Arsenal Preparing for Exit of Midfield Duo After Fruitless January
Arsenal failed to bring in any players in the January transfer window, yet they seemingly have plenty of transfers in mind, especially with Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny set to leave.
Mikel Arteta has since confirmed that Arsenal opted not to invest in January as they couldn't get the players they wanted, and felt the players available to bring in weren't good enough to improve the squad.
Arteta claimed that Arsenal "[...] only want the best players and the best people in this club" and that "When we are in a rush and the reasons are not the right ones for getting a player into the club, we decide not to do it."
"We did what we believed was the right thing to do. The squad composition and contracts were catching up, be fair with players who haven't had a lot of minutes," Arteta said on the players that left the club.
This might seem like a refreshing statement given Arsenal's tendency to overspend and panic buy in previous season, yet it definitely leaves Arteta with a lack of depth in numerous positions, particularly at the heart of midfield.
However, Arteta insists that there is a clear plan, stating that "Edu and his team have done a great job."
During the window, Arsenal let go of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sead Kolasinac and Calum Chambers on permanent deals.
Additionally, Xhaka and Elneny could be the next out of the door, with Xhaka being heavily linked with AS Roma, while Elneny's contract expires in the summer.
The Swiss international is still open to moving to Roma in the summer if a deal is possible according to football.london, with the Italian club failing with bids last summer, and are expected to return with bids in the coming summer.
If they leave, technical director Edu will have a big job on his hands to ensure that they are prepared for the eventuality, after attempts to sign Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo falling short, yet still being indications of the club's openness to strengthen the side.
Edu could be set to look to the academy in order to save money and strengthen other areas of the pitch, with Charlie Patino in particular, who has already made his senior debut and scored against Sunderland in the Carabao Cup.
Arsenal do not want to loan out Patino, seeing him as a valuable member of their squad, wanting him to follow in the footsteps of Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka in becoming integrated into the senior squad.
Apart from Patino, Miguel Azeez has also returned to the club and will finish the season with their under 23s side, and he could be poised for a place in the squad next season, unless a second loan is seen as a better option.
At this point, it is still unknown who Arsenal will be targeting in the summer, but with so many players set to leave due to expiring contracts or uncertain futures, they have to invest some way or another.