Arteta on our January arrivals and departures

Mikel Arteta in training

After a busy transfer window that saw three players arrive and three depart, Mikel Arteta believes that it has been a positive month for the club.

New recruits Leandro Trossard and Jakub Kiwior were joined by Jorginho on Tuesday as the boss looks to add strength in depth to his side as we aim to keep our title push going throughout the second half of the campaign.

And having identified three areas that he felt we were lacking in before January began, Mikel is pleased those gaps have been filled after a busy month behind the scenes.

Reflecting on the window, he said: “It’s been a really tricky one but I think at the end, it’s been a really positive one. We had three main key areas of positions that we wanted to improve and fulfil, and we’ve done it. 

“In Leo, we’ve brought in a player who already knows the league and has performed at a great level, has the versatility that we needed, and adds quality and a goal threat in the squad, especially after the injury with Gabi [Jesus]. 

“With Jakub, he is a young talent with incredible potential who is going to help redefine our way of playing, and we didn’t have a backup centre-back for the whole season. 

“Jorginho is a player that speaks for himself. When you look at his CV, his playing record, his quality - I think we’ve made some really good decisions there. I’m impressed by his intelligence, his personality, his leadership skills, the way he understands our way of playing, and the quality he has to implement that in football matches. He’s a player who will fit in really well with what we want to do.”

Meanwhile, deadline day saw three players depart on loan, with Marquinhos dropping down to the Championship to help Norwich City’s promotion bid, while Sambi Lokonga and Cedric found new temporary homes in the Premier League with Crystal Palace and Fulham respectively.

Arteta admitted that it was only fair to allow those three players to enjoy some gametime over the coming months, with opportunities to impress in our colours potentially not arriving regularly enough following our FA Cup exit to Manchester City last week.

Revealing why those deals were sanctioned, he said: “Sambi needed time and games to develop the talent that he has, and I think in Palace we have found the right club with the right coaching staff so we believe that will work out. 

“Marquinhos needed minutes and it is going to be a really tough but really good test for him to play in that league with a great club.

“With Cedric he was demanding minutes and it was difficult to promise that to him. He is a player we all love and it has been a difficult decision to let him go, but we have to respect his will to play.”

Watch or read Mikel's full pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's game with Everton

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