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Arsenal only have themselves to blame if they blow Mikel Arteta's progress this month


With time running out for Mikel Arteta to boost his squad, Arsenal will only have themselves to blame if they fall short a top-four finish at the end of the season

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Arteta gives update on Arsenal’s transfer plans ahead of Deadline Day

With just days of the transfer window remaining, Arsenal appear to be in a right old mess.

The Gunners entered the month in their strongest position for years after a commendable season so far under Mikel Arteta.

But there is now a very real risk all that good work could be blown after a calamitous few weeks in the transfer market.

Arsenal’s priority in January was always going to be sourcing an elite striker to solve their goalscoring woes and help them sustain their push for a return to the Premier League’s top four.

But not only has a move for their first-choice target, Dusan Vlahovic, not materialised, it’s also looking more and more likely that Arsenal will end the month without strengthening their team at all.

And that could prove terminal for their hopes of ending their five-year exile from the Champions League.

Join the debate! Do you think Arsenal have wasted time in the transfer market this month? Let us know here.






Mikel Arteta’s sterling work this season could be undone by a disastrous month in the transfer market

Arsenal badly need a win to rouse them from their rut, but it’s hard to see where the goals are coming from right now. The likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli have been exceptional this season, but they’ve been let down badly by experienced pros like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

Arsenal have pushed hard for Vlahovic this month – that’s not a surprise when you take into account Vlahovic has netted 20 goals in just 24 games this term.

But it’s been widely acknowledged in the majority of reports that the Serbian hotshot had no intention of joining the Gunners this month – so why have they wasted the vast majority of January chasing him?

That’s not the only baffling transfer decision that has been made in north London this month, either.

Although signing a striker was the main objective in the winter window, Arteta has also been on the hunt for another midfielder.

Juventus ace Arthur Melo is seemingly Arteta’s man but, again, a deal is dragging on. Arsenal are reluctant to commit to the long-term loan that the Italian giants are pushing for due to concerns over missing out on additional Champions League funding.

Caving into Juve’s demands may be a gamble, but surely it’s one that Arsenal have to take right now if they’re serious about making their top-four aspirations a reality.

It also looks as though Arsenal could be pipped to another target, with Premier League strugglers Newcastle reportedly closing in on Lyon midfielder Bruno Guimaraes.






Questions need to be asked of transfer chief Edu if a lack of new recruits hampers their Champions League bid

And with that, all of a sudden, the Gunners are now facing up to a barren month in terms of incomings after indicating previously that the club were willing to take advantage of their strong position this month.

Perhaps the most disappointing thing about Arsenal’s disjointed transfer work is the timing.

But even though it was just a few months ago that the Gunners did some sterling work in the summer window, the warning signs were arguably there.

There were mitigating circumstances to getting certain signings over the line, but the deals for Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White and Martin Odegaard all dragged on.

In the end, Arsenal got away with it and wrapped those deals up – despite being ridiculed by fans for the majority of their signings.

Nobody has been laughing at Arsenal since then, given how impressive all six of the Londoners’ summer signings have been.

But their approach to business this month has certainly left a lot to be desired.







Dusan Vlahovic had reportedly made it clear that he wouldn’t entertain a move to Arsenal this mont
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Image:

NurPhoto/PA Images)

And if a lack of signings in January does play a part in Arsenal’s season unravelling, then questions need to be asked.

As things stand, there’s still the possibility that late business could be done.

But the fact that Arsenal are even contemplating a last-gasp dash to bolster their squad feels like a pretty major step backward when you consider the excellent position they were in at the start of the month.

Whether that’s down to the club being naive in their pursuit of targets, too cautious or just down to them being downright unorganised, the harsh reality is that they only have themselves to blame.

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