Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Arteta seeks to cut the swollen Arsenal squad

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Mikel Arteta says Arsenal’s priority in the January transfer window is to trim their bloated squad as they look to build a mini renaissance at the Premier League club.

The Gunners were able to get rid of Emiliano Martínez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the summer window, while Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira were on loan.

But the forgotten Mesut Ozil remained in the Emirates alongside Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac, who has barely appeared in the Premier League this season.

Arsenal have been linked to a loan move for Real Madrid Isco next month, but first, manager Edu will try to raise funds by moving those who have a surplus of requirements.

“There are some players that are going on loan and they are going to go and that’s the priority right now,” Arteta said before Saturday’s trip to West Brom.

“We cannot maintain the numbers that we have in certain positions and we are looking to do so, and then we will see if we have the right opportunity in the positions where we need more help.”

The pressure on Arteta has eased after victories against Chelsea and Brighton lifted Arsenal to 13th in the Premier League table after a miserable streak.

Bukayo Saka, who starred in Brighton’s 1-0 win on Tuesday, is expected to be fit for the game against Sam Allardyce’s West Brom.

The teenager was forced to retire during the later stages of the victory after a strong challenge, but should recover, while David Luiz and Willian, who tested negative for Covid-19 earlier this week, may return this weekend. week after illness.

Allardyce called for a “switch” in the Premier League this week as coronavirus cases rise in Britain, but league chiefs said the competition would continue as planned.

“I think we have shown that the system is working,” Arteta said. “In the last week something has happened and we will have more restrictions and more tests to try to be as efficient as before and we will see, but I think it can work and we can continue.”

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