Offloading players is Arsenal priority – Arteta

Arsenal left-back Sead Kolasinac during an EFL Cup tie
Arsenal left-back Sead Kolasinac has appeared in only one Premier League match this season

Arsenal will prioritise offloading players in the January transfer window, says manager Mikel Arteta.

Midfielder Mesut Ozil, whose deal expires in summer 2021, has been left out of the Gunners’ Premier League and Europa League squads this season.

Defenders Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac have barely featured in the league in 2020-21.

“We cannot sustain the numbers that we have in certain positions,” said Arteta.

“There are some players that are going to go on loan and going to leave, and that is the priority.

“Then we will see if we have the right opportunity in the positions where we need some more help.”

When asked about reports that Bosnia-Herzegovina left-back Kolasinac is close to a return to former club Schalke,external-link Arteta said: “”The numbers we have in the squad at the moment are really big, but we cannot confirm anything yet.”

Arsenal have three first-team players out on loan – centre-back Konstantinos Mavropanos is at Stuttgart, while midfielders Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi are at Atletico Madrid and Hertha Berlin respectively.

The Gunners are 13th in the Premier League after 16 games, following back-to-back victories over Brighton and Chelsea that ended a run of seven matches without a win.

They host 19th-placed West Bromwich Albion on 2 January (20:00 GMT kick-off).

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