London – Arsenal could sign a midfielder in this month’s transfer window as the north London club are currently short of options in that position, manager Mikel Arteta said yesterday.
Arsenal are without Ghana midfielder Thomas Partey and Egypt’s Mohamed Elneny after they joined their respective teams for the Africa Cup of Nations, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles is set to join AS Roma on loan for the rest of the season.
“We are very, very short at the moment,” Arteta told reporters ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup third-round match at Nottingham Forest.
“Obviously we are going to move and we are going to look for options because we are very short.”
Arteta said that he had a discussion with Maitland-Niles, who will join Jose Mourinho’s team in search of more game time in Italy.
“Ainsley came to me and explained the reasons why he thought the best thing for him in his career right now was to move away,” Arteta said.
“He felt the opportunity to go to Rome and work with Jose was a good one. Being fair with the amount of minutes that he’s played he was entitled to that opportunity.”
Arsenal could also have an issue in the centre forward position, with Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of favour under Arteta after a disciplinary breach, while Folarin Balogun has been linked with a move away from the Emirates.
Key players Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah have six months left on their respective contracts at the club.
“We have a special situation in that because there are three players with different issues at the moment,” Arteta added.
“We have to live with that and so far the players that are here are fully committed. With Flo, we will see in the next week or so what is the final decision with that.” Arsenal are fourth in the Premier League on 35 points after 20 matches. ― Reuters