Arsenal join race for Hoffenheim and Austria midfielder Florian Grillitsch

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta could be set to add much-needed reinforcements to the center of the park at the Emirates this summer after the Gunners have been linked with Austrian international midfielder Florian Grillitsch.

The 26-year-old Neunkirchen-native has been ever-present for Sinsheim-based Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga since the 2017-18 season after securing a move from fellow top-flight outfit Werder Bremen where he graduated from the U19s after arriving from St. Pölten in 2013, and could possibly take the next step in his career under Arteta after The Telegraph’s Mike McGrath reported the club’s interest earlier today.

Reinforcements in the heart of the midfield have long been a necessary requirement for Arsenal if the club was to compete for top-four in the Premier League, and the lack of numbers in the first-team squad under Arteta has reared its ugly head from time to time this season.

With just Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey, Mohammed Elneny, and Sambi Lokonga the only credible midfield options, a mixture of injuries and AFCON assignments have stripped Arsenal of midfield depth across the entire 2021-22 Premier League campaign far more regularly than fans – and Arteta – would have wanted to see.

Grillitsch would offer the versatile midfield profile that would certainly suit Arteta, however. Capable of playing as a 6, 8, 10, on either flank of the midfield, as well as even being utilized as a center-back, he would constitute the ideal squad member to not just plug gaps, but do so in style along the way.

Technically sound and creative just the same, Grillitsch would be available on a free transfer this summer after he decided to allow his contract to run down at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena, which would allow the club to bring its finances to bear as they continue their search for a long-term center forward and possibly a central defender.

Confirmation from Arteta that Thomas Partey could miss the rest of the season was another reminder of the thin nature of the Gunners midfield, and the acquisition of Grillitsch – or any other midfielder of note – must now be viewed as a priority for the club in the upcoming transfer window.

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