Mikel Arteta rules out loan move for Arsenal striker and talks about lack of goals

Date published: Thursday 14th October 2021 2:34 - Matthew Briggs

Mikel Arteta faces the press, Arsenal manager, Emirates Stadium

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has blocked any potential loan exit for striker Gabriel Martinelli, but admitted his side need to sharpen up in front of goal.

The Gunners recovered from a poor start to the season with four consecutive victories, before the goalless draw with Brighton before the international break.

The game on the south coast provided Arsenal with just two shots on target and there been concerns over the lack of goals.

Arteta’s men have scored only five goals in seven games, whilst conceding 10. Only Norwich have scored less than Arsenal so far this season.

Their total of 25 shots on target to date sees them ranked in mid-table in the stats. So their conversion rate is poor, but they are markedly behind the leading teams in the division.

Liverpool have produced far and away the most shots on target with 54 and have converted 17 of those into goals.

It leaves Arsenal’s paltry tally in the shadows and Arteta addressed the concerns in his press conference on Thursday.

“It’s something that certainly we can do better. We can improve our efficiency in front of goal. When we get that balance right it will help us to win more games,” said Arteta, who was asked if the international break had come at the wrong time.

“When you are in good momentum you want to carry on playing as quick as possible. We did well enough to do that and be in a different position to a month ago.”

The Gunners face Crystal Palace at The Emirates on Monday night with Arteta close to having a full squad.

“Not any bad news. At the moment everybody seems to be ok. Granit is progressing really well but know it is a long term injury and he’s not going to be available,” added the Spaniard.

Arteta is hoping to have resurgent midfielder Thomas Partey available after a double-header for Ghana against Zimbabwe.

Partey started the first game in Ghana and scored the second goal in a 3-1 win. While he broke the deadlock in the 31st minute in Zimbabwe with a superb free-kick.

“Well let’s see. We haven’t had the players here yet some of them because they’re still travelling. He played well and scored a couple of goals,” said Arteta.

Partey will be one of the players who will be missing for the African Cup of Nations early in 2022.

The tournament runs from January 9 to February 6 and Arteta says the club will deal with whatever situation arises.

Arteta said: “Let’s see where we are at that point. Which players have to definitely be there and for how long. We will find a solution. If they have to leave they have to leave.”


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Martinelli loan blocked 

Meanwhile, the Arsenal boss insisted that Martinelli would not be leaving in January.

The 20-year-old Brazilian has made only two Premier League starts this season. He played in both defeats to Brentford and Chelsea and has not been seen since.

 

He has taken his place on the bench, but has not managed to kick a ball since August.

The Daily Mirror claimed Martinelli would look to get a move in order to get some first-team football.

Martinelli scored twice from 14 appearances last season, after seeing the first half of the campaign wiped out through injury. And Arteta has revealed the forward has picked up a “minor injury”, but ruled out a loan move.

“Unfortunately he got injured last week. It’s a minor injury, we don’t know if he’s going to be available for Monday.

“No I’m very happy with him, we’re not thinking of anything like that,” said Arteta.

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