The Gunners manager, Mikel Arteta, has expressed the need for new players to support the club’s title charge. Currently dealing with injuries in key positions and with only one out-and-out left-back, Arteta confirmed that summer signing Jurrien Timber will remain sidelined for the foreseeable future, while Thomas Partey’s thigh injury will rule him out of the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations. Although the club is open to transfers, Arteta emphasized the importance of maximizing the potential of the current players before exploring new options.
There have been reports that Arteta and Arsenal have contacted the Premier League refereeing body to complain about the treatment of Buyako Saka, who is the league’s third-most fouled player. However, Arteta denied any specific discussions regarding Saka and stated that referees are aware of the tactics of opponents and the players who are often targeted. He believes that the attention on Saka’s fouls is normal, given that Arsenal has had wingers who provoke a lot of fouls in recent years.
In their upcoming game against Liverpool, Arsenal will wear their all-white ‘No More Red’ kit in support of an initiative created by the club to tackle knife crime and youth violence in North London. Arteta praised the initiative, stating that it creates a safer environment and brings attention to important issues. He hopes that by making the streets safer around the city, it will provide a sense of security, especially for families with children.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp expressed his desire for Mohamed Salah and Wataru Endo’s international absences to be kept to a minimum as Liverpool competes on multiple fronts in January. Salah is currently with the Egyptian national team for the Africa Cup of Nations, while Endo is at the Asian Cup. Klopp admitted that it is impossible to have a like-for-like replacement for Salah but expressed confidence in the team’s ability to fill the void. He also mentioned that midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai, who was considered as a potential option, is currently injured.
Despite the absence of Salah, Klopp believes Liverpool can still find a way to win. He mentioned that they have other offensive options who can play the same wing position, although they may not have the same style as Salah. Klopp acknowledged that playing without Salah is not ideal, but they have found ways to win even without him in the past. However, he recognized that losing to Arsenal without Salah is a possibility.