Mikel Arteta’s first transfer window as head coach passed with two new faces arriving at Arsenal.
But neither were permanent deals. Central defender Pablo Mari and experienced right-back Cedric Soares have joined on loan until the end of the season from Flamengo and Southampton respectively.
Following heavy investment in the playing squad last summer which included splashing a club record £72m on Nicolas Pepe, funds were always going to be limited for Arteta last month, but that could change once the season concludes.
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With that said, there’s talk of the north London outfit closing in on a deal for Pape Gueye in a bid to bolster their central midfield options ahead of the 2020/21 season.
But who is Gueye and why are the Gunners hoping to make him their first permanent signing of the Mikel Arteta era?
Football.london takes a look.
Who is Pape Gueye?
Pape Gueye is a 21-year-old midfielder who currently plays in the second tier of French football with Le Havre.
Born in Montreuil, France, he started his career with the Blanc-Mesnil SF youth team, before earning a move to Le Havre in the summer of 2012.
After five years of youth football, Gueye made his professional debut in a goalless draw against Chamois Niortais on May 5, 2017 and he then signed his first professional contract a month later.
How has he done this season?
Gueye has picked up from where he left off towards the back end of last season when he featured in Le Havre’s final nine matches of the 2018/2019 campaign.
So far this season he has featured in all but two league games and all but one have been as a starter.
According to transfermarkt, the 21-year-old has weighed in with two assists but is yet to trouble the goalscorers.
Pape Gueye in action for Le Havre (Image via Google)
Interestingly, Gueye has captained the side on a few occasions this season and that shows a level of maturity at such a young age and signs that he’s a leader.
One thing he will have to curb is his disciplinary record as he’s been booked five times and sent off once in 22 Ligue 2 appearances.
How much will he cost?
Reports in France claim a deal taking Gueye to the Emirates Stadium will be in the region of €6m which is roughly £5m.
In addition, it’s being reported that the Gunners are very close to an agreement with Gueye.
The 21-year-old’s contract with Le Havre will expire in June 2021 which means he’s likely to be available for a cut-price deal this summer unless he signs a new deal at the Stade Océane.
Who else is interested?
It’s safe to say Arsenal will face strong competition for Gueye’s signature.
Mercato claim La Liga side Sevilla as well as Serie A trio Udinese, Fiorentina and AC Milan have all been watching the 21-year-old’s performances this season.