Arsenal face calm January that will save Edu millions after Mikel Arteta receives midfield boost – Tom Canton
The winter window is often an opportunity for clubs to bring in players to cover injuries or areas of the team in need of reinforcement.
Arsenal have already succeeded in January, seeing signings like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, unlike disappointing windows like Denis Suarez arriving on loan or an injured Kim Kallstrom.
However, Arsenal have seen an improvement in their recruiting under the guidance of technical director Edu, who has been much more methodical and rigorous in the business conducted. Spend a lot but a lot more wisely, as evidenced by the impact of the Six Summer Songs this season.
While the Africa Cup of Nations is expected to claim both Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny in midfield, many believed that would be an area of ââfocus for the Brazilian in January.
However, during Mikel Arteta’s press conference ahead of the game against Newcastle, the Arsenal manager provided an update on Granit Xhaka’s recovery.
âHopefully he will be a little earlier than expected. He trains and pushes himself and all the staff so strong as he always does,â he said.
“He’s in a good position, he’s playing well and I hope we can get him a little earlier. It’s still a bit early to decide.”
Xhaka himself revealed in an interview with Swiss media outlet Blick that he hopes to be back in a month.
“I hope to celebrate my return as soon as possible,” said the former club captain. “I’ve been gone for seven weeks and a few days now.
“The bone has also been broken twice. The problem with the bone is that it takes so long. I hope to be back in the next three or four weeks.”
With Xhaka returning ahead of CAN, that means he will join Sambi Lokonga and Ainsley Maitland-Niles as midfielder options for Arteta during the tournament participants’ absence.
If Xhaka hadn’t been available it likely would have encouraged the club to act in the window, but with the cautious and measured approach under Edu, Arsenal are much less likely to act recklessly.
Links with players such as Renato Sanches have emerged, with suggestions from Italian sources that sales from Bernd Leno, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah could be used to help fund a transfer for the Lille midfielder.
However, this contradicts both Arteta’s insistence on Lacazette’s importance and recent reports that Leno wants to stay at the club at least until the summer before a decision is made on his future.
If the opportunity arose for the club to recruit a midfielder who would improve their team, Edu would be naive not to take it. Especially since the club could find themselves in a race among the top four and face matches against other European hopefuls this winter.
Moreover, there is always a risk that Lokonga or Maitland-Niles will get injured, in which case the club must act. However, for now, with Xhaka’s return, it looks like a move for a midfielder this winter has diminished in likelihood.
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