Gunners boss says his squad’s roster is unsustainable and must be downsized before new faces arrive
Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal cannot repeat the mistakes they made this summer and must find a way to move the players forward before they can add to their squad in the next transfer window.
However, the inability to get the players out over the summer left Arteta with such a bloated squad that Mesut Ozil and Sokratis weren’t even signed up to play in the Premier League due to non-local rules.
It’s an issue Arteta admits now needs to be addressed, with the Spaniard describing the current number of players he has at his disposal as unsustainable.
“We have a great team, we know that,” said the Gunners boss. “A lot of things that should have happened this summer, we couldn’t accomplish for different reasons.
“There are players who are going to be loaned, they are going to leave, and that is the priority for the moment because we cannot maintain the numbers that we have in certain positions.
“We’re looking to do this and then we’ll see. If we have the right opportunity in the positions where we need additional help, we will work with the club to try to resolve this issue.
Arteta added: “Financially it’s not just us, it’s all clubs in the Premier League that have been affected. We know that won’t change over the next year or so and we’re going to have to add somehow if we’re going to improve the squad in a number of ways.
“Financially, some kind of support will decide whether it is loans or actor purchases compared to the opportunities we have in the market.”
Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi, William Saliba and Calum Chambers could follow, although Ozil is expected to stay in north London until the end of the season.
Asked about Kolasinac’s imminent exit, Arteta said: “I can’t confirm anything yet, we are working on a couple of things. The window is going to bring a lot of news, some real and some not. Whenever we have something to say, we will announce it.
“There are conversations around a few players and whether we can find any loans because the numbers that we have in the squad right now are really important. But we can’t confirm anything yet.
One player who has been heavily linked with a move is Reiss Nelson, with many speculating that a move has already been lined up given he hasn’t played for Arsenal since the win over Rapid Vienna December 3.
Arteta, however, insists that is not the case and that the 21-year-old’s absence is due to injury.
“It was probably my mistake not to clarify the situation and what was going on,” said the Gunners boss. “He’s not 100% fit, that’s why he was absent and didn’t play for the team.
“He had a little problem, a muscle problem, he’s been in and out of training. It’s a shame because I felt he had entered his [top] performance levels and he had started to have really good games and was starting to build that momentum.
“That little injury set him back a bit, but I think this week he’s been a lot better.