Arsenal aren’t short of central midfielders with Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny and Sambi Lokonga at their disposal, but Elneny and Lokonga are surplus to requirements under Mikel Arteta and seldom start in the Premier League anymore.
The Gunners are looking to upgrade in the engine room and Sky Sports says they’re showing an interest in Georginio Wijnaldum. The 31-year-old has an uncertain future at Paris Saint-Germain after struggling for playing time this season, but PSG are reticent to let him leave.
Wijnaldum joined the Parisians on a three-year-deal from Liverpool last summer and has gone on to make 24 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals with one assist. The Dutch international has only amassed 1274 minutes, however, as Mauricio Pochettino doesn’t appear to rate him.
Wijnaldum has started just 10 of PSG’s 20 Ligue 1 games this season and finds himself behind Leandro Paredes, Danilo Pereira, Idrissa Gueye, Marco Verratti and Ander Herrera in the pecking order, so he’s ‘open to a move’ away in January for more playing time.
The 31-year-old has spoken publicly about his unhappiness with the situation at PSG, but the Ligue 1 leaders don’t want to let him go this month. Wijnaldum is a talented player and still has a role in the squad, albeit secondary, so PSG would rather hold onto him.
It’s worth noting that the Dutchman has started three of their last four league games, so he does still get sporadic opportunities. Arsenal aren’t giving up, however, and hope they can persuade PSG to let Wijnaldum leave until the end of the season.
The Gunners don’t have a first-team regular with a pass completion above 90%, but Wijnaldum completes 90.7% of his passes in Ligue 1. The 31-year-old gets dribbled past once every 186 minutes, which is considerably better than Xhaka’s 69 minutes and Partey’s 63.2 minutes, so he might provide more protection in the middle of the park if signed.