No big buys for Arsenal as Arteta seeks internal solution

When asked whether Arsenal would invest significantly during this month's transfer window, Mikel Arteta revealed that he would first look for an internal solution.
When asked whether Arsenal would invest significantly during this month's transfer window, Mikel Arteta revealed that he would first look for an internal solution.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Mikel Arteta does not expect Arsenal to do "big things" in this month's transfer window and is more focused on what his current players can bring to the table.

The Gunners remain light in certain areas, particularly central defence, and the manager is open to addressing those deficiencies.

But the chances of sizeable fees being paid out are slim and, with the likes of Hector Bellerin and Dani Ceballos returning from injury, he is not going to obsess over high-profile additions.

When asked at his pre-match press conference ahead of today's Premier League match at Crystal Palace whether Arsenal would invest significantly, Arteta revealed that he would first look for an internal solution.

He said: "If we can find something to help us go through the season in a more balanced way in certain areas, and is helpful, we'll look at the options.

"We always have to be looking because obviously, we have some bad injuries for players who are going to be out for a long time. We have to see if we can find options there."

Outgoing business this month will, however, not include any sale of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Arteta wants to keep the captain and the Premier League's joint-second highest scorer (13 goals) for the long term, but discussions over a new contract to replace his current deal, which expires in 2021, are yet to begin.

"I was very pleased to read those comments (about Aubameyang committing his immediate future to the club)," he said. "He knows exactly what I think about him and obviously, he's a massive player for us.

"I know that if we keep Auba, we're going to be stronger and closer to winning matches."

When Crystal Palace visited Arsenal in November, Granit Xhaka fell out spectacularly with the home support - and was subsequently stripped of the armband - as the match ended 2-2.

But Arteta believes the squad's mood is far more positive now, adding: "The spirit is up, the level of confidence is good and they seem in a good place."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2020, with the headline 'No big buys for Arsenal as Arteta seeks internal solution'. Print Edition | Subscribe