Arsenal decision-makers Edu and Mikel Arteta have been urged not to make any January signings because they are unlikely to significantly upgrade their team in the opinion of John Barnes. That’s despite apparent interest in the likes of Isco, Julian Brandt and Emiliano Buendia as the Gunners look to bolster their attack.
Despite Emile Smith Rowe’s recent breakthrough into Arteta’s starting eleven, Arsenal still want a new playmaker to improve their creativity in the final third.
And Real Madrid’s Isco, Borussia Dortmund attacker Brandt and Norwich creator Buendia are all on the radar this month as Arsenal try to strengthen their squad for the second half of the season.
But Liverpool legend Barnes insists Arsenal should avoid doing any business this month, feeling that they should instead wait until the summer to buy fresh talent.
“Are Arsenal going to get players better than they already have? I don’t think they will,” Barnes said to BonusCodeBets.co.uk.
“They can go and make signings but they need players who can improve the team to make them better rather than bringing in players in for the sake of it.
“What they need to do is get rid of the players that are on big contracts and then think about how they can improve the squad with the money and salaries they have available after they’ve moved on one or two players on and make a much better effort next year with their good young players.
“To make signings now and spending money on players that may not improve the team seems pointless.
“Arsenal have played well in their recent games and won matches because they have always had the potential to do so.
“Now what Arteta needs is time, belief and support from everyone and things can change.
“I’m pleased for Arteta because he’s a good manager and Arsenal are a good team and the club has backed him.”
However, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano says that Arsenal manager Arteta is expecting to be backed with another signing this month.
Romano wrote for CBS Sports: “While Arsenal are planning for future signings, they are also thinking about making some sales in this window.
“After left-back Sead Kolasinac, 27, officially agreed to rejoin Bundesliga minnows Schalke, the focus has shifted toward selling Greek center-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos and German midfielder Mesut Ozil.
“The German midfielder has been offered to Juventus in recent weeks, but the Bianconeri have refused because they are betting on Dejan Kulusevski as a future talent in that role.
“Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta expects a quality midfielder in January as a reinforcement.”
The Spanish coach said earlier this month: “Well, we have a large squad, we knew that and a lot of things we wanted to do in the summer, we couldn’t accomplish for different reasons.
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“There are some players that are going to go on loan, they are going to leave, and that’s the priority at the moment.
“We cannot sustain the numbers that we have in terms of substitutions. We are looking to do that and then we will see if we have the right opportunities in the positions that we need some more help. We are working with the club to find that.
“We need to be careful with that, but obviously financially, it’s not only only us, it’s every club in the Premier League who has been hit with big numbers.
“We know that this is not going to change from the last year or so and we are going to have to add some of how we want to improve the team in different ways financially.
“We will decide whether it’s a loan or buying players in relation to the opportunity that we have in the market.”