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Former Liverpool flop and Unai Emery’s big Arsenal regret among contenders to succeed Mesut Ozil

Mikel Arteta has several problem areas in his Arsenal team that need addressing during the club’s most important transfer window for many years.

Some pundits believe Arteta’s defence is most in need of reinforcements, but the Gunners also lack creativity through the centre of the pitch.

They still have to truly replace Aaron Ramsey, while big-earning Mesut Ozil appears to now be a first-team outcast, with the German not having played since the season resumed last month.

So with Arsenal in need of someone to unlock opposition defences, we’ve taken a look at five players on the continent who could solve that problem…

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Luis Alberto

Club: Lazio

Age: 27

Nationality: Spain

Alberto might have been a flop at Liverpool, but he has since become one of Europe’s most prolific creative players.

The Spaniard has notched 14 assists in 31 Serie A appearances for Lazio this season, creating 12 big chances – a situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score – over the course of the 2019/20 season.

According to Football Critic, only Lorenzo Pellegrini (15) and Alejandro Gomez (14) have created more.

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Alberto is a true playmaker. He would sit at the apex of Arsenal’s midfield trio and give Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe just the sort of supply line they have lacked this season.

Alberto is a now very different player to the one who failed to make an impression at Liverpool.

Filip Kostic

Club: Eintracht Frankfurt

Age: 27

Nationality: Serbia

Eintracht Frankfurt will want to forget their 2019/20 season after managing no better than a ninth-placed finish, but Kostic had a campaign to remember.

The Serbian notched 11 assists in 33 Bundesliga appearances and created 19 big chances over the course of the season. Only Thomas Muller (30) and Serge Gnabry (22) created more in the German top flight.

Kostic primarily plays off the left side but is capable of playing through the middle. He is also a strong presser of the ball, which would surely appeal to Arteta, but is inherently creative.

In some, he is similar to Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes in the way he makes things happen through sheer energy and drive, and who wouldn’t want that talent in their team?

Christopher Nkunku

Club: RB Leipzig

Age: 22

Nationality: France

Timo Werner finished the 2019/20 Bundesliga season as RB Leipzig’s top scorer with 28 goals in 34 appearances, but without Nkunku he would have struggled for service.

The Frenchman has flourished in Germany since making a €13m move from Paris Saint-Germain last summer, and would certainly bring the sort of creativity Arsenal have lacked this season.

Nkunku scored five times and assisted 13 in 32 Bundesliga appearances, averaging 2.3 key passes per 90 minutes, according to the website WhoScored.com.

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