Arsenal

Arsenal dealt Takehiro Tomiyasu blow that may force Mikel Arteta into late January transfer

With just days remaining of the January transfer window, it has been a particularly quite one for Arsenal. This is despite Mikel Arteta’s assertion that his side are short in many areas of the squad and they remain open to the idea of doing business.

“At the moment, it is very difficult,” Mikel Arteta said of his side’s prospects in the market last month. “We are really short. We have positions that we have been very exposed for the last six weeks and hopefully we are going to get players back. In what condition and when?

“That’s a question mark and as well because we have some long-term injuries still for certain players that give us a lot of versatility and that’s an issue. We have certain targets, ideas if things happen. As well, we don’t know how the squad is going to look in two weeks’ time and you have to be always prepared for that.

That’s a question mark and as well because we have some long-term injuries still for certain players that give us a lot of versatility and that’s an issue. We have certain targets, ideas if things happen. As well, we don’t know how the squad is going to look in two weeks’ time and you have to be always prepared for that.

“But it is a very, very tricky market that shifts very quickly and it is quite unpredictable as well – and you have to be prepared. We will be prepared and we will try to make the right calls. If there is something that we can [do to] improve the squad and that needs appear, and we cannot fulfil it with players here, we are always going to be open to do that because we want to be stronger

Much of the focus has been on how Arsenal may look to bring in a striker this month. The Gunners have struggled for goals for much of this season, and subsequently the likes of Ivan Toney and Alexander Isak have been linked.

As the transfer window approaches its final week, a deal for a defender looks far more likely. Cedric Soares is a target for Besiktas and could leave this month. The Portuguese international has started just once this season for Arsenal, but Arteta may well want to replace him in the squad due to a lack of numbers.

This shortness at the back is only set to be exacerbated by the prolonged absence of Takehiro Tomiyasu. The 25-year-old is currently away with Japan at the Asia Cup.

The Samurai Blue are among the tournament favourites, but had briefly seemed like they may be making a shock early exit from the tournament in Qatar after a 2-1 defeat to Iraq in their second group stage game. Had the Japanese lost to Indonesia in their final game of group D, then they would have faced the very real prospect of an early elimination.

Unfortunately from an Arsenal perspective though, Japan were able to secure a 3-1 victory to ensure their progression to the round of 16. Tomiyasu, who missed most of December with a calf injury, started the match before coming off in the 82nd minute to be replaced by Tsuyoshi Watanabe.

This means that Arsenal will be without Tomiyasu until at least February 1st when the January transfer window slams shut. There is now the very realistic prospect that Japan face South Korea in their next match, which would see one the Asia Cup heavyweights exit ahead of schedule. Still, though, Japan remain among the favourites to win.

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