Arteta hits back at Wright after Arsenal transfer demand

Tom Weber
Tom Weber
  • Updated: 8 Jan 2024 16:46 GMT
  • 3 min read
Ian Wright, Mikel Arteta, Arsenal
© ProShots

Mikel Arteta believes that Ian Wright's demand for a new striker is unrealistic.

Arsenal slumped to their third consecutive defeat on Sunday, losing 2-0 at home to Liverpool in the FA Cup. With Gabriel Jesus injured, Kai Havertz was tasked with leading the Gunners frontline.

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Unfortunately, the German is still not a striker and looked very much like his old Chelsea self against the Reds, squandering several chances. Havertz, however, wasn't the only underperformer on the day, with Bukayo Saka and substitute Gabriel Martinelli also underwhelming.

During the match, after yet another missed chance, Gunners legend Ian Wright tweeted from the stands, "we need a killer," echoing the desire of many a Gooner for a clinical centre-forward. Arsenal have been linked with several high-profile number nines in recent months, chief among them Ivan Toney.

However, the Brentford man has now hinted that he wants to remain with the Bees. FootballTransfers previously revealed that Dusan Vlahovic is still a player greatly admired by Mikel Arteta, but the Serb is not for sale in January and could soon extend his Juventus contract. Another forward target, Marcos Leonardo, has already found a new club, signing for Benfica.

Kai Havertz
© ProShots - Kai Havertz

Striker signing unrealistic

Taking the above into account, it is becoming increasingly obvious that signing a striker will be a tall task for the Gunners in January. Indeed, Mikel Arteta said as much after the Liverpool game, insisting that signing a number nine this month is quite simply unrealistic.

"At the moment, it does not look realistic," Arteta told beIN Sports. "What my job is, and what we have to do is improve our players and try to get better results with the players we have. One thing is what we need and another is what we can do."

"What we need to do now is stick behind those players, give them some love, train them and make sure they visualise something very different to what is actually happening now. They’ve done it. We’re not going to reinvent the wheel, because they’ve done it."

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