Mikel Arteta plays down Arsenal’s significant spending for January transfer window

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has played down the prospect of spending significant sums in the January transfer window.

The Gunners committed £140 million on six summer signings as Arteta embarked upon a major overhaul of his squad with Aaron Ramsdale, Nuno Tavares, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Martin Odegaard all arriving at Emirates Stadium.

ESPN FC 100: Presenting the top male players and managers of 2021
Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
Don’t have ESPN? Get instant access

The club have five players about to enter the final six months of their existing contracts, the most high-profile of which is striker Alexandre Lacazette, who hinted at an exit when speaking to French outlet Telefoot last month by claiming “my agents are now looking left and right a bit, but not before Janaury.”

Arteta alluded to the complexity of this and other situations — Eddie Nketiah is also out of contract next summer and was close to a move to Crystal Palace in the summer — when asked whether supporters could expect a major outlay on new players in January.

“We are in discussions, we have talks every week about it: how we can improve the team, what things can happen in the January transfer window can affect our squad,” Arteta said on Wednesday morning.

“As you know, we have certain players with a little bit of uncertainty in the summer so we have to plan what is going to happen now and what is going to happen in the summer. A lot had to be done as well.

“We know and we don’t expect big things happening but we are going to be very alert in the market to see if we can improve the team. And as well, we have to be prepared because things can happen, injuries arise in this period and you have to be prepared.”

Calum Chambers, Mohamed Elneny and Sead Kolasinac are the other three players on deals which expire at the end a season which Arteta hopes will end in Champions League qualification for Arsenal.

The Gunners, who are in fifth place in the Premier League, will aim to make a notable step towards that goal when facing Manchester United at Old Trafford on Thursday night.

Arteta confirmed Bukayo Saka is a fitness doubt with a thigh problem sustained in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle.