As you might expect from someone who likes to play his cards close to his chest, Mikel Arteta wouldn’t be drawn on Arsenal’s potential plans for the January transfer window.
However, after being quizzed at today’s press conference, he did acknowledge conversations about how to improve the squad and deal with potential incomings and outgoings happen on a regular basis behind the scenes.
With four players departing for the African Cup of Nations in January, including key men like Thomas Partey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, as well as Nicolas Pepe and Mohamed Elneny, the squad could be light and many feel an addition – even on loan – would be useful to provide cover during that period.
It wasn’t a topic the Arsenal boss was keen to go into details on, but he referenced discussions that may lead to some business being done depending on how active the market is.
“We have talks every week about it, how we can improve the team, and what things can happen in the January transfer window that can effect our squad,” he said.
“As you know, we have certain players with a little bit of uncertainty in the summer so we have to plan what’s going to happen now and what’s going to happen in the summer.
“A lot has to be done, we know and we don’t expect big things to be happening, but we need to be very alert in the market to see if we can improve the team.
“We have to be prepared because things can happen and injuries can arise in this period of the season and you have to be prepared and planned.”
His focus for now though, are the players he has available to him, saying, “I just trust in the players that we have and try to make them as good as possible and try to make them improve the team and try to be more and more consistent.
“If we play better we’ll get better results, that’s it.”
Arsenal January Transfers 2013 – 2021
January 2021 – Martin Odegaard (Real Madrid): Loan
January 2020: Pablo Mari (Flamengo): Loan* – Cedric Soares (Southampton): Loan*
January 2019: Denis Suarez (Barcelona): Loan
January 2018: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund): £55m – Henrik Mkhitaryan (Man Utd): Swap/Alexis Sanchez
January 2016: Mohamed Elneny (FC Basel): £7m
January 2014: Kim Kallstrom (Spartak Moscow): Loan
January 2013: Nacho Monreal (Malaga): £8m
*loans then made permanent