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The transfer market dominates football discourse and analysis to the point that the shark has been jumped and football matches are, essentially, considered 90-minute exercises to see what a team needs to buy. It gives me pause for thought when I attribute so much weight to Arsenal’s pursuit of a new central midfielder.

However, I do consider this a glaring requirement for Arsenal before the window closes next month and I think the difference between Arteta’s side being a top six team and a top four team probably rests on whether they are able to recruit in this area and how well they do it. It was a similar situation for Manchester United earlier this year.

Bruno Fernandes was such an obvious upgrade on Fred and Andreas Pereira and the Portuguese duly turned United from a top six team into a top three team. Even Liverpool have been moved to upgrade in this area of the pitch with…