Arsenal transfer latest: Left backs, Martin Odegaard, and attacking reinforcements

Mikel Arteta said Arsenal had shifted their focus in the transfer window after successfully trimming down the squad.

At the start of the month, the Gunners had 31 players on the books which meant that two – Mesut Ozil and Sokratis – had to be omitted because of restrictions on the number of non home-grown players clubs can register.

However, since 1 January, Arteta and Edu have struck loan deals for Sead Kolasinac and Willian Saliba, sold Matt Macey, and are about to complete permanent deals for Ozil and Sokratis.

That mini-exodus of players – with scope for one or two more to move on if deals can be found – means attention has now turned to incomings. In his pre-Southampton press conference, the boss touched on his plans for the rest of the month.

He said:

on whether it’s still the plan to bring players in this month…

We are in that process right now. 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.

on links with Martin Odegaard…

Sorry, guys, but I cannot comment on players who play for different clubs.

on an attacking midfielder being one of his targets…

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.

on whether he feels short at left back with a lack of natural cover for Kieran…

With the departure of Kola, we are a little bit short with left-footed full-backs at the moment. We know we can use Ainsley there, we can use Bukayo there and we can use Cedric – who has played in that position – so we have some options. A natural option to Kieran? Obviously, we don’t. But we can adapt.

on if that means he would look to sign a left back…

That means that the option is open and we will look to see what is available.

You can read his interview in full here.

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