Thursday, December 1, 2022

Arteta: We’re always looking to improve the team

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal are always on the lookout for new recruits and might need to be reactive during the January transfer window depending on how the World Cup treats his players. 

While the Gunners dropped out of the Carabao Cup in midweek, the manager knows his current squad will have their work cut out after Christmas if they are to maintain a title challenge while successfully juggling responsibilities in the Europa League and FA Cup. 

His comments are nothing new, the Spaniard has warned since the start of the season that he doesn’t necessarily have as much depth as he’d like even if the collective has, to date, coped well with injury issues.

“I said that from day one after the transfer window that obviously the demands of the competitions that we’re involved in are huge and some of the players and the experience of those players is not the biggest,” he told his pre-Wolves press conference. 

“We have competed in a really impressive way up to now with the numbers that we have and of course, if we can improve the team, we’re always going to be looking to do that as a club. 

He added: “I don’t know [if we’ll be busy in January], this window is so unpredictable, especially with a World Cup in the middle. 

“We’ll have a look and we’ll try to get the squad stronger and as well react, because you don’t know what’s going to happen at the World Cup, touch wood everybody will be okay.”

Pressed on whether he thinks Arsenal are short in specific areas of the pitch, he replied: “No, it’s a comment that I made the first day after the transfer window. It doesn’t mean that it [the squad] is not good enough. 

“It is short and we have used players, like, for example, Marquinhos that we had other plans for, and he’s been an important player and a player that has the capacity. 

“It’s true that we had injuries as well; Mo has been out for three months, we had Thomas out for a period, we had Alex out for a long period as well.

“We have adapted to that and we are willing to do that but the demands are going to be really big for everyone and we need to be ready for it.”

If reports are to be believed – and we suggest you take them with a heavy pinch of salt – Arsenal have already lodged bids for players they want to recruit in January with Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykhailo Mudryk strongly linked. 

With no domestic action for six weeks, the standard transfer tittle-tattle could take on epic new proportions. Buckle up.

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DAF

Another sharp attacking wing player and proper cover for Partey please!

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I don’t think that’s an area we will look at in January as Elneny is adequate cover, but of course his contract expires in the summer.

flash

he is cover…

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Very capable cover. Elneny is the one who steadied the ship 7 months ago after we had just lost three on the bounce to Palace, Brighton, Southampton.

Elneny came into the team and we won the next 4 – against Man United, Chelsea, West Ham, Leeds – to give us a fighting chance for 4th.

Ozzie

Pepe and AMN??

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I like the idea of internal solutions, but would you really give Pepe another chance? Mikel was happy to let him go without even signing a replacement – relying on Nelson/Marquinhos for cover – that indicates Mikel is done with him.

AMN’s contract expires in the summer. Can’t see us offering a new one unless under Southampton’s new manager he somehow turns into Patrick Vieira. Will be curious to see if he still even gets a game there anymore.

Oddo

Can’t say fairer than that.

If we recruit we could be the only contender capable of giving City a run for their money.

Boy Bastin

Yes, it could very well be down to City and us post WC break, although I wouldn’t totally rule out another challenger – possibly Newcastle, who knows? If so, we’ll certainly need to strengthen the squad in January. Whether we can bring in the necessary quality players then within the reported budget of £50 million will be seen. For example, Mudryk’s price has apparently increased some three times since the summer so, if true, he may not be an option now. Anyway, we’ll find out.

Anders Limpar

We are going to need a striker. An injury to Jesus leaves us just Eddie and then a player out of position or a youth teamer.

I doubt we will sign another striker. How many teams have three #9’s in their squad? Nottingham Forest don’t count.

If Jesus and Eddie are absent simultaneously, the next option is Martinelli through the middle (where he switches with Jesus throughout matches anyway) with Smith-Rowe on the left. Martinelli is mature enough now where he can contribute at #9 if needed.

Jakeus

I agree – in terms of attacker we need a right sided winger in a similar mold to Saka (inverted, ball carrier with end product). Doesn’t need to be his level, but style I feel is important, to make the substitutions more compatible when needed. Not sure Reiss is quite up to it for the long haul.

Anders Limpar

Fair enough, but who is taking Martinellis place out wide? I would love to believe ESR will get fit and remain fit for the rest of the season, but the point of a squad is to offer reasonable alternatives. Perhaps we should be looking at a back up 9 who is happy playing off the left, or vice versa.

yes

mudryk baby, aw yeah

It’s such a low probability that Jesus, Nketiah, and ESR are all injured at the same time.

I mean it could happen – this is Arsenal afterall.

Vieiraera

That’s where Mudryk starts making more sense perhaps

Nainsley Aitland Miles

He would be a brilliant signing.

I fear that Donetsk will auction him and N£wca$tl€ will pinch him as they now see Arsenal as a direct rival. So I’m not getting my hopes up.

Jeremy DG

Why on earth would he go to newcastle over arsenal?

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Exactly, but ask Bruno Guimarães.

Mayor McCheese

There was Arsenal interest in Bruno but it was never concrete in terms of a bid, so no, he didn’t choose Newcastle ‘over’ Arsenal. There was no choice to make. He’s been kind of bitter about it ever since.

Qwaliteee

Seems to me that not only are we going to be taken up by the obvious gaps in the squad, but we’re also going to have had to identify a number of options for a number of contingency plans – unprecedented stuff for a January transfer window. Of course, the last thing any of us wants to do is tempt fate, but unfortunately it’s a penny to a pinch of shit that someone is probably going to get crocked. Again, I don’t want this to happen with every fibre of my being, but we cannot afford to simply sweep the… Read more »

Duke Dilla

Don’t know why this has been voted down , if we fall behind in March /April everybody will be moaning about us not signing anyone in January like last year.

Qwaliteee

Spot on, mate. 😉👍

Alan Sunderland

People think the players have to be looked after like baby birds. They all thrive on someone competing for their place, that’s how they ended up at arsenal. We definitely need an forward and a left footed CB to compete with gabriel. Mudryk would have the dream for me. A signing like that would make an statement not just to other teams, but to other own players that we’re serious about winning the league.

Shiny new players are exciting but internal solutions can save millions.

Something I’d like to see Mikel trying in our mid-season friendlies next month is Tierney playing left-wing. He may not score a hatful but does possess a lot of good attacking qualities. Worth trying to see if it’s a viable option if needed.

We’ve tried Nketiah and Nelson there this season but neither impressed in that position. Nelson has the attributes but is much more comfortable on the right. Smith-Rowe hopefully returns soon but he plays his best football centrally.

flash

95% ridiculous. you’d never do it unless you absolutely had to. and I think we’re probably already fucked it it gets to that stage. but I do kind of see the other 5%. kind of.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Did you miss the sentence where I suggested try it in the mid-season friendlies. If it doesn’t work, then sod it.

But is it more ridiculous then playing DM Xhaka as a #8?

Everyone wanted Tielemens. Until they didn’t.

Is it more ridiculous then moving our best CB Ben White to RB.

Mikel thinks outside the box, makes the moves that nobody else saw coming.

Alan Sunderland

I don’t get the logic behind posts like this, and never will. If we can sign a good player sign him. You can’t have enough of them, there’s going to be a lot of twists and turns before the season is over. I’m not sure if this is some sort of hold over from the move to the Emirates. We’re one of the biggest teams in the world, with a massive worldwide fanbase. Finally we’re starting to act like it. I’m convinced we’re going to get a couple of places in January, and teilamans for free in the summer. That’s… Read more »

The point is that it’s extremely difficult to sign the correct players in January, as evidenced last season.

Even if we do get say a Mudryk, he may not hit the ground running in January as he won’t have a pre-season with the squad.

mjc1892

Sod that. This is a monumental chance for us- albeit a very slim one.
Newcastle will no doubt improve, presumably Chelsea will be back in the mix sooner rather than later.
And I disagree on ESR entirely- I think he’s far more effective on the left channeling his inner Pires. He’s always been quite disappointing when playing centrally.
Winger and/ or centre forward, and definitely a central midfielder and let’s take on City proper. Can’t wait for the WC to be over!

Jackie

You just want to have Tierney somewhere on the pitch, don’t you?

Nelson has been more comfortable on the left actually.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

No not at all. I think Zinchenko and Tomiyasu are better alternatives at LB for the current Artetaball tactics.

But there’s no obvious replacement if Martinelli got injured.

Mudryk would be exciting of course, and can play both wings, but far from any guarantee we get him in January.

Nelson was bad on the left at Bodo, and was brilliant on the right against Forest. Small sample size obviously.

Jackie

He got those goals while he was on the right, but he came alive whilst on the left. There he drove at defenders with pace and intent. Similar to how he created the goal against Brighton.

We should have gotten Mudryk this summer. 40 million would have done it then.

Badaab

some left field options that i think would fit nicely into our project (age, price, position, work ethic, cost/resale value) are harrison reed at fulham and bryan mbuemo at brentford.
i would also like leley ugochukwu at rennais, and while very raw at 18, he’s got all the attributes to be a complete monster in midfield.

John

Will Emery give Douglas Luiz to us? He hasn’t signed that extension and is on the last months right?

Martin R

He signed a 4 year extension. Besides he was never good enough for us.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Hmmm we wouldn’t have bid £35m for him if he wasn’t good enough for us.

GooNZer

Gasp.
I read, “David Luiz” and nearly croaked.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Emery does love his D. Luiz’s.

Determination Cultured

Key role Will be the number 8 role,cos if xhaka is out we have a massive drop in Quality in lakonga. Rowe, reiss and vieira should be able to cover the wings and AM role, though 1 addition is ideal. Reiss might change arteta’s mind if he continues to perform.

ESR and Vieira can play #8.

But if we can get Tielemens on a free transfer in the summer to bolster the squad for the Champions League campaign, by all means go for it.

Collibosher

As with last January, there are things to consider. If the right players are available, yes, sign them. But not out of desperation, to be landed with players we don’t need long term, or who will block the progress of players like, for example, Balogun, who seems to be coming on nicely. A balanced approach is needed.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Very sensible assessment.

Karl

If we are to sign Mudryk, would he be content with sitting on the bench? We also have Fabio Vieira and later on ESR. I love new signings and think that Mudryk would be a perfect addition to the team but its really hard this year in a good way. Id rather be in a position where we are looking for backups rather than first team players. I actually feel a bit sorry for the defenders, i just wonder if tehre is any other team in europe with that quality and depth at the back four?

escapepod303

Arteta will have the time now to plan with Edu as there’ll be no games taking away his focus

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