Arsenal 'planning' for January transfer window as Arteta eyes goals from midfield

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Arteta Szoboszlai
The Gunners boss says the club will be 'prepared' for what he believes will be an unpredictable market next month

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal are planning for the January transfer window and they will be prepared for what he expects to be an ‘unpredictable’ market.

The Gunners were active in the summer, signing Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey in big money deals and also snapping up Willian on a free transfer from Chelsea, but Arteta knows he needs to add more to his squad, especially in the attacking midfield area, with Red Bull Salzburg star Dominik Szoboszlai a player of genuine interest.

The January market is set to be a difficult one, however, with clubs across the globe still massively restricted due to the financial implications of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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Money is expected to be tight at Arsenal and Arteta has already had to leave Mesut Ozil and Sokratis out of his 25-man squads for the Premier League and Europa League due to the number of players he has at his disposal.

Despite that, Arsenal’s manager says discussions are well underway to ensure some business could be done in the winter window, should the possibility arise.

“We are planning, talking with [technical director] Edu and with the club about the things we can do in January,” he said. “At the moment it's pretty difficult, unpredictable as well in terms of places as we are very restricted at the moment.

“We'll see what happens, I think things will move in the market, we will be prepared, we will need to do something knowing the limitations of that market in January and the limitations we have as well to sign players.”

Granit Xhaka Arsenal 2019/20

Arsenal have scored just 10 times in as many Premier League games this season, with goals from midfield a real problem once again.

Granit Xhaka has scored just five goals since the start of the 2018-19 season, while Mohamed Elneny has only netted twice for Arsenal since he arrived from Basel in 2016. Dani Ceballos meanwhile has yet to add to the two strikes during his first season on loan from Real Madrid.

It is an area Arteta accepts Arsenal must improve if they are to win games on a more regular basis, but the Spaniard admits it will be difficult with the current options he has in his midfield.

“If you say ‘can they do it?’ it’s a question mark,” he said. “Have they done it in the past? The answer is no. We haven’t had any goals from midfield, it’s not something that happened this year. It happened in other years and is something that has to be addressed.

“To change the qualities and characteristics of players is very, very difficult. So again, it’s necessary. A big team needs players in midfield who score goals.

“They need central defenders that score goals from set-pieces to add to that. If you start to lose those margins, you start to lose points, you start to be away from the top team, this is not any science.”

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