‘We’ve done a lot’: Arteta reveals deadline day plans as Hodgson admits interest in Arsenal man

Jason Soutar
Mikel Arteta celebrates a win against Chelsea with Rob Holding.
Mikel Arteta celebrates a win against Chelsea with Rob Holding.

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal will not be making any signings on deadline day as Roy Hodgson discusses Crystal Palace’s interest in Rob Holding.

Holding is attracting interest from the Eagles and manager Hodgson has admitted he would be happy to sign the English centre-back from their London rivals.

“He is a player who has interested us for a while,” he said during a press conference on Friday. “Dougie Freedman (Palace sporting director) knows him very well.

“We’re working on the basis that you can’t have too many quality players in your squad. If he was available and it’s a deal that is doable I’d be very happy to work with him.

“Our squad is not that massive. There is space in the 25-man squad for another player. If it could be Rob we’d be happy with that.”

The Athletic claim that Arsenal are actively working on deals to offload Holding and Albert Sambi Lokonga – who is wanted on loan by Luton Town.

Burnley have also been interested in signing Lokonga, in a move that would reunite the player with ex-Anderlecht boss Vincent Kompany.

The Belgian midfielder is yet to make a decision on his future, while Holding is also attracting interest from Spanish club Sevilla, who Arsenal drew in their Champions League group.

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The report says Arsenal are willing to sanction the loan or permanent departure of the former Bolton Wanderers youngster.

Arsenal are not expected to sign any new players on deadline day (Friday) and Arteta has confirmed this is the case.

“I don’t expect anybody to come in,” the Spaniard told reporters.

Asked why he did not bring anyone in after Jurrien Timber suffered a knee injury that will rule him out for the vast majority of this season, Arteta replied: “We’ve done quite a lot and we had a lot of uncertainty with a lot of players so we have to be very cautious.

“Sometimes it’s not possible and we have to adapt. We cannot go and buy another three players. It’s not possible.”

Arteta does want to finish the summer window “in the right way” and confirmed sporting director Edu Gaspar is “trying to finalise a few things”.

There are several players who are not in Arteta’s plans at the Emirates, but the Gunners have been unable to shift them.

Nicolas Pepe and Cedric Soares come to mind. At least Nuno Tavares has left for Nottingham Forest, albeit only on loan.

“We were working together to find the best solutions,” Arteta said when asked about potential outgoings. “We found them.

“I think the players are happy and the club did some good business.”

Arteta also explained why he sold Folarin Balogun to French side AS Monaco.

“We didn’t have now space for him to give him the minutes that he needs,” he explained. “He did really well in his loan (at Stade Reims).

“He wanted to continue to develop. He’s gone to a club with a good record of developing youth.

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