Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal squad is ‘very, very short’ after Brighton knock Gunners out of Carabao Cup

Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal squad is ‘very, very short’ after Brighton knock Gunners out of Carabao Cup

Mikel Arteta admitted his Arsenal squad is “very, very short” as the Gunners fell to a third-round Carabao Cup defeat to Brighton.

A much-changed Arsenal side took the lead at the Emirates through Eddie Nketiah, but Danny Welbeck equalised for the Seagulls and goals after the break from Kaoru Mitoma and Tariq Lamptey gave the visitors a 3-1 victory, ending the Gunners’ 12-match winning run in all competitions on home soil.

William Saliba was the only player to keep his place from Arsenal’s win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and the likes of Fabio Vieira and Albert Sambi Lokonga failed to take their chance to impress.

Arteta acknowledged there is a lack of depth in certain positions, as he looked ahead to the potential of adding to his options in the January transfer window.

“We know where we are at the moment,” Arteta said.

“We know as well that we have certain injuries, and the squad is very, very short. We have tried to manage that in the best possible situation. It’s the same when we win a football match so no excuses.”

He added: “It’s the same squad as when we win. I said from day one that we have a short squad because at the end we left some players. It’s what we have. If everyone’s available and no one is injured we are OK, but the moment there is, we know what it is. It’s nothing new. I think I said it the first day after the transfer window.”

On the January window, Arteta commented: “That’s a window that is open and we’ll have to discuss the opportunities that we have, the capacity that we have for any changes and be on the market for opportunities because we don’t know what’s going to happen the last game before the World Cup. So it’s a lot of options that are open.”

Karl Hein made his Arsenal debut in goal and had a moment to forget, as he slipped and then brought down Welbeck, with the former Arsenal striker then taking the penalty himself and sending the 20-year-old the wrong way.

Arteta backed the Estonian goalkeeper to respond, insisting Hein deserved the opportunity to make his first Gunners appearance.

“Everybody has been supporting him, everybody was supporting him straight after,” Arteta said.

“We all make mistakes, me the first one, the players all the time and it’s part of the game. He needs to carry on. When you make an error it’s about how you react, not about the error. This is going to happen in his career and it happened today unfortunately.

“I think he deserves the chance. He’s the first goalie of the national team and at his age that’s not usual. He totally deserved his chance. If I have to play him tomorrow again I would.”