Premier League • England

Arsenal legend drops January transfer plans and confirms major area Arteta is looking to strengthen

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Arsenal legend Gilberto Silva has revealed that his old club are on the lookout for a new midfield partner for Declan Rice in the January transfer window.

The Gunners currently sit third in the Premier League after 12 games, level on points with second-place Liverpool and one behind the defending champions.

However, Mikel Arteta wants to build from a position of strength and not suffer in the title race, as Arsenal did towards the end of last season.

And Silva admits the north London outfit need to give some help to Rice in Arteta’s engine room, as that is often an area where games can be won or lost.

Thomas Partey has proven unreliable with his availability and is not expected to return until after Christmas, leaving Rice to do a lot of the heavy lifting.

And, speaking to Mirror Sport at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Silva said: “I heard that they were maybe looking for some midfielders especially because of Partey being injured at times.

“I’m not sure if it’s 100 percent going to happen but obviously, they have to be aware that this is a very short window and very specific. You have to be like a fisherman sometimes, to grab the right player that you really need that’s going to help you to win games and to be useful for the rest of the season. Also to improve the way you play.

“It’s not about sometimes bringing a player because you need [them]. Speaking to people there, Edu many times, they are working hard to have the data and what they think is right for the club in terms of targets. The market is very competitive as well, sometimes you have to be fast and not lose the opportunity.”

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Silva impressed but still wants more from Arsenal

Meanwhile, Silva also revealed that he’s been impressed by his old side – although there is still plenty of room for improvement.

He added: “I’m happy about the way they’re playing and I believe that the team can improve much more and fight for the title again.

“Last year, they were very close and I guess that in the end you were very close to winning and you lose in the last minute, it’s very frustrating. It’s very hard, we experienced that in 2002/2003, we were in front for the major part of the competition and then we lost.

“But it gives you the hunger to do it again but to win it and I believe that this squad, with Arteta, with the players they’ve got now, it would be great if they win this year as they’ve gone through a very tough time as a club.

“In terms of the transition with Arsene [Wenger], another coach, and now with Arteta. In the beginning, it was not so easy for him (Arteta) – but now he’s got stability, he’s got a good team, and I believe it’s time for them to win titles and the Premier League is one of them. Being back in the Champions League was also important for them.

“But for a club like Arsenal, it’s not enough, you know? You have to always work hard to be in the best position you can even if you’re not winning titles. Be at the top of the league, the top four, playing in the Champions League next season; this has to be the main goal.”

The Gunners will be back in action after the international break when they head to Brentford in the Premier League.

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