Arsenal may already have an internal solution to their lack of midfield creativity as they weigh up a move to sign either Houssem Aouar or Thomas Partey.
Arteta wants to strengthen his midfield, which lacked both creativity and control in the narrow Premier League win over West Ham last weekend, and has identified two players to fix those issues.
Lyon’s £53million-rated Houssem Aouar is seen as the man to solve the problem of a lack of creativity, while Atletico Madrid midfield general Thomas Partey – who would cost £45m due to the release clause in his contract – would add extra physical prowess to the midfield while being brilliant on the ball himself.
But Arsenal may just have a player already within their ranks capable of stepping up to play that role – 19-year-old Bukayo Saka.
The Gunners’ academy graduate has filled in in various different roles over the past 12 months, playing at left-back, left wing, right wing and in central midfield.
Having produced four goals and 11 assists – the most of any Arsenal player – last season despite spending a large spell of the campaign as a full-back, Saka is the club’s most creative outlet while Ozil remains in exile.
He already has an assist to his name this season, too, supplying Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s strike in the Community Shield penalty shootout win over Liverpool at Wembley.
Against Leicester, Saka was arguably the best player on the pitch. Playing in a left wing-back role in a 3-4-3 formation, his link-up play with his team-mates and bursts towards the box were impossible to miss.
But he has competition in the left-sided full-back role, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Kieran Tierney both capable of excelling there too.
Saka didn’t start in the win at Fulham over the opening weekend with Tierney lining up as the left-sided centre-back and Maitland-Niles as the wing-back on the same side, although he did displace the latter against West Ham.
But while Saka is predominantly deployed as a wide player, the teenager’s future could lie more centrally – having played as the most advanced of a three-man midfield at Brighton, where he played well despite defeat.
Soon after, Arteta explained: “I see [Saka] evolving, getting better, getting to understand different positions and finally we will fit him in one that gives the best.
“At the moment we needed [him] to float a little bit because he gives us a lot of versatility to do different things, even with the same shape.
“He understands the positions really well, he picks [up] movements, the situations and when to use the spaces really quickly, he’s very intelligent and I think it’s a really good thing for his development for him to do that.”
And it is that spatial awareness and use of the ball in tight spaces that makes him potentially ideal should Arsenal eventually switch to a 4-3-3, the formation Arteta was expected to adopt when he first took over at the Emirates.
As Arteta points out, using Saka as a left-sided No 8 does not prevent him from still moving out wide and being a threat against the opposition full-back either – the youngster has the awareness and knowledge to switch drop into the half space and be a danger but also come more centrally when required.
He did that at Brighton, drifting infield and outfield dependent on the situation, occasionally providing defensive cover for Sead Kolasinac while also driving forward offensively on the flank or through the middle at other times.