The arrival of January brings the new year and the official start of the mid-season transfer business. The past few windows have been quite active for Arsenal as Mikel Arteta and Edu refresh the squad. With several senior players rumored to be leaving or on expiring contracts we expect a busy summer, but might the Gunners dip into the market this month if the right price and opportunity present itself?
Duncan Castles from The Transfer Window podcast recently stated that Arsenal are monitoring Tariq Lamptey for a potential move. The Gunners just brought in the new starting right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu during the last window, so how much is there to this rumor?
Player: Tariq Lamptey, 21
Current Club: Brighton & Hove Albion. A part of the Chelsea academy since 2008, he worked his way up to their U23 side while making three minor appearances for the senior side, before the move to Brighton two years ago this month. Lamptey was a key figure in their 20/21 campaign before a hamstring injury cost him the rest of the season. He returned to action this past October helping the Seagulls pick up draws against Liverpool, Chelsea, and West Ham.
International: Has played for the England U18s up to the U21s during this current season. Most recently played the full 90 as England beat Andorra 3-1 in the UEFA U21 European Championship qualification campaign.
Position(s): Over his career at Chelsea and Brighton he has split his time nearly 50-50 between right back and right midfield. At Brighton, it’s been a slight shift more towards the midfield role, but whether playing for his club or country it’s a coin-flip for which spot on the right he will line up.
Potential Price: Estimated around $20 million by Transfermarkt. With Brighton currently in the top half of the table, it’ll likely cost more than that to pry the 20-year-old away. Arsenal would likely have to get closer to $30m, especially given his homegrown status.
Arsenal Positional Depth:
- Right-Back: Takehiro Tomiyasu, Cedric Soares, & Calum Chambers
- Right Midfield: Ainsley Maitland-Niles & Bukayo Saka
Arsenal Need: In January the need is low. Arteta has three options at right-back and when they play a 4-4-2 you’ll get Bukayo Saka as the right-sided midfielder. Arsenal doesn’t often play a 4-3-3 or with wing-backs lately, which would suit Lamptey more. There are links that Maitland-Niles may leave in January, which could free up space and funds. In the summer that need increases. Ideally, Arteta would like to find another right-back to combine with Tomiyasu and move on Cedric, Chambers & potentially even Maitland-Niles.
Final Verdict: Brighton will have little appetite to sell Lamptey in January and unless unforeseen exits occur Arsenal has little need for him at the moment. However, in the summer I could see Edu going in for the right-back in the $25-30 million range to complete the revamp on that side of the backline. Much like with Nuno Tavares, even with a primary starter already in that role, Lamptey may be tempted by a switch to the Emirates if they are back in European action next season.
He would clearly fit into the player profile that Edu and Arteta are focusing on. Saka, Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Ramsdale, Gabriel, White, Tomiyasu, Tierney, Martinelli, and Tavares are all 24 or younger. Add in expected future contributors like Albert Sambi Lokonga and Folarin Balogun and the Young Gunners theme is fully alive. If the club could move on the likes of Cedric, Kolasinac & Chambers, bringing in Lamptey to pair at right-back with Tomiyasu seems like quality business — in the summer.