Mikel Arteta gets January answer as latest setback complicates plans

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Arsenal may be forced to reconsider their plans for the January transfer window after Takehiro Tomiyasu sustained a calf injury last weekend. The Japan international has been in contract extension negotiations with the Gunners recently, though the club must now consider the risks involved with continuing those talks whilst he is sidelined.

Mikel Arteta’s side have made a flying start to the season and are top of the Premier League table, with their 4-3 win over Luton Town highlighting the strength of character within their ranks. Arsenal are keen to retain their superiority by bolstering their ranks further during the January window.

Bringing in a marquee striker has been highlighted as one of the key priorities at the Emirates Stadium, with Brentford star Ivan Toney and Napoli forward Victor Osimhen among those on their shortlist of targets.

But Arsenal’s plans for the winter window could be set to be rejigged following the news of Tomiyasu’s injury, which he sustained against Wolves last weekend. Speaking about the injury, Arteta revealed: “We had a scan and it’s not good news. He’s got an injury in his calf and he’s going to be out for a while.”

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Tomiyasu’s injury has implications in both the short and long term. The Japan international has been in flying form for Arsenal recently and his versatility is an important asset across the backline, being capable of filling in at left-back and in central defence when required.

And with Jurrien Timber still ruled out, Arteta must now weigh up whether to bring in another defender who can provide similar attributes to ensure that Arsenal’s campaign is not derailed due to injury problems.

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Though there is also plenty for the Gunners to consider further down the line as Tomiyasu is no stranger to injuries. The 25-year-old was ruled out for over 100 days last season due to knee surgery and struggled with similar calf problems the campaign prior.

Despite contract extension talks positively moving forward in recent weeks, the Gunners have to weigh up whether they want to hand a bumper deal to a player who is veering towards becoming injury-prone – especially as they are in the dark over how the defender will return from his current calf problems. On form, Arteta will certainly be pushing for a new agreement to be struck with Tomiyasu, but it remains to be seen whether injuries alter his stance, as well as the higher powers at the club.

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