‘It doesn’t look realistic’

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Joined: Nov 2016

Updated 07/01/2024 at 21:52 GMT

Mikel Arteta has played down the chances of Arsenal signing a new striker in the January transfer window despite his team’s 2-0 loss to Liverpool in the FA Cup third round. The Gunners have failed to be clinical in recent encounters, scoring only one goal from 61 shots across their past three matches. Arteta urged the club’s fans to “stick by” the existing players instead.Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, looks on prior to the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on January 07, 2024 in London, England.

Image credit: Getty Images

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted signing a new striker in January “doesn’t look realistic”.

The Gunners crashed out of the FA Cup in the third round following a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool, despite having 18 shots to their opponent’s 12.

Their missed chances came back to haunt them when defender Jakub Kiwior scored an own goal in the 80th minute, before Luiz Diaz secured the victory for the visitors in added time.

It was Arsenal’s third defeat in a row, following a 2-0 loss to West Ham and 2-1 defeat to Fulham.

The Gunners dominated all three encounters but lacked a clinical edge. In fact, they managed 61 shots on goal across the three matches, but only scored once.

Despite fans calling out for Arsenal to sign a new striker in the winter transfer window, Arteta attempted to temper expectations.

: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, reacts during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on January 07, 2024 in London, England.

Image credit: Getty Images

“At the moment it doesn’t look realistic,” he said in his post-match press conference. “My job is to improve our players and get better results with the players we have.”

Arsenal’s main striker Gabriel Jesus missed the Liverpool match with a knee injury, with Arteta opting to play Kai Havertz down the middle instead.

But Havertz failed to convert any of his six shots, while Jesus’s usual deputy, Eddie Nketiah, did not come on until the 81st minute.

“What I beg from the supporters is that they are behind the team like they have been in difficult moments,” Arteta said.

“Stick behind the ones that we have. They are incredibly good. If not, then they don’t do what they’ve done today and in Anfield [when drawing 1-1 in the Premier League in December].”

Arteta added: “Stick by them. That’s exactly what they need. Then they feel important and supported. With their attitude they don’t deserve anything different. That’s my opinion.

“It is frustrating but what can we do? I can’t tell them, ‘Play bad, don’t shoot, and Liverpool is going to score an own goal and win the game.’ I don’t know how to create a game plan like this. It’s impossible.

“So, stick by them. If we have 18 shots, then next time we need to have 35. If we continuously do that the ball will go in the net and we’ll generate momentum and we’ll win the games. That’s for sure.”

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