Mikel Arteta has revealed that Arsenal are working on ‘various positions’ for them to strengthen this window having seen a number of players leave the club in January.
Shipping out deadwood as well as those unhappy at the club, Arsenal have successfully moved on Sokratis, Matt Macey, Sead Kolasinac, William Saliba and soon-to-be Mesut Ozil this window. Two of those departures are on loan, but only one is expected to have any future in north London.
Trimming the squad and creating better harmony within the group – as well as easing financial output – was always the first plan on the agenda for the Spaniard, who can now focus his attention elsewhere.
Speaking on the official Arsenal website ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup clash away at Southampton, Mikel Arteta claimed his side are in the process of sounding out players, but refused to be drawn on links to Martin Odegaard of Real Madrid.
Mikel Arteta responds to Arsenal links with Martin Odegaard
"“Sorry, guys, but I cannot comment on players who play for different clubs,” he said."
Regarding other potential incomings, Arteta insisted the first part of the window is all-but completed, opening the door for arrivals.
"“We are in that process right now” he added. “We’ve done the first part [selling players] more or less and now we are focusing on the second phase. Obviously this market and the context makes it really difficult but we are looking at options and we will see what we can do. “We are looking at various positions because the movements that we’ve made in this transfer window with some players leaving the club leaves us a little bit short in certain areas. If we can then we will do it, if we can’t then we will just keep going with what we have.”"
While an approach has been made for Odegaard, other areas that need strengthening are at the back. It has been heavily speculated that a right central defender was being eyed up this month, however, despite those claims not one name has been linked with a move to north London thus far. There is still time for movement on that front.
However, given some of the departures, Arteta revealed another area of concern.