Home » Arsenal FC » From Malen to Ozil's replacement - 10 players Arsenal could scout during the international break


2020 is still a couple of months away, but plans are already being made to ensure the new year gets off to a fine start.

Arsenal director Josh Kroenke promised the club will be ready to act if a good proposal pops up in the January transfer window.

"As for January, I don't want to get ahead of ourselves. We've got to evaluate some things in the short term and figure out where we might need to address areas going forward, so when January does roll around we’re going to be proactive again," he told the BBC .

With the second international break of the season now upon us, it's a great chance to reflect on the Gunners' start to the season.

They won their first two games of the campaign, but were beaten by Liverpool at Anfield and then fought back from 2-0 down to earn a point in the north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.

There have been further draws against Watford and Manchester United away from home, but the other five games have been victories which means they're in a healthy position across three competitions.

However, all 11 games thus far have proven there's still room for improvement within Unai Emery's squad.

This is where the international break could prove useful as the Spaniard as well as Raul Sanllehi, Edu and Vinai Venkatesham can assess potential targets.

We at football.london have taken a look at where the Gunners could look to strengthen and who might be being watched on the international stage ahead of the January transfer window.

Despite signing David Luiz in the summer coupled with Rob Holding's return to fitness, there doesn't seem to be much in terms of defensive improvements this season.

As a result, Emery should still be keen on adding a commanding centre-back to his ranks either in January or next summer.

Luckily there are plenty of centre-back options.

Daniele Rugani was heavily linked during the summer transfer window but ended up staying at Juventus, Robert Arboleda was reportedly a target on deadline day but neither have been selected for international duty this month.

The same goes for Barcelona's Samuel Umtiti.

Further possible defensive targets include Ruben Dias and Michael Keane of Portugal and England respectively, yet there's one name that would excite Arsenal fans...

Prior to signing Luiz, Dayot Upamecano was being heavily linked with a move to the Emirates.

In fact there was talk of a swap deal involving Emile Smith Rowe, but in the end Arsenal had a bid - thought to be in the region of £50million - rejected by RB Leipzig.

According to L'Equipe - via the Sun - Upamecano's release clause will be slashed to £53million if he does not sign a new deal before the end of this season.

Whether a future move happens remains to be seen, but Upamecano is somebody who Emery and co should be keeping a close eye on.

Granit Xhaka probably isn't going anywhere for now. He's just been named Arsenal captain and is often a regular in Emery's midfield despite the number of costly errors he makes.

The general feeling is that he must eventually be replaced in order for the Gunners to reach the next level.

It can't hurt to see what's out there can it?

6'2, left-footed and a great passer. The Spanish midfielder ticks all the boxes for Emery and his mobility should make him a top target for the upcoming transfer window, if not certainly next summer.

Fabian can play as a holding midfielder or further forward (allowing Lucas Torreira to revert back to his more natural position) and will be looking to add to his three caps for the national team in games against Norway and Sweden.

Maybe Dani Ceballos can have a word with his compatriot during this two-week break?

Another option could be Dominik Szoboszlai and football.london revealed last month that the Gunners are tracking his progress as well as striker Erling Braut Haaland.

At this rate, it would be a massive shock of Mesut Ozil is still an Arsenal player in 2020.

Left out of the last three matchday squads by Emery despite being fully fit, the writing is seemingly on the wall for the German in regards to his future at the Emirates Stadium.

And whilst Ozil hasn't been at his best over the past 18 months, the Gunners could do with a creative player like him...

...Enter Kai Havertz. The Bayer Leverkusen ace was linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium as recently as a year ago when Sven Mislintat was at the club.

Furthermore, he's hinted at a transfer next summer.

Havertz has already made an impression during the international break after scoring in a 2-2 draw against Argentina and could be in action against Estonia on Sunday. It's worth Arsenal sending scouts to attend the Euro 2020 qualifier.

Some Arsenal fans already think he's the perfect replacement for Ozil.

Click here for what's been said about the German playmaker.

On paper the attacking trio of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe looks to be one of the most impressive across the Premier League and possibly Europe.

But there are two big issues. One being that is that this requires pushing their top scorer out wide and the other being that Pepe is yet to hit top form following his £72m summer transfer.

For a more balanced front three and to help ease the pressure on Pepe, the Gunners should look to bring in a wide man which also allows Aubameyang to move into his more favoured central position.

Once on the books at Arsenal alongside Reiss Nelson, he's one of many that have shown there is life beyond the Emirates.

Malen has been in superb form at PSV Eindhoven so far this season, with 14 goals to his name from just 15 appearances across all competitions and also netted on his international debut last month.

Despite playing through the middle, he can operate from the left - or right - and has previously cited Gunners legend Thierry Henry as one of his heroes growing up.

Interestingly there has been talk of Arsenal wanting to resign Malen for £50m - having sold him for less than £500k two years ago - and it would be a good idea for club officials to watch him in action against Northern Ireland and Belarus.

Other targets to watch during the international break include Malen's compatriot Memphis Depay, Wilfried Zaha and Hakim Ziyech.