds.
Leeds were relegated at the end of last season and Gnonto wanted to leave in the summer. He went on strike in an attempt to force an exit but Leeds stood firm and he remained with the club after the window shut.
But TuttoMercatoWeb is now reporting that Gnonto still wants to leave Leeds and is hoping to do so in January. Gnonto is not happy at his lack of game time under Daniel Farke.
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He missed a month due to an ankle injury and has only started one of the four matches since his return. Leeds would reportedly demand a fee in excess of £17.3million for Gnonto, which could prove to be a bargain for Arsenal.
Gnonto has predominantly played off the left but is also capable on the right wing. The reports of Arsenal tracking his situation earlier this year show that Arteta is an admirer.
Arsenal cannot continue to rely on Saka to start every single match and need a contingency plan. Gnonto, who has already won 13 senior caps for Italy, could be the answer.
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