Arsenal are reportedly considering January bids for midfielders Lucas Biglia and James McCarthy. Strengthening in midfield appears to be a priority for the Gunners, after they were linked with the £8 million-rated pair.
The Independent suggests Arsenal could make a winter move for Biglia. The 26-year-old Argentina international is the current captain of Belgian football powerhouse Anderlecht.
Ostensibly described as a defensive midfielder, Biglia is actually more of a technical, creative player. He is a clever passer who offers a varied range of distribution from deep areas.
While his positional sense is excellent, Biglia is more likely to steal possession, rather than break it up. He has the intelligence to accurately track the flow of play and intercept the ball.
However, he is not a robust tackler and would not give Arsenal the rugged midfield presence many feel they need. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger may be more tempted by how Biglia would improve the quality and flow of Arsenal's passing.
If he is looking for more tenacity, McCarthy could be a more suitable option. The Daily Mirror reports that Wenger could bid for the talented Wigan Athletic youngster.
More forward-thinking than Biglia, McCarthy plays a more active style. The 22-year-old is more of a classic, box-to-box midfielder. That's not to say McCarthy doesn't offer skill and technique.
He is a quick, pass-and-move player who can provide a reliable link between the midfield and forward lines. The Republic of Ireland international also has an aggressive streak that Arsenal often lack. He is a fierce tackler who consistently harasses opponents in possession.
As a promising youth, McCarthy fits the mould as a Wenger-like signing. However, despite his potential, McCarthy is unlikely to appeal to sections of Arsenal fans. Many expect the club to invest in marquee January signings.
Yet that shouldn't deter Wenger from maintaining his belief in developing talented youngsters. Of course the real question is do Arsenal need midfield recruits?
The starting trio of Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere has great potential. However, at the moment, that potential is unfulfilled. The group is also over-worked, having featured in most of Arsenal's games.
Wenger's dilemma is that reinforcements are close at hand. Skilful, but brittle duo Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky, are both close to first team returns. Either one could push for a regular starting berth and certainly provide quality depth.
Speaking of depth, Wenger can also turn to Francis Coquelin, himself a promising youngster. Arsenal's manager has also not given up on Aaron Ramsey. He will also be closely monitoring the development of cerebral playmaker Thomas Eisfeld.
With these options, Wenger may choose to spend his resources elsewhere this month. Improving the quality of his options in attack, has to be the priority. Adding further solidity to an inconsistent defense, ranks as a close second.
Either Biglia or McCarthy would be useful additions, but they shouldn't arrive at the expense of more pressing needs.