Keown thinks Arsenal are about to sign a player Arteta’s ‘crying out for’

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Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Martin Keown is backing Arsenal’s attempts to bring Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo to the Premier League, speaking to talkSPORT (14 January, 12pm), while also highlighting Miguel Azeez’s Emirates return. 

Well, that was last thing Mikel Arteta needed. 

Granit Xhaka’s 24th minute dismissal during Thursday night’s EFL Cup semi-final stalemate with Liverpool means Arsenal’s already threadbare midfield is another man down ahead of Sunday’s North London derby clash with Tottenham Hotspur. 

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Thomas Partey is at the African Cup of Nations. Martin Odegaard is absent after testing positive for COVID-19.

And with Xhaka now joining him on the sidelines, the decision to send Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan to Roma looks increasingly questionable.

Especially when you consider that Arteta had no choice but to throw teenager Charlie Patino in at the deep end during last week’s FA Cup exit to Nottingham Forest. 

Is Arthur the solution to Arsenal’s midfield problems?

“Arsenal need to move in that area (central midfield),” says Gunners legend Keown. 

Arsenal are closing in on a deal to sign Arthur on loan from Juventus. Tuttomercatoweb reports that the Brazil international has agreed to join Mikel Arteta’s side this month.

Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

Miguel Azeez, meanwhile, has returned to North London following a difficult loan spell in the third-tier. 

“(Arthur) is only 25,” Keown adds. “He was injured and hasn’t featured much but they need to get talent in that area. They are crying out for some experience. 

“They’re taking Azeez back from Portsmouth; a young player I know behind the scenes they think is an outstanding talent.” 

Azeez, a London-born playmaker who has shone for Arsenal at youth level, struggled to make the step up to senior football on the South Coast. He started just four League One games in Pompey colours. 

“(Azeez) didn’t get many chances,” explains Martin Cooper, HITC journalist and Portsmouth fanatic. 

“But League One is a really hard and physical league where you don’t get much time on the ball,”

“I’ve seen most of his appearances this season. And, apart from the occasional flashes, he failed to do much of note.

“A shame and I wish him all the best for the future.” 

Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

In other news, Julien Laurens praises striker who wants Newcastle move, but he’s ‘really raw’

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