By Alan Hutton

8th Jan, 2022 | 3:00pm

Arsenal could sign Xhaka 'upgrade' as transfer plot reported - pundit

Aston Villa star Douglas Luiz could be an “upgrade” on the midfielders currently at Arsenal, according to Alan Hutton.

The former Claret and Blue defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the Villa Park club must keep the 23-year-old at the club to realise their lofty ambitions.

As reported by The Sun last Saturday (1 January), Luiz has joined contract rebel Denis Zakaria on Mikel Arteta’s shortlist as he targets a midfield addition this month.

Arsenal already have a host of midfield options on their books.

Hutton suggested Aston Villa should resist interest from the north London side, branding Luiz one of the “top talents” at the club.

“I think Arsenal have got the players to cope in that midfield area,” he told Football Insider‘s Russell Edge.

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“They’ve got the likes of Partey, Lokonga, Xhaka, and Elneny all in those positions already. To want another one, I can only think that Mikel Arteta sees Douglas Luiz as an upgrade.

“But why would Aston Villa sell to a team who are at the level of where they are aspiring to be?

“They’re trying to compete against the likes of Arsenal and to do that they will have to keep hold of their best players.

“It’s step by step for Villa to get there, but you can’t be selling off all of your best players if you want to get there – so hopefully they can keep hold of all of these top talents.”

Arsenal sit fourth in the Premier League.

They face Nottingham Forest in FA Cup action on Sunday.

In other news, Arsenal handed ‘big’ defender boost after ruling body update.