Why Arsenal should take a punt on Enock Mwepu to bolster midfield
The Gunners are on the lookout for a new midfielder during the mid-season trading period as Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his ranks. Brighton star Yves Bissouma has been linked but the North Londoners view Mwepu as a cheaper alternative this month.
Mwepu started his career with NAPSA Stars and Kafue Celtic in Zambia before moving to RB Salzburg in 2017. He was promoted to the first-team after impression on loan at feeder club Leifering in the Austrian second-tier. The all-action central midfielder shot to prominence with an impressive tally of 5 goals and 7 assists in 36 appearances across all competitions last term.
The 23-year-old has continued to hit the heights at Salzburg this season, contributing with 3 goals and 4 assists in 21 appearances. Mwepu has backed up his strong domestic performances with some eye-catching displays in the group stages of the Champions League over the past couple of campaigns.
Putting things into perspective, Arsenal completing a deal for Enock Mwepu would represent an excellent bit of business for the long-term. The Zambian international has progressed by leaps and bounds in recent years at Salzburg and has held his own against some elite-level opposition in the Champions League.
The Gunners roped in Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid to bolster their midfield in the summer. However, the Ghanaian has endured a slow start to life in North London due to his struggles with injuries, starting just 4 PL fixtures for Arteta’s side so far.
While the big-money signing is expected to be a key part of Arsenal’s plans moving forward, the Gunners should definitely be on the lookout for opportunities to add more quality in that department.
Mohamed Elneny has re-established himself as a key squad player in the midfield following his return from loan this past summer. But the Egyptian has been more industrious than influential, offering very little in terms of progressive build-up play from the middle.
With Granit Xhaka also struggling for consistency and Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos failing to find his stride, Arsenal certainly have some pressing concerns to address.
A potential deal for Enock Mwepu, to that end, would offer Arteta a hardworking and dynamic presence in the midfield. Essentially a box-to-box enforcer by trade, the Zambian excels with his work rate at both ends of the pitch, as evident from his heap map last season. His impressive tally of goals and assists at Salzburg also proves that Mwepu has the creativity to complement his work-rate as an all-action midfielder.
RB Salzburg are well known for their ability to groom talented youngsters into players capable of dominating some of the elite leagues in Europe. Erling Braut Haaland has set the Bundesliga alight with his goalscoring exploits after rising to prominence with the Austrian giants while the likes of Naby Keita and Takumi Minamino have also earned moves to the Premier League with Liverpool in recent windows.
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Having said that, Arsenal could also unearth their own gem from Austria in the form of Enock Mwepu. The Zambian looks like a real talent and should be able to make the step up to the Premier League with a bit more polishing. He still has plenty of room for development at 23, making him more than worth a punt for the Gunners.