The Gunners have looked light in midfield in recent weeks following injuries and suspensions. Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny missed a few weeks of action for the club due to national team commitments at AFCON. The lack of depth exposed their midfield as they failed to win any of their last five games across all competitions heading into the winter break.
Sanches is a player who has been linked with several top European clubs and is expected to leave Lille in the summer transfer window.
Whelan has urged the North Londoners to sign Sanches, who he feels would be a good fit based on his skills and the kind of football the Gunners play:
“He’s exciting. He’s got great speed, can dribble really well – and with real power. We saw him all that time ago in the Euros. He’s had a couple of blips since then but for Lille, he has shown that he can still be electrifying and take a game by the scruff of the neck.
“He can really commit players going forward, and that’s what Arsenal are all about under Arteta. They’re looking to break forward with pace through the likes of Saka and Smith-Rowe – and Sanches could just add to that even further. He would fit right in at Arsenal. It’s all about characters.”
Renato Sanches ready to leave Lille and Arsenal should move to sign him
Renato Sanches has progressed and matured as a player at Lille after a difficult couple of spells at Bayern Munich and Swansea City.
The move to a new league came perhaps too quickly for the midfielder nearly six years ago, who was one of the best talents on show at Euro 2016.
The Portuguese has held his own at Lille and played a key role as they won the Ligue 1 title last year ahead of PSG.
Sanches is now 24, is hungrier than ever and would be a good addition to the the Gunners' midfield. Mikel Arteta’s side need someone who can carry the ball from their own half, and Sanches has that in his skillset.