Friday 15 November 2019

Deadline-beating deals could yet be in the offing for Arsenal

Boss Unai Emery revealed the Gunners may bring two new faces to the club.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery would be content with up to two signings – or none at all – before the transfer deadline (Adam Davy/PA)
Arsenal boss Unai Emery would be content with up to two signings – or none at all – before the transfer deadline (Adam Davy/PA)

By Matt McGeehan, Press Association Sport

Unai Emery says Arsenal could recruit up to two players before Thursday’s transfer deadline, but he would not be disappointed if there are no new arrivals.

The Arsenal boss’ preference is loan deals for players who can improve his squad, with Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic and Denis Suarez of Barcelona linked with moves.

Emery would not be drawn on specific names and insisted he would be content if the Gunners were unable to add to their squad in the challenging mid-season window.

Croatia’s Ivan Perisic has been linked with a move from Inter Milan to Arsenal (Tim Goode/PA)

“This transfer (window) is not easy and the message is the club is working on different players and the possibility if it can be is good for us,” Emery said.

“We are looking at two different players and the possibility they can come.

“If they aren’t coming to help us like we want, I prefer they don’t come.”

Emery acknowledges the difficulty of recruitment at this time of the season and knows Arsenal may not succeed in landing their targets.

He added: “I know it’s not easy. We were speaking two months ago about this possibility (of not making a signing in January).”

Arsenal’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos is expected to be out for two to three weeks, boss Unai Emery says (John Walton/PA)

Emery hinted his reluctance to recruit defensive reinforcements, despite injuries to Sokratis Papastathopoulos (ankle) and Laurent Koscielny (jaw).

He does not want a bloated squad once his injured defenders, including Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding (both knee), return to fitness.

The Spaniard added: “We have enough players, centre-backs, in the squad. Only we’re having a lot of injuries and a lot in this position.

“If we can bring another player and when all the players want to play, we can have a lot of trouble in the future.”

Sokratis and Koscielny were injured in last Friday’s FA Cup loss to Manchester United. Sokratis is expected to be out for “maybe two or three weeks,” Emery said, while Koscielny’s jaw is bruised, but not broken.

Laurent Koscielny (floor) was injured in the FA Cup defeat to Manchester United (John Walton/PA)

The Frenchman will miss Tuesday’s Premier League clash with Cardiff, but could be back for Sunday’s trip to reigning champions Manchester City.

The FA Cup exit focuses minds, Emery says, with the objective Champions League qualification through the Premier League’s top four – or by winning the Europa League.

He said: “Our focus now is very clear: the Premier League. We’re also going to play the Europa League with big motivation. It’s one way to the Champions League.”

The Gunners are fifth, three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea ahead of the midweek fixtures, which come with 15 games remaining.

Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-0 in their most recent Premier League match, a result which will count for little if the Gunners fail to beat relegation-threatened Cardiff, who will be emotionally charged with the search for Emiliano Sala ongoing.

“If you win against Chelsea and you don’t win tomorrow, you are losing three very important points,” Emery added.

“Tomorrow we need to impose and to adapt. I think they’re going to play with a big motivation, also, and finding a lot of duels against us.

“We need tomorrow to be concentrated for the three points like we were against Chelsea.”

PA Media

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