Mikel Arteta says Arsenal’s transfer plans for the new year have not changed despite their injury woes, after Reiss Nelson became the latest player to sustain a knock.
The winger was forced off in a 2-0 friendly loss to Juventus on Saturday with an apparent hamstring problem, as teams step up their return to action following the World Cup break.
With Gabriel Jesus set to be sidelined after undergoing surgery for an injury suffered on Brazil duty in Qatar, the number of options available for Arteta are narrowing.
But the Spaniard says his plans have not been altered ahead of the January transfer window, adding that he intends to wait on a further prognosis for Nelson.
“We don’t know the extent of the injury,” Arteta said. “The fact he had to leave the pitch straight away is not good news, especially someone who really powerful and fast like Reiss.
“Let’s see what will happen. We know what we have to do and that doesn’t change the plans.”
It ends in defeat.
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Nelson’s injury is a blow to a Gunners side already missing Jesus, limiting their pool of wide forwards as they prepare to restart their Premier League season.
Eddie Nketiah is likely to be offered his first sustained minutes in the Premier League since the end of last season, having been restricted to a role from the bench this campaign.
“Eddie is always ready,” Arteta said. “He knows [the injuries to others] opens up a big opportunity for him right now and he needs to grab it.
“But the way he trains every day and the mentality he has, he gives us no reason to believe that he won’t be super ready to perform.”
Arsenal sit five points clear at the summit in their hunt for a first-top flight title since 2003-04 season, during the Invincibles era under Arsene Wenger.