Emery targets 'committed' signings in January as Arsenal sweep past Blackpool

Unai Emery Arsenal 2018-19
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The Gunners boss is looking for players who are ready to step in and help when called on during the winter window

Unai Emery said he is in the market for players with “commitment” in January after watching his side beat Blackpool 3-0 to advance to the FA Cup fourth round.

The Gunners swept past their League One hosts at Bloomfield Road on Saturday with two goals from teenager Joe Willock and one from Alex Iwobi.

Arsenal fans greatly outnumbered their Blackpool counterparts, with over 5,000 supporters making the long trip north from London, as Tangerines fans stayed away in their thousands in protest at the running of their club.

On a low-key night in Lancashire, Emery took the chance to blood some of the younger members of his squad, but emphasized the need for the club to look at bringing in new faces in January to shore up the squad as they look to break back into the Premier League’s top four.

“I  think the club is working for the possibility to take some players who can help us during these next four months,” said the Spaniard.

“Maybe the transfer market can help us with a centre-back, but it is not easy because also [Konstantinos] Mavropanos is coming back after injury. Also a winger, right or left, one player can help us in this position.

“We need players with commitment. We need players who are prepared for when the team needs them and they can step up.”

As well as goalscorer Willock, Emery also gave a start to 19 year-old Eddie Nketiah and run-out from the bench to 17 year-old Bukayo Saka.

London-born Nketiah already has two senior goals for Arsenal to his name having netted a brace when Arsene Wenger’s side beat Norwich in the Carabao Cup last season.

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He made a total of five appearances for the Gunners last term and is expected to become a more frequent presence in the team in the coming seasons.

“Opportunities are coming in matches like today. We mixed experienced players in the squad with some young players like Joe, Eddie and Ainsley [Maitland-Niles].

“It was a good combination. They can show us they are progressing with the team and, mostly importantly, they showed their passion.”