Arsenal face a backlash from their own supporters as they explore a deal to sign Amadou Onana this month.

The Everton midfielder has emerged as a potential January addition for the Gunners though could cost as much as £50million to recruit from their Premier League rivals.

And Arsenal’s interest in the Belgian, with ‘intensive’ talks said to have been held by Sacha Tavolieri, could prompt some frustration. Of course, the north Londoners should take opportunities where they can to strengthen their first-team squad.

They need as strong and deep a squad as possible in their Premier League title fight against Manchester City and Liverpool. But it is clear that their biggest weakness right now is not in midfield, but in the final third.

Arsenal have won just one of their last seven matches across all competitions. It is a run that has yielded a mere five goals. In their last three matches – a 2-0 loss to West Ham, a 2-1 reverse at Fulham and a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in the FA Cup – they have managed a collective 61 shots and managed a single goal.

Their attack has clearly lost confidence of late. Bukayo Saka looks jaded and is easier to defend than at his best. Gabriel Martinelli has lost some spark too. Gabriel Jesus has struggled with injuries and has had too many profligate moments when fit.

Arsenal are crying out for a physical presence through the middle, one who can hold the ball up and occupy defenders to bring others in to play. Not just that but most crucially, they need a ruthless finisher.

Ivan Toney is the name that comes to mind but a £100m deal with Brentford looks difficult to do due to FFP concerns. Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic are other strikers who have been linked who may fit that billing but again, they would not be cheap. Dominic Solanke of Bournemouth is another of a similar profile.

And at a time where Arsenal do not have money to spend freely, splashing £50m – or close to it – on Onana may frustrate sections of their fanbase. They would rather see a new centre-forward brought in, even though the Everton player could prove a fine addition to Arteta’s midfield.

There are currently doubts about Gabriel Jesus’ ability to be a consistent goalscorer and question marks over Eddie Nketiah despite his hat-trick versus Sheffield United in October. He has not scored in nine league appearances since then.

Summer signing Kai Havertz has been used predominantly as a midfielder this season but the move for Onana suggests the German could be used further forward more often. He played there in the FA Cup defeat to Liverpool last Sunday.

Football.London say Arsenal are instead looking at the loan market for a new striker. That could suggest they have a No 9 in mind who they will have to wait for the summer to sign. That could be Toney or Osimhen or even an entirely different name like Evan Ferguson or Santiago Gimenez.

But Arsenal could really do with more firepower now, to help lift the standards of their front line back up. Perhaps Havertz can be the man for them. But if the Londoners go out and spend big on Onana instead of on a new frontman, they can expect some criticism from all quarters, including from some of their own fans.