Mikel Arteta downplayed suggestions last night that Arsenal were in real need of midfield signings, but said that as long as the transfer window remained open, the club would explore the possibility of doing deals.
The manager pulled no punches about the collective performance following the 2-1 win over West Ham, but understandably wouldn’t be drawn into criticism of individuals.
When it was put to him that midfield was in need of reinforcement after Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka struggled, he said, “No, I think they’ve been really good since I joined the club.
“Not only then but also this season, he deserved to play again today but I just wanted to rotate.
“I thought it was a game where we were going to attack the spaces and the way they defended, we wanted to create some situations with Dani there but if we can strengthen the team then we’re going to try and do that.
“Until the market is gone, everything is still open.”
Pressed again on whether central midfield is an area he’s looking at, with continued links to Lyon’s Houssem Aouar and Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey, he continued, “Well, depending on what happens with some other players … as I say again, we are open to discussions, the market can surprise us.
“Teams can come for any of our players in different positions and we have to react, like it happened with Emi.
“So let’s see what happens.”
So, in conclusion:
- Arteta is not going to lambaste individuals.
- We’re open to doing deals.
- When he says it depends on what happens with other players, he means we need to sell to generate funds to buy.
- He knows midfield needs more than we currently have.
As he said regarding a potential new deal for Alex Lacazette, “We have a lot of things still to do in this market and at the moment we are focusing on those things.”
This stuff could really go down to the wire during this transfer period, so let’s hold tight and see what happens.