Arsene Wenger signed an outfield player for the first time in a year yesterday, sealing a £5million deal for FC Basel midfielder Mohamed Elneny. But while the Egyptian will provide an immediate boost to Arsenal's squad, he represents the start of a significant overhaul.
According to the Daily Mail, Wenger is preparing to make sweeping changes to his midfield in the summer transfer window with Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky all likely to be shown the door.
The veteran trio, with a combined age of 99, all see their contracts with the Gunners expire at the end of the current campaign and Wenger has, at least for now, no plans to offer any of them an extension.
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That will leave Arsenal in need of external reinforcements and their army of scouts have been told to go in search of new midfielders ahead of the summer. Southampton's Victor Wanyama remains the prime focus and will be scouted many, many times between now and the end of the season.
The Kenyan has been a star for the Saints since arriving from Celtic in 2013 and could be made available to Arsenal for around £20million. Having saved his pennies over the summer, it is a fee that Wenger will be more than capable of paying.
This midfield revolution has been coming for some time for Arsenal. Arteta and Rosicky have been in decline for a while and it is widely believed that they actively tried to sell Flamini last year. But one man who will be very worried by the change around will be Jack Wilshere.
The talented England midfielder is yet to make an appearance this season after another devastating injury blow, taking his total time out injured since 2011 towards the three-year mark.
It will be high time for Wenger to decide whether or not he can rely upon Wilshere in the future. The alternative, of course, doesn't bear thinking about. There is little chance of Arsenal selling their beloved youth product, but the big question will be whether or not he will be effectively replaced by a new arrival this summer.
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