Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has confirmed that the Gunners remain in the market for a midfielder between now and the January transfer deadline, with Arsenal looking to continue their title charge and bring a first Premier League trophy back to north London since 2004 come the end of the season.
Currently, the Emirates Stadium outfit sit five points clear at the top of the Premier League, and after missing out on first-choice attacker Myhaylo Mudryk they have moved fast to add Leandro Trossard from Brighton as well as Spezia defender Jakub Kiwior to their ranks in the past week, with Trossard making his debut for the club in the dying minutes against Manchester United.
But they still appear light in midfield, especially with Mohamed Elneny’s injury concerns. The Egyptian missed the games against both Tottenham and Manchester United through injury, and is set to miss the FA Cup clash with Manchester City this Friday too.
“I don’t think he (Elneny) will be [available for Friday]”, Arteta explained. “He had some issues with his knee that we are assessing at the moment and we will have to see how he evolves in the next couple of days.”
And Arteta was not optimistic about his return, admitting that he could be out for the remainder of the season. “There are concerns, especially (because) Mo is a player who never complains about anything. But let’s see”, he told the media.
It does seem, however, that midfield is a priority area for the final week of the window following recent links with Everton’s Amadou Onana and Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie, and Arteta confirmed that the club were working on it but that there were no guarantees.
“Well, we need some more cover in midfield ideally if we can,” he said. “In this market it’s pretty complicated to do that”.
“The most important thing is that we get the performances and the time on the pitch that we need with the players we have available today that are already really good.
“If there’s anything else available that can make us better we’ll look at it.
Meanwhile, the club turned down a loan offer from AS Monaco for Albert Sambi Lokonga, who has played a bit-part role this season but, in Elneny’s absence, is one of few senior players able to provide cover for Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey.