Saturday, February 4, 2023

Arteta on Smith Rowe, Jesus, and January

Mikel Arteta was a happy man after his side beat Lyon 3-0 in Dubai today, with the Gunners beginning their second pre-season.

Goals from Gabriel, Eddie Nketiah and Fabio Vieira gave us the victory over Laurent Blanc’s men, including two former Arsenal players in Alexandre Lacazette and Jeff Reine Adelaide.

Afterwards, the manager was asked about key issues, including:

Gabriel Jesus, his absence, and January

“We know that he needed some intervention in the knee. We’ll have to take it day by day, week by week and see it takes us.

“What it affects is who we are as a team because he gives us so much, so what we can do after that, when we know the timescale and when we can have him back, we will look at the options and try to make the right decision.”

Emile Smith Rowe’s potential return

“With Emile, he has returned to training and he’s in that process after we rehab, after a period where he had some real discomfort. So we are giving him time – he’s getting closer and closer. So hopefully in the next few weeks, we’ll be able to see him.”

Squad depth and the upcoming transfer window

“I feel like my squad is really good. Unfortunately, we’ve had injuries and we will try to see what we can do to be strong. We have players, we have a lot of accompanying players.

“The question is do we have the players that can give us the performances and the consistency that we need to maintain and improve from where we are?”

Arsenal have been linked with a number of January signings, but how much we get done next month may well depend on Jesus’ recovery, how much further players like Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli go in the World Cup, and the fitness of Smith Rowe etc.

Let’s see.

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Johnny 4 Hats

We have depth. We really do when everyone’s fit. But the three players we simply cannot live without is Saka, Partey and Jesus.

It’s just such awful luck that we happen to have lost one of those three.

Top 4 this season. More strengthening in the summer and then it’s a title race for real in 23/24.

COYG!!!

Duno

Nah, this is a good chance as any to win the league. Thankfully, everything I know about Arteta assures me he will be looking to make the most of this opportunity. I mean, why not?

karl

I don’t see why we should just give up on the title just yet. If Eddie bangs in a few and we have a chance to sign a goal scoring wide player, we can finish very strong.

A Different George

A lot of down votes for “giving up” on the title. A bit silly, I think. We have seen over the past half-decade that even an extraordinary Liverpool side could only win the title when everything when perfectly for them. If they had lost Salah to injury? So, of course we can still hope and maybe everyone else will trip up (the winter World Cup is an unknown factor), but I think Johnny is pretty much right.

Mike

Let’s not jump the gun, we dont know how long jesus will be out yet, I agree jesus,saka,partey are really important and would also add ramsdale to that list,(not sure about turner)
But why cant Arteta just buy a number 9 striker in jan, someone like gakpo,abraham, toney?
Give us another dimension(someone that can head)

wrightstuff8

Because if ‘gakpo,Abraham, toney’ aren’t the right fit in absolutely everything, in terms of character age profile or how the system plays we are stuck with them for that 3-5 years on big money. Who knows if we have a bigger better summer plan which is more sustainable and beneficial to AFC. Can’t just buy anyone with a name anymore, we tried that and it sucked. It’s an extremely delicate matter and I’m very intrigued to see how it unfolds.

Heavenly Chapecoense

City buy players with a name and it seems to be working for them, I think.

truj

I think every player has a name nowadays. Modern times.

Greenbeetle

You’re forgetting . Played in goal for Pompey when their regular keeper was out for a few games.

We are in a title race.

Nketiah will play as our #9 for the next 10 league games (that is until end of Feb when Jesus should be back).

Now with Brazil out, Martinelli will be back in time for West Ham. That really is great news.

Saka could also be back for West Ham if England lose tomorrow. If England win, he should still be back for Brighton.

Eddie will thrive on their service and I’d back him to score 7 or 8 goals in those 10 games.

Qwaliteee

Don’t give up on the title mate.

We’re five points clear. We play before City on Boxing Day – beat West Ham at home and we go eight clear of City.

Their next match then becomes a psychological pressure game for them, I don’t care how good they think they are. If they drop points again, we are truly in the driving seat.

Leemillion

That Smith-Rowe update doesn’t fill me with a lot of confidence. Neither does the lack of Zinchenko getting minutes today.

Man Manny

Yea, Zinchenko is a worry for me too – especially with the reticence from the manager. I hope he is fit, 🤞.

Naked Cygan

Zinchenko+Tierney+Tommy = 38 games of a fully fit right back. 🤞. Anything we get above that is gravy.

Naked Cygan

Left back *…… Ben White has been a solid RIght back.

karl

We have two top left backs, so surely they can manage a season between them.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Smith-Rowe did travel with the squad so he must be getting close.

Same with Zinchenko, he traveled also so can’t be anything serious.

Naked Cygan

What is the plan if Nketia gets injured? Given our standing in the league it will be foolish not to bring in another top quality striker.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

False #9 internal solution.

Smith-Rowe or Vieira.

Naked Cygan

Not sure when ESR will be back and we need Vieira for squad rotation. We can’t start Odegard and Vieira every game for the next 2-3 months.

Alan Sunderland

the idea that viera can start upfront blows my mind. he doesn’t look ready to start anywhere to me. you all are watching different games than I am.

Daveo

What about Willian as the false 9?

Mike

Wot about martinelli up top or bring back balogun

Alan Sunderland

zaha would be a good idea. lifelong gooner 6 months left on his contract. that would be my plan, he can cover 3 positions and would be a good option of the bench when jesus is fit again.

truj

Then comes Andrei Arshavin. Do you remember? He was the smallest CF.

Gervinho is Driving

The club have gone out and signed a striker on £100k a week, and it’s Eddie. Don’t hold your breath in January.

Kennie

Negative reply

Kris

Thing is £100k a week is ‘only’ £5.2m a year, I don’t doubt he got a chunky signing on fee into the bargain given how close he was to a bosman, but principle always remains it’s cheaper to retain your own players than buying at the kind of fees that exist. You could have Eddie for five years just for the fee Newcastle paid for Chris Wood. Plus as a young English player, he retains value in that kind of market, or at least he would at clubs a bit better at selling than us. Keeping Eddie was all round… Read more »

Eddie’s salary won’t affect any transfer plans.

But we won’t sign a new striker in January just for Eddie to stay on the bench.

Otherwise we go into next season with 4 strikers – Jesus, Nketiah, Balogun, the new guy.

If it’s someone like Thurman who can play up front and also on the wing, that’s more likely.

But we’re not back in Europe until March 9th – Jesus should be back by then.

karl

Agreed. Even if it seems unpalatable, the club will probably stick to their plans and I only see a wide forward coming in. The rest will be summer.

TeeCee

I can’t help thinking that if I was an agent and I was touting a PL striker on a Bosman and I was after a salary of £100k a week plus a signing bonus, I’d have 20 clubs trying to bite my arm off.

Alan Sunderland

think Eddie’s 100k is including signing fee and bonuses. in reality he will do well to get close to it.

Eric Blair

Alright, I’ve just read Still man’s column, I’m convinced we have to give Eddie a chance.

However, we have needed another forward for a while and if we can get the mystical all-across-the front line forward in January that’ll probably do.

Guns&Gooners

How realistic is it for us to go for Joao Felix? He’s Portuguese, young, talented. Or will he be too expensive?
Now when Jesus is out, it would be really exciting for us who go for someone like Felix, even though he might be too expensive.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

They rejected Man United’s €130m offer in the summer.

€350m buy-out clause.

Mike

Is there a potential striker we could get on loan and if he does well we sign him in summer and sell eddie?
Similar to odegard loan and signing, that worked well

Mike

Also I see theres a few quality players with contracts running out in the summer, there clubs wont want to lose them for free, especially if the player states he wont sign. Theres rashford, zaha, depay that would be great signings?

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