Arsenal want to sign in January to deal with the absence of Gabriel Jesus

Gabriel Jesus of Brazil during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group G match between Cameroon and Brazil at Lusail Stadium on December 2, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar

Mikel Arteta has admitted Arsenal are currently running out of forward options as the league leaders prepare to bolster their frontline in the January transfer market.

Arsenal are ready to invest in their first team as they seek to stay ahead of Manchester City in the title race and face the ‘tough blow’ of losing key striker Gabriel Jesus to a long term knee injury.

Arsenal have prioritized signing a new winger to rival Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli. They are known to be seriously interested in Mykhailo Mudryk, the Ukraine and Shakhtar Donetsk striker who can operate on both flanks.

Arteta has raised the possibility of Martinelli playing as a central striker in Jesus’ absence, and said the transfer market offers an opportunity to fill the void created by the Brazilian striker’s injury.

Arsenal also have young striker Eddie Nketiah, who impressed at the end of last season, while another possible alternative is Emile Smith Rowe, who underwent surgery in September to repair a damaged tendon in his groin. Arteta believes Smith Rowe, who is expected to return in the coming weeks, is capable of playing as a central striker.

“It’s a blow for us, obviously,” Arteta said of Jesus, who signed from Manchester City in the summer. “He’s such an important player. He brought something very different to the team and it’s impossible to replace him.

“But we have other players, other alternatives and we will try to sort that out. The transfer window is another option.

Arteta told Arsenal’s website: “I think Jesus is a unique player, but Eddie also has incredible qualities for the way we want to play. We have other alternatives as we can play as well. Martinelli up front We are currently a bit short of leading positions, but recovering Emile is going to be a big challenge.

Mudryk: ‘I like the way Arsenal play’

As Telegraph Sport reported in November, Arsenal are ready and willing to invest in at least one new signing during the January transfer window.

In recent years they have been reluctant to invest heavily midway through the season, preferring to target the summer transfer window, but their success in the early part of the Premier League campaign has contributed to a change in approach.

Mudryk is an exciting option but Arsenal are set to face competition from other top clubs as they look to negotiate a price tag with Shakhtar.

Shakhtar Donetsk v FC Metalist 1925 Kharkiv - NSC Olympiyskiy, Kyiv, Ukraine - August 23, 2022 FC Metalist 1925 Kharkiv's Michjlo Sersen in action with Shakhtar Donetsk's Mykhailo Mudryk - Mudryk REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Shakhtar Donetsk v FC Metalist 1925 Kharkiv – NSC Olympiyskiy, Kyiv, Ukraine – August 23, 2022 FC Metalist 1925 Kharkiv’s Michjlo Sersen in action with Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykhailo Mudryk – Mudryk REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

The 21-year-old is an international teammate of Arsenal’s Oleksandr Zinchenko and has made it clear he would like a move to Emirates Stadium.

“Arsenal are a very good team with a very good coach,” he told CBS in September. “I like the way they play. From my side, I can’t say no, but a transfer is not just my decision.

In a separate November interview with Vlada Sedan, a Ukrainian journalist and Zinchenko’s wife, Mudryk said he was encouraged by the idea of ​​playing at the same club as Zinchenko.

He added: “I was surprised by the number of Arsenal fans who wrote to me. No other club’s fans wrote to me like this. There were so many fans who wrote to me that they were waiting for me to move to Arsenal. It’s nice and it’s a bit encouraging.

Brentford were hoping to sign Mudryk this summer and had spoken to the player, but they were unable to agree a deal with Shakhtar.

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