| 13.1°C Belfast

Gunners "working hard" for new players


Mikel Arteta could be sidelined for three months after undergoing ankle surgery

Mikel Arteta could be sidelined for three months after undergoing ankle surgery

Mikel Arteta could be sidelined for three months after undergoing ankle surgery

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits the club's injury woes have intensified the Gunners' search for reinforcements in the January transfer window.

Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Debuchy are the latest in a long line of Arsenal absentees this season, with the duo both confirmed to be out for three months following surgery to ankle and shoulder injuries respectively.

They join Jack Wilshere (ankle), Danny Welbeck (thigh), Abou Diaby (calf) and Serge Gnabry (knee) on the sidelines while Kieran Gibbs (heel), Calum Chambers (illness), Mesut Ozil (knee), Theo Walcott (groin) and Olivier Giroud (leg) have all missed recent matches.

"Yes we are more (in the market now)," Wenger told Arsenal's official website.

"We have (at right-back) Chambers and we have (Hector) Bellerin, who is coming on well, and I want to give them a chance as well, but of course we are in the market like many other clubs.

"We work really hard morning until late night to try to get one or two players in."

Arsenal are close to completing a deal for Legia Warsaw midfielder Krystian Bielik, who will have a medical with the club on Friday.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

Bielik told Legia's official club website: "'I'm going to London to fulfil my dreams. I hope I will become an Arsenal player soon."

The 17-year-old Polish youth international is regarded as promising defensive midfielder but has made only six appearances in the Legia first-team this season and is unlikely to provide instant cover for Arteta.

Arteta has not played since November 26, when he came off with a calf injury during the Gunners' 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.

The 32-year-old was expected to be out for three to four weeks but a subsequent problem with his ankle means he will now miss most of the second half of the season.

"Mikel has had surgery which went well," Wenger said.

"He had a limited mobility in his ankle and some persistent inflammation that had an impact on his calf.

"That meant we had to make the decision to have surgery and it's a proper solution which gives him the best chance to recover."

Debuchy has made only nine league starts since joining Arsenal from Newcastle in the summer.

The France full-back also missed three months earlier in the campaign following ankle-ligament surgery in September.

Wenger said: "Mathieu had a surgery on his right shoulder following the injury on Sunday.

"It's very unfortunate for Mathieu, it's unbelievable because he's had two surgeries in the same season.

"He just came back, he played seven games and he's out again. I count three months out for Mathieu because contact will be a problem for the shoulder."

Arsenal visit Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday and while Welbeck is not expected to be fit for the game, there was better news regarding Gibbs.

"Kieran Gibbs will be training again with the squad on Friday and we will see how he goes from there. His news is positive," Wenger said.

"Danny Welbeck is not ready yet, he is still feeling some pain, so we will have to be patient."

Wenger will be hoping for an improvement on last season's 6-3 hammering at the Etihad Stadium, as the Gunners look to close the gap on fourth place.

Top Videos