Arteta talks about transfers and the need for a left-back

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 “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…

Tags Arteta left-back odegaard


  1. chris says:

    Well, M-N certainly can’t be asked to play left back – with not much left foot.

  2. Mike says:

    Why look for another left back when we have two left footed centre backs that can cover for Tierney, sure Mari is no wing back but he is a solid defender plus Gabriel is a solid defender and he can do a wing back job for us if Tierney is injured or suspended.

  3. Dammy says:

    He needs £100m but wont get it so sales will need to help fund. Decent back up GK £5m. Decent back up LB £15m. Quality AM who can play #10 role (God forbid ESR gets another injury) £30m and 20-goal a season striker £50m. Lacazette, Nketiah and Willock should fetch upwards of £40m. Kroenke and club just need to back manager. Firesale for Willian to any takers as well…

  4. Grandad says:

    The need for a left footed full back to fill in for Tierney should be high on a list of priorities for Arteta .This is particularly so in view of the increasing importance of full backs in today’s game from an attacking perspective.Neither Gabriel nor Mari have the pace nor energy required for this role and to use Saka as a back up would weaken the threat he brings when used as a winger.While Kolasinac is not my cup of tea he did provide some balance to the team as a natural left back and I was surprised he was allowed to go out on loan unless a replacement had been lined up.

  5. durand says:

    AMN or Soares are the best options for LB with the present roster. It would be madness to move Saka back to that role; it would be bad for the player and worse for the team, because Pepe and Willian aren’t carrying their weight.

    Seems like we have the cover, and the issue is one of many to be addressed in the Summer. I’d rather wait and sell some players or reduce wages from players leaving than bring in someone now.

    We need a solid LB rather than a make-shift solution or another high wage / low impact addition. Ideally not someone for cover, but a player who can be rotated and offer some degree of competition.

    1. ozziegunner says:


  6. Sid says:

    What about Joel Lopez?

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