Arsenal sit atop the Premier League table as the competition recommences on Boxing Day, following more than a month off for the World Cup. However, the Gunners know that if you’re standing still, you’re in actuality falling behind/letting others catch you.
The north London club has a big void to fill now, with striker Gabriel Jesus suffering a serious knee injury with Brazil at the World Cup. Jesus underwent a successful knee repair surgery, but he’ll be on the shelf for at least three months.
Boxing Day Fixtures FYIs
Competition: Premier League regular season
Kickoff: Mon Dec 26, 8pm GMT, The Emirates, London, UK
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Manager Mikel Arteta told reporters, ahead of the Dec. 26 match against West Ham that his club will be busy this January transfer window.
“We’re going to be active [in the January window] and that means we’re looking to strengthen the team,” he said on Thursday.
“This squad still doesn’t have the luxury of not needing to maximise in every window. But it has to be the right player.
“We know where we are in terms of the squad and numbers. We’ll be extremely cautious about what we want to do in the window.”
He didn’t get into specific targets, because of course, no manager would, as that drives up the price of the player. He did say that losing Jesus was a big blow, but he refused to be drawn into giving a timeline on his return. The Spaniard also gave an update on the status of Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson.
“With Gabi [Jesus] it’s difficult to put a time frame. Knowing him I prefer not to give any dates,” Arteta said.
“With Reiss, he’s going to be out for a while [weeks]. Emile is close. He had a setback but he’s close.”
It will be interesting to see who they sign, if anyone, in the January window at the forward position.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
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