Arsenal want a new attacking midfielder this summer – that much is clear. Martin Odegaard won’t be returning to the club after his loan spell at Real Madrid expired at the end of last season.
They have, literally, got a new No 10, as Emile Smith-Rowe signed a new contract at the club and will wear the ‘10’ shirt next season.
However, Arteta would like another attacking midfielder and, with Smith-Rowe playing on the wing at times last year, someone that can potentially play alongside the Arsenal academy product.
Leicester’s James Maddison is someone that has been heavily linked with the Gunners this summer.
The 24-year-old did suffer from injuries at times throughout the last campaign, but still scored eight goals and provided seven assists.
Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho is also a player that has been mentioned, but Sport claim that there has been no bid from the north London side for the midfielder.
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If it comes down to Maddison or Coutinho, Arteta will have a decision to make.
On the one hand, Coutinho will be the cheaper option.
There will be no transfer fee to pay, with Barcelona just wanting his wages off the books, and, although he will be one of the club’s highest earners, it will still work out cheaper than buying Maddison.
Leicester reportedly want upwards of £60m for the former Norwich man and his wage demands might not be too different from Coutinho’s.
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However, when you look at the form of the two players over the last few years, Maddison is the player who looks the better option.
He has proven that in the Premier League over the past few seasons, with 38 goal contributions in 98 games.
Bar a decent spell on loan at Bayern Munich, Coutinho has been disappointing since his move to Spain.
Look back at Coutinho’s last spell in the Premier League, however, and that tells a different story, with the 29-year-old scoring bags of goals and winning numerous individual awards during his time on Merseyside.
If Arsenal think he can regain that sort of form, then signing Coutinho should be their top priority this summer.
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