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.