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Arsenal continue to be linked with reinforcements ahead of the January transfer window.
Central midfield and the attack – specifically on the flanks – is reportedly the focus for Mikel Arteta and Edu as the Gunners look to make the most of their five-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table and be crowned champions of England for the first time since 2004.
Whilst it can be argued that when every senior player is fit and available for selection, squad depth isn’t too much of a problem for Arsenal. However, if they are to maintain a title challenge as well as compete in the Europa League and FA Cup during the second half of the season, better quality is required.
As a result, a number of players have been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium. This includes Palmeiras midfielder Danilo – who was a target in the summer – and Ibrahima Bamba of Vitoria Guimaraes, whilst David Seaman has called for the unrealistic signing of free agent Cristiano Ronaldo.
Another name on Arsenal’s radar is Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykhaylo Mudryk as football.london understands that interest in the Ukrainian has existed for some time and there has been talk of the winger arriving in January to provide competition for Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.
However, the Gunners may face a large degree of difficulty in prizing the 21-year-old away from Shakthar in the new year following recent comments from the player himself suggesting that a dream move has been ‘wounded’ due to his club slapping a €100m (£87.6m) price tag on his head.
“I am 100 per cent sure that they are unlikely to buy a player from the championship of Ukraine for 100 million,” Mudryk admitted. “Serhii Anatoliyovych says that the time will come. Maybe so. But I have my opinion that for such an amount, this time will not come soon, and maybe never.
“After reading the interview of the director, I will not hide that I was very upset. The amount of €100m puts a barrier for my transition to the top championship, which I so dreamed of. I can’t say that my dream was killed, but wounded, that’s for sure.”
Of course, this doesn’t rule out the prospect of Mudryk leaving Shakthar and if he was to join Arsenal, supporters will be looking forward to seeing the Ukraine international holding the Arsenal shirt at his unveiling – but what squad number could the forward take at the Emirates Stadium?
Well, it would appear that he has one favoured option as he currently wears the no.10 shirt for Shakthar and did so for his national team in their UEFA Nations League double-header against Scotland in September.
At Arsenal, the incumbent no. 10 is Emile Smith Rowe and Premier League rules state ‘while he remains with the Club a Player will retain his shirt number throughout the Season for which it was allocated. This means Mudryk would have to choose another shirt number if he was to join the north London outfit in January.
With that said, the winger has worn other numbers on the back of his shirt during his rise up the ranks at Shakthar and during a couple of loan spells. At Arsenal Kyiv he had the rather unique choice no.91 and he used no.14 during his brief time with Desna in the 2020/21 season.
But since returning to his parent club, Mudryk has worn no.91, no.20 and no.10. Of those, the no.20 is currently vacant at Arsenal following Nuno Tavares’ loan move to Marseille in the summer. The same applies to no.91, but that has never been worn by a first-team player at the club.