Arsenal chief defends lack of January spending and drops summer transfer hint

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Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham has defended the club’s failure to spend money in the January transfer window despite several exits. Boss Mikel Arteta has been left with a thin squad as he mounts a Champions League push.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Sead Kolasinac, Pablo Mari were among the stars to leave the Emirates Stadium in the winter transfer window.  

But none of them were replaced despite several targets being earmarked.  

Arsenal are widely reported to have tried to sign Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina. However, the prolific Serbian joined Juventus instead. 

The Gunners are likely to target a new striker in the summer as they face the prospect of losing two more attackers following Aubameyang’s departure. 

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Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah both see their contracts expire in June and do not appear any closer to renewing their terms.  

Venkatesham has opened up on the frustration Arsenal faced in January. The north Londoners looked into several possible permanent and loan signings but none would have improved Arteta’s squad.  

He also revealed new plans for the Emirates Stadium, including replacing the roof and the banners around the ground.  

“I’m not a big fan of the January window. We were focused on seeing if any of the things we wanted to do this summer could be brought forward,” Venkatesham said on Wednesday at a fans’ forum event, as quoted by fans in attendance. 

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“We were active in a number of conversations. In the end, it didn’t prove possible. Everybody is comfortable with what we have. 

“We looked at both permanent and loans. If somebody could make a difference for us, but none of them made sense.  

“To get this club back where it needs to be we need to make as many right decisions as we possibly can and we need to be very disciplined.” 

Arteta has overseen an upturn in form of late despite having a small squad to choose from. 

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A 10-man Arsenal team beat Wolves 1-0 last week – holding on despite Gabriel Martinelli’s red card.  

And the club’s head coach has said there is no ‘rush’ to make new signings.  

“Edu and his team did a fantastic job and they continue to do that,” the Spaniard said at the start of February. 

“We only want the best players and the best people in this club. When we are in a rush and the reasons are not right for getting a player into the club, we decide not to do it.”
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