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Arsenal: Arteta confirms plans to sign new midfielder

Mikel Arteta - Arsenal
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The Arsenal manager admits his side will have to deepen their squad’s depth after the imminent departure of Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Roma is close to finalizing a loan deal for Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles. The England international has been struggling to get enough game time since the arrival of Mikel Arteta. 

However, the Spanish manager admits Maitland-Niles’ departure will leave him with limited options in midfield.

Speaking ahead of his side’s upcoming match against Nottingham Forest, Arteta said (via Goal): “We are very, very short at the moment. But to be fair on a player, this cannot be the only argument to try to keep a player – and a player that has been developed and raised through our academy.

“A player that has been patient in many moments and tried to fulfil his dream. He was very straight with me and I understood the situation and we think it’s a good option.

“Obviously we are going to move and we are going to look for options because we are very short there.”

He added: “Ainsley came to me and explained the reasons why he thought the best thing for him in his career right now was to move away.

“He felt the opportunity to go to Rome and work with Jose was a good one. Being fair with the amount of minutes that he’s played he was entitled to that opportunity. We wish him the best.”

Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey will also miss out on Arsenal’s games during January. The pair will play in the Africa Cup of Nations, representing Egypt and Ghana, respectively.

Arteta hopes to maintain his side’s recent form by avoiding a sudden blow to his squad’s depth. The Gunners have climbed all the way up to fourth place on the league table, winning five of their last six games.

Arsenal will play against Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup game before meeting Liverpool in Carabao Cup’s semi-finals on Thursday.