Arsenal have identified Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi as a possible midfield target, as Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his squad in January.
Over the past 12 months, the Gunners have focused on strengthening their midfield, which led to them breaking the bank in the summer for Declan Rice. But with Jorginho and Thomas Partey both strongly linked with exits, especially the latter understood to be dissatisfied with his role at the Emirates Stadium following the arrival of Rice, the club could be forced to splash the cash for a midfield reinforcement.
As a result, Mikel Arteta has set his sights on two midfield options. He has reportedly expressed his interest in signing Real Sociedad star Martin Zubimendi. The alternative option to Zubimendi happens to be Real Madrid’s Aurelien Tchouameni.
Arsenal’s attempt to sign Zubimendi earlier this year was unsuccessful, as Real Sociedad didn’t want to sell and the player was reluctant to leave. The 23-year-old midfielder, who has two caps for Spain, now has a £53 million release clause in his contract—so he could be snapped up as quickly as in the winter transfer window.
Thomas Partey out, Martin Zubimendi in?
Thomas Partey has been an important part of Mikel Arteta’s squad since his move from Atletico Madrid in 2020, having now clocked 104 appearances for the North London side. This season, a groin injury—yet another fitness problem for the Ghana international—has disrupted his playing opportunities, limiting him to just four Premier League appearances.
In addition, the 30-year-old seems to have become unhappy at his reduced role at the Emirates Stadium following the big-money move for Rice. The England international’s arrival, coupled with the desire to bring in midfield cover, could result in Partey’s departure in January. Partey has been linked with a move to Italian club Juventus, with the Gunners rumoured to have placed a €30 million price tag on his head.
If Arsenal are ready to sanction the Ghanaian’s sale in the New Year, they could bring in a younger player to replace him in midfield. They seem to have revived their interest in Martin Zubimendi after the midfielder decided to stay at Real Sociedad earlier this year.
Zubimendi has been a centrepiece in Real Sociedad’s impressive ascendancy over the last couple of years. A defensive midfielder by trade, he has chalked up 157 appearances across all competitions, scoring five goals and supplying seven assists, since being promoted to the first team during the 2018/19 season. He has started the 2023/24 season well, bagging a goal and an assist in 11 La Liga appearances.
Also having earned two international caps to date, the Spain star is steadily working his way toward prominence on the bigger stage, and he would prove to be an upgrade on the injury-prone Partey if he did join Arteta’s Arsenal.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.