Mikel Arteta stunning Arsenal transfer admission amid Mohamed Elneny injury setback

Emmanuel Mbadugha
There are some reservations because Mo is a player who never complains about anything, but we’ll see.

Mikel Arteta admits his squad is lacking in central midfield options and hopes the club can address that issue during the remainder of the January transfer window.

Arsenal have made two significant signings in the last week in the form of Leandro Trossard and Kiwior, both of whom are set to make their full debuts against Manchester City in the FA Cup on Friday night.

Kiwior, a Poland international, is nominally a central defender, and while he can also play in central midfield, he was primarily brought in to compete with Gabriel Magalhaes.

Arteta has relied heavily on Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey in central midfield this season, and an injury to either could jeopardise Arsenal’s record-breaking start to the Premier League season.

Sambi Lokonga has struggled to make an impact in the Premier League on the few occasions he has appeared, while the experienced Mohamed Elneny has suffered a knee injury that could keep him out until the end of the season, according to reports.

‘I don’t think he’ll be (available for Manchester City),’ Arteta said before the game. ‘Obviously he had some issue in his knee that we are assessing at the moment and I will have to see how he evolved in the next couple of days.

‘There are some reservations because Mo is a player who never complains about anything, but we’ll see.

‘We need more midfield cover ideally if we can, but obviously in this market it is quite difficult to do. As I always say, the most important thing is that we get the performances and playing time today with the players we already have who are very good.

‘If anything else becomes available that can help us improve, we’ll look into it.’

Arsenal are said to have identified Declan Rice as their top summer target but have little hope of completing the deal, while the current league leaders are also said to be interested in Everton’s Amadou Onana.

The Gunners are also said to be keeping an eye on Moises Caicedo’s situation at Brighton, but given his £100 million price tag, they are unlikely to be able to sign the Ecuador international.

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