Unai Emery is all about the loans.
No, Arsenal’s Spanish manager isn’t in a bit of a financial pickle. He is talking about the other type of loan, as the Gunners aim to strengthen their squad in the January transfer window.
Speaking to reporters ahead of their London derby at West Ham on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com), Emery insisted no permanent signings will be made this month.
“We cannot sign anyone permanently. Only loan players this January,” Emery said.
Focusing on links to Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez, who played for Emery at Sevilla in the past, he admitted he is a fan of the central midfielder but that a loan move is the only way Suarez switches Catalan’s capital for north London.
“I don’t know now his situation but I know the club is working for the possibility players who can help us with this condition (loan) fast, with a big performance like we need now. I know this player and he is a very good player,” Emery added.
Asked about Ever Banega, another midfielder he worked with previously at Sevilla, Emery was coy but insisted Arsenal is working hard behind-the-scenes to get new players in.
“The club is working, telling me each moment different situations can happen. At the moment I haven’t any news today,” Emery said.
This talk from Emery sums up what we already knew: his transfer budget is small given the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette arriving over the past 18 months and Mesut Ozil’s huge new contract, plus signing Lucas Torreira, Bernd Leno and Sokratis over the summer.
On Aaron Ramsey, Emery didn’t add too much that he hasn’t already as it has become clear that the Welsh midfielder has agreed to sign for Italian giants Juventus on a free transfer in the summer and the move is expected to be announced soon.
Do Arsenal need a new central midfielder right now? Probably not. They need to buy new defenders if they’re going to kick on in the second half of the season and seriously challenge to finish in the top four of the Premier League. With a long-term injury to center back Rob Holding, who had started the season so well, Arsenal just haven’t looked comfortable defensively this season and there are real question marks as to whether they will be the case moving forward with this specific squad of players.
There has been some positive news on the injury front this week with Shkodran Mustafi, Mesut Ozil, Laurent Koscielny, Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal and Dinos Mavropanos all back in training and believed to be available for the trip to West Ham.