January is here and Premier League clubs, including Arsenal, are getting ready to spend.
Arsenal have been forced to spend in the January transfer market and their fans will probably be delighted that Mikel Arteta has signalled that the Gunners need some new center backs.
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Sokratis and David Luiz put in superb displays in their 2-0 win against Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on New Year’s Day but the only reason Sokratis was in the team was because Calum Chambers went down with a serious knee injury on Dec. 29 against Chelsea.
Arsenal revealed the following update on Chambers, who is out until the start of next season.
“Further to the injury sustained during the match against Chelsea on Sunday, we can confirm that Calum ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee. Calum has had successful surgery in London on Thursday morning. The rehabilitation process is expected to take between six to nine months. Everyone at the club will be supporting Calum to ensure he is back on the pitch as soon as possible.”
Arteta is now prepping to be without Chambers for the rest of this season as the Englishman had excelled in recent weeks.
“We will try to be in the market to see options that can strengthen the team, that’s for sure and that’s our obligation. We are going to be working on that. My obligation is to give my opinion on the things we can improve,” Arteta said. “We have some bad injuries with Calum a few days ago, which is obviously going to change our plans at the back. But the reality at the moment is that we are not going to be able to do much.”
“I’m more concerned at the moment about getting people back from injuries than I am the signings. I want to improve the players I here, get everybody on board and understanding what we’re trying to do. If something extra comes up and we think it’s the right opportunity to improve what we have, let’s do it.”
According to The Telegraph, Arsenal have RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano, Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake and Juventus defender Daniel Rugani in their mind to strengthen their defense. They would all be upgrades on their current options at center back and Arteta also stated that he wants Granit Xhaka to stay despite Hertha Berlin linked with the combative (in more ways than one…) Swiss midfielder.
“From my perspective, I don’t want him to leave. I said no to the club and I said no to him. After, in life, I cannot control what happens,” Arteta said, as he also added that he hasn’t even thought about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaving amid reports he wants a move.
Speaking about the injuries that Arsenal have in general, Arteta revealed he wants to rotate the team more ahead of their FA Cup clash against high-flying Championship Leeds United on Monday.
“At the moment we’re managing a lot of injuries, we haven’t been able to rotate the team a lot. We survived,” Arteta said. “Yesterday [against Man United] I was a little bit scared we could expose a few players and get some injuries. We went through the game and we suffered but I think all the teams in the Premier League at the moment are in the same position. We went through it, we suffered together and now we have a few days to recover.”
There’s no doubt Arteta has already had a big impact at Arsenal and their display against Man United, especially in the first half, showcased their ability to press high as a unit and be clinical when they won the ball back.
That needs to keep going with Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang and Lacazette all on board, but the main thing for Arteta is to improve their shaky defense. That has to be the priority in January and this summer.