Arsenal transfer news: First signing made, Buendia and Brandt update, Smith Rowe fear

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta wants to strengthen his squad this month in the transfer window and Express Sport brings you all the latest as the Gunners chase Emi Buendia and Julian Brandt, Ian Wright fears for Emile Smith Rowe and the first signing of the month has been completed.

First signing made

Arsenal appear to have completed their first January signing in Hertha Berlin’s Omar Rekik for a fee believed to be approximately £540,000.

The teams were negotiating in the summer but ran out of time to get the deal over the line.

It now appears to have been completed though with the 19-year-old spotted in Arsenal training yesterday.

The club have not confirmed the deal as yet but it looks to be a formality at this point.

Photos emerged that have since been deleted of Rekik in training.

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Emi Buendia and Julian Brandt latest

Arsenal’s hopes of landing a couple of major signings this month will depend on their ability to free up space in their Premier League squad.

The Gunners are set to do just that with goalkeeper Matt Macey set to depart this week but unfortunately, it will do little to help in their bids to make space for exciting attacking duo Emi Buendia and Julian Brandt.

Earlier this season, Arsenal were only able to register 22 players in their Premier League squad because they could only include five ‘homegrown’ players – when someone has been registered with an FA club for a continuous period of three seasons before the end of the campaign when they turn 21.

Premier League rules state clubs must have eight ‘homegrown’ players otherwise you lose the remaining slots, which meant the Gunners could only register 22 in October.

Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos were forced to miss out.

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Sead Kolasinac rejoining Schalke has freed up one space in their squad but the possible departures of Ozil, Sokratis and that of 19-year-old William Saliba – who has already joined Nice on loan – has not made any additional space.

Ian Wright’s Emile Smith Rowe fear

Arsenal hero Ian Wright has told Mikel Arteta to keep playing Emile Smith Rowe to avoid another Serge Gnabry situation.

The winger left the Gunners and is now playing at Bayern Munich and has established himself as one of the best in Europe.

“It must be brilliant going into training at the moment for someone like Emile Smith Rowe,” the Gunners great told Wrighty’s House Podcast.

“He’s somebody who has had his injuries, he’s gone on loan, he’s done his stuff. For me, Smith Rowe has paid his dues out there, waiting for his chance.

“I think that what Mikel has done now, the timing with which he’s done it, is absolutely perfect because I think if Smith Rowe doesn’t get into this team, at this stage, and they carry on doing what they’re doing and persisting with people who are not performing at the levels they should – whether it’s Willian or [Nicolas] Pepe – I think you lose him.

“Especially with January being here, and then we’ve got a Serge Gnabry on our hands.”

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