Arsenal

Mikel Arteta puts hopes in Arsenal plan as Reiss Nelson issues transfer statement

Arsenal are aiming to get back on track following an indifferent run of form and Reiss Nelson is determined to make use of the Gunners’ upcoming mid-season trip to Dubai

Mikel Arteta will have to bank on a week in the sun as a cure for Arsenal’s woes.

The Gunners fly to Dubai on Tuesday for their winter break as they look to try and forget a dismal run which threatens to undermine their whole season. Arsenal have surrendered top spot in the title race and are now trailing behind in fourth. They are out of the FA Cup after kissing goodbye to a realistic chance of silverware.

They are still in the Champions League and will point to having plenty of time left in the title race but they look jaded, tired and badly out of form. That is why the week-long trip to the Middle East could make or break Arsenal’s season with no room for major transfers either in the January window.

Arteta has invited all of the players’ wives and girlfriends, families and loved ones to make it more of a holiday than hard training as he looks to keep sessions light and fun. Arsenal will also follow Premier League rules that they are not allowed to play any high-profile friendlies or do commercial activities in the winter break.

But it does come at a time when fans are getting restless because they want new signings – and particularly a striker to breathe life into their season. They are creating chances but have got no-one to take them which has become a massive issue after a run of four games without a win, including three straight defeats.

Arsenal are looking to do a loan deal to strengthen their defence but have no room for manoeuvre for a big deal unless they make a big sale which looks unlikely at this stage. Like a few big clubs, Arsenal have spent their allowance on transfer fees and wages and cannot risk breaking Financial Fair Play rules with another big deal.

Unless they cash in on Emile Smith Rowe or Eddie Nketiah by June 30, then there is no room to sign a striker or even a midfielder and that will have to wait until the summer. But Arsenal winger Reiss Nelson believes that, after another demoralising defeat to Liverpool as they crashed out of the FA Cup, the winter break could be a major turning point in the season.

Nelson said: “It is really good because it is a chance for the boys just to be together every day. You are not in an environment where it is just training. We can do fun activities, go out. A lot of boys are bringing their families out as well, so it’s a chance to meet people’s families. It’s nice to be in the heat, train in the good weather, and it’s good for us.

It’s a chance for us to put all the games behind us that we had. We lost three on the bounce and it’s not the best situation, but now we can regroup, go back to the drawing board and come back fighting for Crystal Palace in our first game back.”

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