Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal need another midfielder this month after Mohamed Elneny suffered a knee injury that could end his season… with Everton’s Amadou Onana or Brighton’s Moises Caicedo possible options with Declan Rice their No 1 summer target
- Mohamed Elneny suffered the serious knee injury before north London derby
- West Ham’s Declan Rice is Arsenal’s top summer target but urgent fix is needed
- Arteta conceded that Gunners may be left short in midfield if they don’t buy
Mikel Arteta has conceded Arsenal need another midfielder – and could be forced into the January transfer market – following a serious injury to Mohamed Elneny.
The manager said there are fears the knee problem, suffered in training before this month’s north London derby, could keep him out for the rest of the season.
Declan Rice has already emerged as Arsenal’s top target this summer, with Arteta prepared to break the club’s transfer record to sign the England international.
Mikel Arteta has conceded that Arsenal will be light on bodies in midfield if they don’t buy
Mohamed Elneny has suffered a serious knee injury that could spell the end of his season
But the club could now try for a January signing, too, with Everton’s Amadou Onana and Brighton’s Moises Caicedo among those linked with Arsenal ahead of Tuesday night’s deadline.
Both would be expensive but the manager said on Wednesday: ‘If there’s anything else available that can make us better we’ll look at it… we need some more cover in midfield ideally if we can.
‘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.’
Without Elneny, Albert Sambi Lokonga is the only regular back up to Thomas Partey in holding midfield.
West Ham and England midfielder Declan Rice has emerged as Arsenal’s top summer target
Brighton’s Moises Caicedo is another potential option before next week’s deadline
And when Arteta was pressed on whether the 30-year-old would miss the rest of the campaign, he said: ‘There are concerns, especially (because) Mo is a player who never complains about anything. But let’s see.’
Arsenal have already signed Leandro Trossard (£21million) and centre back Jakub Kiwior (17.5m), who has played in defensive midfield.
Trossard could make his first start when they face Manchester City in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday night.
New £21million signing Leandro Trossard could make his first start against Manchester City
‘It’s a big match and a big test for us against in my opinion the best team in the world,’ Arteta said. ‘It’s going to tell us a lot about where we are.’
Arteta’s side are five points clear of City at the top of the Premier League, with a game in hand. The manager said he ‘always hoped’ to be tussling for the title with his former boss, Pep Guardiola.
‘That’s not going to change any friendship, the moments that we have, how important he is in my life, how important he is in my profession. We’re both willing to win and defend our clubs in any way and that’s always been the case since day one,’ Arteta added.