Arsenal targeting Bayern Munich defender Matthijs De Ligt

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
30/12/2023
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Bayern’s De Ligt to join Arsenal in the summer

Arsenal have targeted Matthijs De Ligt, Nico Schlotterbeck, and an Ajax youngster to bolster their defence in the summer.

News Insights

  • Arteta demanded more signings.
  • “We need players,” says Arteta.
  • Arsenal are thin at the back.
  • Bayern Munich’s Matthijs de Ligt is the first name on Arsenal’s transfer wishlist.

Arsenal have one of the best defences in the Premier League, but they aren’t satisfied, according to some reports in England at least. A bombshell report from The Athletic claims that the Gunners want to sign at least one centre back between now and the start of next season to bolster their defence. 
 
Bayern Munich’s Matthijs De Ligt has been listed as the main Arsenal transfer target. The club is also reportedly interested in Dortmund’s Nico Schlotterbeck and Ajax’s 17-year-old centre back Jorrel Hato.  

“We need players,” says Arteta 

Injuries to Arsenal’s defence and midfield have Mikel Arteta worried about his squad's depth throughout the rest of the season. “We need players,” the Gunners boss told the press following his side’s 2-0 win over Brighton on December 17.  
 
Who exactly is injured for Arsenal? To start, one of the club’s marquee summer signings, Jurrien Timber, has missed practically the entire season after tearing his ACL during his debut match for Arsenal back in August.  
 
Reliable and versatile defender Takehiro Tomiyasu has also been out with a long-term injury. The 25-year-old defender could possibly be back as early as mid-January, but then he would miss another month for Arsenal while away on international duty with Japan at the AFC Asian Cup.  
 
Recurring injuries for Thomas Partey, Jorginho, and Mohamed Elneny also have caused Arsenal problems recently at the defensive midfield position.  
 
Basically, Arsenal are thin at the back. This is why The Athletic claim the Gunners are looking for defensive reinforcements now. 

De Ligt, Schlotterbeck, and other Arsenal transfer targets 

Bayern Munich’s Matthijs de Ligt is the first name on Arsenal’s transfer wishlist. The Dutch defender joined Bayern from Juventus for €77 million back in 2022. However, he has never really found form or fitness while playing in Bavaria. This has led Arsenal’s higher ups to think that he will be available to sign.  
 
Another Bundesliga centre back, Borussia Dortmund’s Nico Schlotterbeck, is also on Arsenal’s radar. The German international is much more of a regular player for Dortmund than De Ligt is for Bayern, so he may be harder to pry away.  
 
The Athletic believes that both players may be difficult to sign in January, so Arsenal may instead choose to sign defensive reinforcements on loan. No names were given as to who might be available to the Gunners on loan.

Midfield signings likely for Arsenal 

In addition to bolstering the defence, Arsenal are looking at adding more depth to their midfield unit. Right now, the only consistently healthy midfielders are Martin Odegaard and Declan Rice. Kai Havertz is also relatively available, but there are still doubts about whether he can thrive as a part of a midfield trio.  
 
Arsenal tried to sign Douglas Luiz three times back in 2022 before he joined Aston Villa. The Gunners still admire Luiz and could go back in for him as soon as this January.  
 
Wolve’s Pedro Neto, and  Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi are other names Arsenal could target in January.