Mikel Arteta gives ‘guarantee’ about Arsenal signing striker in January after Gabriel Jesus blow

News Desk
Arteta on Arsenal

Mikel Arteta has reassured Arsenal supporters that they will be able to sign a striker in January but he has backed Eddie Nketiah to impress.

The Premier League return to action on Boxing Day evening as they face London rivals West Ham United.

Gabriel Jesus is not available as he is expected to be out of action until February after he underwent knee surgery.

Arteta initially has a straight choice between playing Nketiah through the middle or giving Gabriel Martinelli an opportunity in a central position.

Quizzed on the former, who starred at the end of last season, the Arsenal boss said: “We have more faith in Eddie every single day.

“We see every day what he brings to the team, what he is as a human being and the way he is developing as a player. We got a great response last year when we needed him and he did really well for the team.

“He is ready. That is why he signed his contract. He is a key player in our squad and he is going to have chances to play.”

Even though one of Nketiah or Martinelli will lead the line for Arsenal going into the new year, it could be a different story come the end of January.

Arteta is determined for the club to maximise every transfer window and hinted they were ready to make a significant signing during the next month.

“We knew the importance of getting players early in the summer and that is what we want to do in January. This is idealistic but sometimes it is not realistic. Obviously, if you ask my opinion, as quick as possible we want the players in,” he said.

“We don’t need a body, we need players that make the team better.

“I think personalities that have the mentality that want to win and we have to focus on that. We have to be very strict with what we have done and the policy we have had to make the team successful.

“Can we afford not getting the player that we want? That is my question.

“We can afford to get a striker for sure if we want one, I don’t know if he plays in League Two, League Five, Spain, Portugal or Africa. We can get a striker, I can guarantee you that.

“But what we cannot afford to do is get a player here that is not for us. This is what we cannot afford, that is for sure.”

Arsenal have fixtures with Newcastle, Tottenham and Manchester United in January and Arteta acknowledged waiting until the end of the window to do their transfer business could be detrimental to their title chances.

He added: “Where the bar is and what the standards have been for the last four or five years, something the Premier League has not experienced in the past, we know that every point is going to be massively important.”

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