Mikel Arteta edges closer to transfer "priority" with ruthless Arsenal move

While many Premier League managers keep their transfer cards close to their chest at the start of windows, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta laid out his plans for all to see.

"Well, we have a large squad. We knew that," he said, at the start of the month.

"A lot of things that should have happened in the summer we could not accomplish them for different reasons.

"There are a lot of players that are going to go on loan. They are going to leave.

"And that’s the priority at the moment because we cannot sustain the numbers that we have in certain positions We are looking to do that."

And 20 days into the window, Arteta is well on the way to trimming that bloated squad that has hamstrung attempts to bring in new recruits.

Mesut Ozil is undoubtedly the most high-profile departure of the month and when his Fenerbache transfer is completed, it will free up a whopping £350,000-per-week on the wage bill.

Along with the World Cup winner, Arteta and technical director Edu have busily, and thus far, successfully moved on a number of players that would have played a small part in the second half of the season.

Arsenal failed to secure a loan move for William Saliba in the summer, but wasted little time this time around, with the defender set to earn valuable experience back in France with Nice.

Defenders Sead Kolasinac and Sokratis were surplus to requirements in north London and the ruthless move to terminate the contract of the latter, shows the club's commitment to delivering on Arteta's promise.

How many signings do Arsenal need to make in the January window? Have your say here.

It may not be the exciting month that many anticipated, particularly with their resurgent Premier League form, but it's one that was vitally important in the development of Arteta's squad.

The Gunners are still linked with incomings and there is hope that the much sought after attacking midfielder may still rock up in north London.

Arteta did admit they would try to take advantage of "opportunities" that came their way, but as for now, the Arsenal manager has achieved exactly what he set out to do.

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