Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Arsenal could sign a new goalkeeper this month, but was coy about the future of Runar Alex Runarsson.
Arsenal signed Runarsson in the summer transfer window to provide competition for Bernd Leno. The departure of Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa meant they needed a new keeper.
They eventually brought in Runarsson, but were also linked with a number of other shot-stoppers. Brentford’s David Raya was a target before he signed a contract extension with the Championship club, for example.
Arsenal may be regretting missing out on him, as Runarsson has struggled to impress. For instance, he made a big mistake in their Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester City in December.
It suggested Arsenal might have to look elsewhere for another reinforcement to keep Leno on his toes as number one.
And speaking at a press conference before their game against Crystal Palace on Thursday, manager Arteta admitted that Arsenal are likely to act this month.
He said: “We are assessing the situation with the three positions on the goalkeeping area and we will find a different solution, probably in this window.”
Arteta also suggested that the Gunners could not do what they “really wanted to” in terms of their goalkeeper situation in the summer.
Therefore, there are already doubts about Runarsson’s future at the club. There have been rumours that he could be loaned out in January.
Arteta, though, gave little away about that situation.
He said: “There is nothing there yet.
“We are assessing what is going to happen with the three positions.
“The discussion we had in the summer within the club are a little bit different to what actually happened because of the transfer window and the situation that developed with Emi.
“We didn’t have much time to do what we really wanted to do and we decided to assess the situation in this window which is what we are trying to do and we will make a decision on how we want to move forward in those three positions.”
Arteta hopes to make Arsenal man a success
Another player who has struggled to meet expectations since joining Arsenal has been Nicolas Pepe.
The forward was their record signing when he joined in 2019, but has not justified his hefty price tag.
Arteta, though, believes he can help Pepe kick on.
He said: “We need to help him to (succeed). In order to do that he needs minutes, he needs consistency in the team. When he has that, he needs to show he is capable of doing it.
“Let’s see how the next few months develop.”
Arteta is determined to stand by Pepe and has called for patience over the winger.
He added: “I think it is hard to make judgement on some players that haven’t played many minutes over the last two or three weeks. To throw them in and expect them to be the best player on the pitch [is hard].
“I don’t think it happens and Nico tried. He tried all the game and had some really good moments. Moments where he could have scored two or three goals.
“In a normal circumstance and with his ability in those positions, he puts the ball in the back of the net. He didn’t do it but I think his contribution overall was good.”