Brighton winger Kauro Mitoma has studied hard to improve and potentially provide Mikel Arteta exactly what he needs this winter as Arsenal’s search for attacking reinforcement goes on.
With Arsenal on the lookout for a new winger this January transfer window, the discussion of names is rife. However, there is perhaps one option who has already explained to Mikel Arteta that he would be perfect for the task at hand.
The task itself is to of course help Arsenal win the Premier League title. The north London derby victory took the Gunners eight points clear at the top of the table however the question of whether the squad can cope with the second half of the season remains unclear.
Reiss Nelson and Gabriel Jesus are both missing from the attacking options with injuries and Emile Smith Rowe has only just returned and gradually building up his match readiness. After missing out on priority target Mykhailo Mudryk, the pressure is on to find the right player before the window slams shut.
Brighton winger Kauro Mitoma has had a fantastic season after the arrival of Roberto De Zerbi who has thrust the Japan international into the first team. He has been scoring regularly with three goals in his last five matches and looks set only to continue improving.
For Mikel Arteta, he loves players with intelligence and focus. Typically those who want to further themselves with extra work and a passion to improve themselves for the benefit of the team, something which Mitoma has shown in his early years.
Speaking to The Athletic, Mitoma explains his dedication to the practice of dribbling. A topic he decided to write his university thesis on and the results of which are evident every time he now steps onto the pitch, beats his man and opens up a scoring opportunity for himself or his teammates.
“It was the easiest subject for me to choose because I love football and dribbling is what I love to do,” he said. “There were no rules on how much to write, but I progressed with it by analysing my teammates that were good and not-so-good dribblers and trying to find out why that was.
“I put cameras on the heads of my teammates to study where and what they were looking at and how their opponents were looking at them. I learned that the good players weren’t looking at the ball.
“They would look ahead, trap the ball without looking down at their feet. That was the difference. I was one of the better dribblers at that time, but not exceptional.”
Look at Arsenal’s current starting wingers, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli. Both present with excellent dribbling skills combined with the intelligence and desire to both score and create.
Mitoma signed for Brighton in 2021 before being loaned out to Belgian for the following season. His return in 2022 to England has seen a gradual integration into the action at the Amex Stadium.
While Brighton tend to buy low and sell high, perhaps striking early would be the best opportunity Arsenal have of snapping up the winger before his stock rises any further. The price might be big, but with how much the Gunners were willing to invest in Mudryk, and the good relationship with the Seagulls developed further with the transfer of Ben White, there is scope for perhaps something to happen.