4 emergency Arsenal midfield options vs Tottenham as Granit Xhaka serves suspension

Ben White and Calum Chambers are both likely to start against Tottenham, with one of them playing in midfield
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This is the most likely option for Arteta. Speaking after Thursday evening's game, the Spaniard was asked by reporters if White would play in midfield against Spurs.

"It’s an option that we have," came the reply. "He has played there before. He has played as a central defender, he’s played as a right-back and he’s played in a back three.

"That’s one of the positive things with Ben, that he has the capacity to play in different role."

White, however, stayed in defence after Xhaka was sent off whilst Calum Chambers came into a back five.

Chambers also has midfield experience and could be an option. Like White, he can play at centre-back, right-back or defensive midfield.

He's likely to be needed in some capacity against Spurs after first-choice right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu missed the Liverpool game through injury and his understudy Cedric Soares picked up a knock after just 11 minutes.

Read more : Mikel Arteta's immediate reaction to Xhaka red card made feelings crystal clear

Charlie Patino

Charlie Patino is the best option if Mikel Arteta wants to play a recognised central midfielder
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If Arteta wants to play two specialist central midfielders against Tottenham, his best option is to start blossoming talent Charlie Patino.

The 18-year-old has impressed when given the opportunity, scoring on his senior debut against Sunderland in the EFL Cup quarter-final.

"Go on YouTube and watch his clips," insisted Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand earlier this month. "It’s a joke what you see, the talent he’s got.

"I’ve spoken to people at Arsenal and what they say about him in terms of this kid, talent-wise, could potentially be the best of the lot that’s come out in recent years.

"It’s a huge bar, but this kid has the talent and the big, big part of him is his mentality.

"When you talk to anybody who knows him, mentally, he doesn’t get carried away, doesn’t get too low, doesn’t get too high, very balanced kid, but has all the fundamentals in his game to really go to the top of the tree.

"This kid is the next. I just feel, when you watch him, there’s a beautiful way he plays, the balance, the rhythm, the fans will enjoy watching him."

The problem is he's very inexperienced. Patino has just four professional appearances to his name – two of which came for Arsenal's U23s in the EFL Trophy – and has never played a Premier League game.

Perhaps Arteta can take inspiration from Danny Rose. The former Tottenham man scored a stunning goal on his Premier League debut against the Gunners in April 2010.

Rose is proof that novices can prosper in the NLD cauldron. Still, starting Patino would be a massive call from Arteta.

Read more : Charlie Patino hails "best day of his life" after Arsenal wonderkid's dream debut

Miguel Azeez

Miguel Azeez's loan at Portsmouth is set to be cancelled but he's unlikely to play against Spurs
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Another youngster who could feature against Tottenham is Azeez. He's set to have his loan spell at Portsmouth terminated shortly.

The 19-year-old boasts more experience than Patino… but not much more. Azeez has made only 11 senior appearances, none of those coming in the Premier League.

And, although he's rated at Arsenal, he underwhelmed during his six-month spell at Fratton Park.

Rather than play against Spurs, Azeez is likely to be loaned to another EFL club for the remainder of the season, but in the short-term he could be needed at least on the bench against Spurs.

"His technical ability and his athleticism will give him every opportunity to have a great career," said Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley, who couldn't give Azeez the minutes he required.

"He’s done really, really well. He’s another one who is incredibly driven, with an outstanding level of focus and he’s a student of the game.

"He always wants to learn, develop and improve. He’s fought his way into the team, and good on him."

Arsenal wonderkids : 5 youngsters who could save Arteta millions in transfer fees

New signing

Arthur Melo is set to join Arsenal… but not in time for the NLD
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This is the most unlikely option for Arteta. The Gunners are close to bringing Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo to the Emirates on loan for the rest of the season.

The Brazilian, 25, has won La Liga with Barcelona, the Copa Libertadores with Gremio and the Copa America with his national team.

"Arthur I didn’t know that much about but he seems similar to Xavi," said Messi when Arthur signed for Barcelona in 2018.

"He’s very safe and trustworthy. He has the La Masia style. Playing short passes, without losing the ball, and he grasped it quickly, the dynamic of the team."

Arthur boasts an impressive CV and a reference from Messi, but Arsenal must register him before noon on Friday to allow him to play against Tottenham.

And, with Juventus still trying to line-up a replacement for him, that seems an impossible task.

Jack Wilshere is available for the NLD… if Arsenal sign him before noon on Friday
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One midfielder who the Gunners could sign before Friday's deadline is Jack Wilshere. The icon has been training with the club since the autumn and is ready to go.

"Jack is very close to Mikel, but it’s going to be a big ask for Jack as he's not played all season," Wilshere's ex-Arsenal team-mate Emmanuel Frimpong told The Sun last month.

"To come straight back into the Arsenal team, that’s a lot of pressure… he's still one of the most technically gifted and he's as good as any midfield player within the current Arsenal squad.

"The only problem is him staying fit and injury free. Bringing him in would be a smart move as he has so much to give to the younger players in terms of knowledge and experience."

Wilshere starting against Tottenham would be one of the Premier League's great comebacks. That fairy tale, though, is set to remain an act of fiction.