Premier League • England

Two Arsenal players ‘free to leave’ as Arteta plots specific clear-out; Prem star to replace them

Calum Chambers Arsenal

Two Arsenal players are reportedly free to leave this month as Mikel Arteta looks to bring in a Premier League star to replace them.

The Gunners’ hopes of a trophy were put out on Thursday night as they lost 2-0 in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Liverpool. Arteta’s men had done well to hold the Reds in the first leg at Anfield, having gone down to 10 men just 24 minutes in.

That set Arsenal up for an Emirates victory which would send them to Wembley, but the home fans were left disappointed.

The impressive Diogo Jota put Liverpool in front in the 19th minute by gliding away from Takehiro Tomiyasu before sending a tame shot past Aaron Ramsdale.

He secured his brace in the second half, chesting down a brilliant Trent Alexander-Arnold pass and beating Ramsdale with a clever finish.

Arsenal had little hope of a comeback from then on. Their night was made worse by Thomas Partey’s late red card, following two poor challenges.

One player who struggled in north London was the returning Tomiyasu, back from a calf injury. The Japan international has been a great addition to the Arsenal squad this season but seemed to lack match fitness and could not contain Jota.

Gunners preparing for defensive overhaul

Despite Tomiyasu looking weary, Arteta did not bring on a replacement. This suggests he could do with an overhaul on the right side of defence.

The Sun, citing ESPN, provide an update on this position. They claim Arsenal are open to offers for Calum Chambers, who can also operate centrally, and Cedric Soares.

Chambers has only made five appearances this season. Cedric, meanwhile, has mainly had to rely on cup competitions for game time.

Mislav Orsic wanted by Arsenal and Burnley

Mislav Orsic is wanted by Arsenal and Burnley this January

The players are free to leave in January as the Gunners want to bring in a new star to rival Tomiyasu.

Arteta is eyeing Brighton’s Tariq Lamptey, who is also a target for Manchester United and Tottenham. The Seagulls are willing to sell, but only for £50million.

Lamptey has been hugely impressive since his switch from Chelsea two years ago. The 21-year-old clearly has the ability to return to an elite club and make an impact.

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Arteta reacts to Arsenal defeat

Following the cup defeat to Liverpool, Arteta said: “We are really disappointed but we played against a top side. We had big moments in both halves and we have to score.

“We had chances and were pushing for the game. But we have to convert if we were to beat a team like Liverpool.

“We have played the last three games with 10 men. At this level it is extremely difficult to win like that.

“I am proud of the boys and how committed they were without any training sessions.”

Arsenal’s next match is against Burnley at the Emirates on Sunday, 14:00 kick-off.

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