Arsenal are reportedly close to their first January transfer in Royal Antwerp star Arthur Vermeeren

The Gunners spent more than £200million in the summer to bolster Mikel Arteta’s squad with the signings of Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber, Declan Rice and David Raya. The north Londoners have started the 2023/24 campaign in red-hot form, winning seven of their first 10 games.

Plans for the winter transfer window are already underway with Brentford’s Ivan Toney strongly linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium. However, reports in Spain have claimed a new midfielder could be signed first.

Vermeeren has been the subject of strong interest from Barcelona but Arsenal are now set to complete the signing of the teenager. According to Spanish outlet Sport, the Gunners will pay around £13.1million for the box-to-box midfielder if they are able to get the deal over the line.

The Belgium international came through the Antwerp academy and has already made 53 senior appearances. Having made his debut for his national team, his services have been linked with one of Europe’s biggest teams.

Former Arsenal attacker Marc Overmars, who is currently director of football at Royal Antwerp, previously compared Vermeeren to Barcelona icons Andres Iniesta and Xavi. Speaking to FCBN in September, he said: “I do not have doubts that Vermeeren can play [for] Barca. Like Xavi and Iniesta… Vermeeren [has] the same profile.”

At just over £13million, Vermeeren could turn out to be a bargain for Arsenal. Following the hefty price tags paid for Rice and Havertz in the past, securing a talent for years to come for so cheap is another example of impressive transfer business.

However, the Gunners will be hoping a move to the Premier League doesn’t stagnate his development like Fabio Vieira – who has continued to struggle to break into Arteta’s XI since signing from Porto.