"Arsenal 1 Stoke 0 injury time" (CC BY 2.0) by oddsock

We’re now midway through the 2016/17 campaign and Arsenal are there or thereabouts at the top of the Premier League table. The Gunners are nine points behind current leaders Chelsea but a new arrival in the upcoming transfer window could give Arsene Wenger’s side a much-needed boost ahead of the business end of the season.

Valencia left-back Jose Gaya has been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium before the end of January and most Arsenal fans would welcome another addition in defence. The 21-year-old has been labelled as one of Europe’s top defensive prospects and Wenger will be quietly confident of luring the Spaniard to the Premier League.

He was linked with a transfer to Spanish giants Real Madrid last summer but pressure from Valencia’s passionate supporters put an end to a proposed £30 million move. However, his time at the Mestalla Stadium may be running out. A fresh start in England’s top flight and the chance to feature in the Champions League may make his mind up for him.

 Gaya has made 14 appearances for Valencia this season, helping Cesare Prandelli’s men to avoid defeat in exactly half of those fixtures. Incredibly, he has picked up just one yellow card in 845 minutes of La Liga football and his reliable disciplinary record will go down well with supporters at the Emirates Stadium should a move materialise.

It would be unfair to claim that Gaya has fallen out of favour under Prandelli but rumours surrounding his future have certainly rocked his focus in recent weeks. Because of these links, the Valencia left-back has played just 170 minutes in their last four encounters – and this could suggest that the club are willing to sell the youngster if a decent offer comes in.

Arsenal will face stiff competition for Gaya’s signature and the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool – three of Arsenal’s main title rivals – could be set to enter a bidding war with Wenger’s men. The Gunners, 6/1 to win the crown with Sportsbet.io, may be the best fit for Gaya; especially as compatriot and current left-back Nacho Monreal could help him to settle and adjust to life in England.

At 31 years old, Monreal isn’t getting any younger and it might be time for Wenger to bring some fresh blood into the defence. Shkodran Mustafi’s arrival has certainly helped to shore up the back line in the first half of the campaign and another addition might give Arsenal that added edge in the title race. Wenger’s side have conceded 19 goals in 17 league games this season and Gaya’s reliability on the flanks would provide some additional cover for the back four.

Gaya is one for the future and Arsenal should seriously consider paying up to acquire the Valencia star. The 21-year-old is only going to get better as he continues to develop and Wenger cannot afford to pass up on the opportunity to sign such a talented young player. It might take some time for Gaya to fully adjust to the pace of England’s top flight but all signs suggest that he could enjoy a fruitful career in the Premier League.