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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has urged his club to act in the January transfer window to help strengthen the Gunners’ pursuit of Premier League glory this season.
The Londoners hit a bump in the road on Tuesday evening when they were frustrated by a dogged Newcastle outfit in a 0-0 draw at The Emirates Stadium, and Arteta was quick to voice his concerns about the size of his squad in the game’s aftermath.
Arsenal still hold a healthy eight-point lead over defending champions Man City at the summit of the table, having played one game more, however, with the calendar starting to become more and more cluttered, Arteta believes reinforcements are required.
Arteta pushes for January signings
Spanish tactician Mikel Arteta has used just 12 of his players in the three Arsenal teams he has named since the end of the World Cup and his inability to rotate has sparked fears about a possible burnout.
Arteta made just one substitution in Tuesday’s game against Newcastle and appeared reluctant to pull fresh legs off the bench late on against the Magpies. In comparison, United boss Eddie Howe brought on three of his reserve options.
Speaking about the January transfer window, Arteta said: “It’s something more for Edu (sporting director) and the board to respond to. We are really trying to improve the squad in every window, this is no different.
“We will try to do our best because we cannot waste any window. We’re still with the squad and the numbers that we had (at the start of the season) but we will try.”
Arsenal drop points against Newcastle
Despite enjoying 66.8% of the ball on Tuesday, Arsenal couldn’t find a way to breach the Newcastle defence at The Emirates Stadium and Arteta was unable to call upon any obvious game-changers from the bench to impact play.
The Gunners’ 100% home record ended against their combative visitors, though Arteta was incensed when his team were denied penalties for a pull on Gabriel Magalhaes’s shirt by Dan Burn and for a possible handball by Jacob Murphy in added-time – though the latter looked like the correct decision.
Manchester City could cut the gap on Arsenal to five points if they can beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Thursday evening.
January transfer targets for Arsenal
Arsenal have long-been admirers of Shakhtar Donetsk starlet Mykhailo Mudryk, however, the Gunners are struggling to reach common ground with the Ukrainian outfit over a fee for their prized asset.
Having already had a bid of around £62m rejected for the 21-year-old left-winger, Arsenal must weigh up whether to return with a more lucrative offer.
The Gunners have also been linked with a loan move for wantaway Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix, who is also rumoured to be of interest to Manchester United.
However, suitors have so far been put off by Atletico’s excessive demands for the Portuguese international, who would cost in the region of €21m when fees and wages are factored in over a six-month spell.
It is clear, however, that Arsenal are ready to do business in January to support Mikel Arteta’s surprise tilt at the Premier League title. The Londoners haven’t been top dogs in England since 2004.