Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hinted that his team could do with some additions in the January transfer window.
The Gunners lost to Brighton & Hove Albion in the EFL Cup on 9 November after fielding a team filled with youngsters. Centre-back William Saliba was arguably the only first-team star in the starting XI as Arteta made wholesale changes.
Striker Eddie Nketiah opened the scoring in the 20th minute but the Seagulls scored thrice to hand the north London outfit a 3-1 loss. The result at the Emirates comes as a shock after Arsenal's brilliant start to the season.
They are currently top of the Premier League table with 34 points from 13 matches and qualified for the knockout rounds of the UEFA Europa League as group winners.
Arteta played his cards close to the chest when asked if the club needed to strengthen its squad in January. Speaking after the full-time whistle, the Spanish tactician said (h/t football.london):
"It’s the same squad as when we win. I said from day one that we have a short squad because at the end we left some players. It’s what we have."
"If everyone’s available and no one is injured we are OK, but the moment there is, we know what it is. It’s nothing new. I think I said it the first day after the transfer window."
The former Manchester City assistant manager continued:
"That’s a window that is open and we’ll have to discuss the opportunities that we have, the capacity that we have for any changes and be on the market for opportunities because we don’t know what’s going to happen the last game before the World Cup."
Where can Arsenal strengthen in the January transfer window?
Arsenal are evidently focussing on adding a winger to their squad, with Shakhtar Donetsk's Mykhaylo Mudryk heavily linked.
Arteta's team could also do with a quality addition in central midfield and Juventus' Manuel Locatelli is one name that has popped up in recent weeks. Nketiah's pedigree as Gabriel Jesus' competitor has been put up for debate.
He scored a great goal against Brighton but apart from that, he has been handed just 141 minutes of Premier League football this campaign. It remains to be seen if Arsenal's board will back Arteta once the winter window opens.
The north London giants have a real chance of winning the league for the first time in 19 years. Quality mid-season signings will only help them fend off a challenge from Manchester City, who seem to be their only real competitor right now.