Mikel Arteta defends Arsenal players after Claudio Ranieri accusation
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Arsenal can hand boss Mikel Arteta the perfect fix for an issue that will become apparent in January by signing a player who Arsene Wenger loves. Arteta has turned his side’s season around after a poor start that saw them lose three successive games without scoring a goal.
But since the campaign’s first international break, the Gunners have gone unbeaten, winning eight games in all competitions.
That has seen Arteta’s men rise from the relegation zone up to fifth in the Premier League table, just six points off leaders Chelsea.
At the heart of that success has been the performances of central midfielders Thomas Partey, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
But a major problem is on the horizon for Arteta and Arsenal, with his midfield options set to be hit when the African Cup of Nations begins in January.
Partey and Mohamed Elneny will be called up for Ghana and Egypt respectively, missing a month of action if their countries reach the final.
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That will see them ruled out of three Premier League games, one of which being the North London Derby against Tottenham, and two rounds of the FA Cup.
With Granit Xhaka injured, that would leave just Maitland-Niles and Lokonga as natural options in central midfield.
The impact of the African Cup of Nations, coupled with the long-term injuries, means that the Gunners will need to strengthen in January.
One potential option who Arsenal could bring in to boost Arteta’s squad is former captain Aaron Ramsey.
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Ramsey previously spent 11 years with the Gunners between 2008 and 2019, becoming a fan favourite at the Emirates Stadium.
The Welshman enjoyed great success in that spell, winning the FA Cup three times and making more than 350 appearances.
He left for Juventus in 2019 on a free transfer, but the move has not worked out as he would have hoped.
Ramsey has played just 98 minutes of Serie A football this season, with his last appearances coming at the end of September.
The 30-year-old now looks likely to depart Turin, with Juventus thought to be willing to terminate his contract, handing Arsenal the chance to sign him on a free.
If they did manage to complete such a move, it would be both the perfect fix to their impending midfield issues and bring back a player who legendary boss Wenger was a huge fan of.
“He is a player who is great going forward. His main quality is he can keep the final ball and he makes interesting runs from deep,” Wenger said when Ramsey’s move to Italy was announced.
“You don’t find many players today who can make midfield runs off the ball. It will be an interesting addition for Juventus.”
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