Mikel Arteta has been doing his pre-game press conference ahead of this weekend’s game against Southampton but there was just as much discussion about Arsenal’s transfers as the game preparations.
Arteta explained that the need to reduce the bloated squad size was the first priority, but now it is time to look at incoming transfers. He told Arsenal.com: “We could not carry on with 31 players in the squad,”
“This is unmanageable. When you have to leave some of the foreign players out it makes it even more difficult.
“For a few weeks maybe it’s ok but to do it for months and maintain the health and ambition and the chemistry around the place it’s really complicated. One of the main objectives was to make some decisions of how we’re going to offset that.”
Then the boss was asked when the club would start buying, and he said: “We are in that process right now,” our manager said. “We’ve done the first part (trimming the squad) more or less and now we are focusing on the second phase.
“Obviously this market and the context makes it really difficult but we are looking at options and we will see what we can do.
“We are looking at various positions because the movements that we’ve made in this transfer window with some players leaving the club leaves us a little bit short in certain areas. If we can then we will do it, if we can’t then we will just keep going with what we have.”
So as usual he is keeping his cards close to his chest, but Football.London were also following the discussion, and Arteta was asked about the left-back position. The boss replied: “With the departure of Kola we’re a little bit short with a left footed full back at the moment. We can use Ainsley there, we can use Bukayo there, we can use Cedric who’s played in that position. We have some options. But a natural option to Kieran obviously we don’t, but we can adapt.
“That means that that option is open. We will be looking to see what is available.”
Personally, I thought all our focus would be on bringing in an attacking midfielder, with the latest rumours linking us with Odegaard. Arteta refused to talk about him, but after talking about a left-back, maybe there could be more than one arrival this month…