Arteta asks Arsenal to build ‘best possible squad in the world’ after foreseeing unpredictable January transfer window

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta Credit: Alamy
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta Credit: Alamy

Mikel Arteta has clarified why he thinks Arsenal need more squad depth, but believes the January transfer window will be tough to predict.

Arsenal are currently top of the Premier League, so it could be a good time to convince players that the Emirates Stadium is the place to be.

Not only will they be trying to tie down their key players to long-term contracts, they might use the January transfer window to add some extra quality to their squad.

Reports have indicated that they are willing to spend. Midfield seems to be the main area they might want to address, although there are also links with wingers and left-footed centre-backs.

Arteta is insisting that Arsenal will need extra bodies to remain competitive in the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League.

He told a press conference: “I said that from day one after the transfer window obviously the demands of the competitions we’re going to be in are huge and obviously the experience of the players are not the biggest.

“But we have competed in a really impressive way with the numbers that we have, but of course if we can improve the team we are always going to be looking to do that as a club.”

Asked if he expects to be busy in January, Arteta replied: “I don’t know. It’s so unpredictable this window particularly with a World Cup in middle.

“We will have a look, we will try to get the squad stronger and as well be active because you don’t know what’s gonna happen in that World Cup. Touch wood everyone will be okay.”

Arteta pleased with quality but not quantity

Arteta has already suggested that the Arsenal squad needs to be deeper, saying so this week after their elimination from the Carabao Cup. But he wanted to set the record straight about what he meant after being asked where he felt they were short.

He responded: “No. This is a comment that I made the first day after the transfer window.

“It doesn’t mean it’s not good enough. It is short and we have used players like, for example Marquinhos, who we had other plans but he has been an important player and a player who has the capacity.

“We have had injuries as well. Mo [Elneny] has been out for three months, Thomas [Partey] was out for a period and we had Alex out for a long time too.

“We have had to adapt and we are willing to do that. The demands are going to be really big for everybody and we have to be ready for that.”

And when a question followed on whether Arteta would prefer a bigger or smaller squad, his answer was telling of how much ambition he has been instilling at Arsenal.

Arteta said: “I want to have the best possible squad in the world.”

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