Arsenal could sign a "remarkable" Rice partner in £52m-rated PL star - opinion

And just like that, Arsenal are back at the forefront of the Premier League pack, with Mikel Arteta's squad quietly firing themselves into first-rate form and capitalising on rivals' dropped points at the weekend.

It's been an interesting one, with Arsenal's defensive dominance this season a discernible upgrade from last term, but coming at the cost of the same captivating level of panache in an attacking sense.

13 matches into the 2023/24 campaign, the Gunners are indeed one point clear at the top of the table, boasting the best defensive record in the division and tasting defeat just once, to Newcastle United at St. James' Park.

Only Manchester City have conceded fewer shots from open play (72) than Arsenal (91), while no team has made fewer saves in the Premier League than the Emirates Stadium side (18).

This all blends together to emphasise a growth in maturity, and a newfound cohesion across the park that bespeaks the title-winning credentials that this remarkable set of players possess.

Arteta is a man of perfection, however, and he will be fervently anticipating the January transfer window, where shrewd investment could result in a more comfortable distance being established from the club's heel-snapping rivals.

Arsenal will be eager to bolster, and at the top of the transfer wishlist is Aston Villa's midfield general Douglas Luiz, with transfer guru Fabrizio Romano revealing that he is Arteta's "top target", with rumours surrounding Ruben Neves believed to be wide of the mark.

However, the Italian journalist has since taken to Twitter to delineate Villan manager Unai Emery's absolute desire to rebuff any advances for the 25-year-old.

The fast-rising Premier League side consider Luiz the lynchpin in the middle, with his emphatic exploits this season earning him a transfer valuation of £52m, according to CIES Football Observatory.

While the north London side are desperate to land the Brazilian ace, Football Insider claim that Manchester City are interested in re-signing the starlet they let go for £15m in 2019.


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