Arteta comments on Arsenal transfer plans ahead of January window
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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has admitted the club are looking to sign a midfielder this month as they are “very, very short”. The Gunners let Ainsley Maitland-Niles join Roma on loan until the end of the season after the midfielder made it clear he wanted to leave.
But his departure to join Jose Mourinho’s side has now left Arteta with just two recognised midfielders capable of playing in front of the defence for the next few weeks.
Both Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny have travelled with Ghana and Egypt respectively to the Africa Cup of Nations, which gets underway this weekend.
It leaves Granit Xhaka and Albert Sambi Lokonga as the only two recognised senior midfielders capable of filling into Arteta’s system.
Youngsters Charlie Patino and Salah Oulad M’Hand will likely be given more opportunities in the coming weeks to feature more prominently.
But Arteta will want more senior players available to step in with the Gunners pushing for a top-four finish.
The Spaniard has now hinted that Edu’s plan was always to sign a central midfielder this month, whether Maitland-Niles was going to stay or not.
“We are very, very short at the moment,” Arteta said.
“But on a player this cannot be the only argument to keep a player.
“He was very straight with me and I understood the situation.
“We are going to move and we are going to look for options because we are very short there.”
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