Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta decides transfer priority after Martin Odegaard signing

Arsenal: Arteta explains how he convinced Odegaard to join

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has overseen a busy yet productive transfer window this month with technical director Edu, following a number of ins and outs at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners headed into the new year looking to offload several big-earners in their squad, in order to trim the wage budget.

Arteta was told he would not be able to spend unless he cleared the decks in north London, something that Arsenal managed to do very quickly.

William Saliba (Nice) and Sead Kolasinac (Schalke) headed out on loan before Arsenal reached a mutual agreement to terminate the contracts of Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

The World Cup winner has since joined Fenerbahce, while the Greek defender has returned to his homeland with Olympiacos.

Matt Ryan and Martin Odegaard have come through the door and while Arteta is open to bringing in extra recruits, he is now focused on getting a few more fringe players off the books.

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“Well, we have a large squad. We knew that,” Arteta revealed yesterday. “A lot of things that should have happened in the summer we could not accomplish them for different reasons.

“There are a lot of players that are going to go on loan. They are going to leave.

“And that’s the priority at the moment because we cannot sustain the numbers that we have in certain positions. We are looking to do that.”

The likes of Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock could yet depart the club on loan until the end of the season.

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Arsenal are keen on terminating the contract of Shkodran Mustafi if they can reach an agreement with the player.

There has been some suggestion that Liverpool could take a gamble on the German before the end of the transfer window as they look to bring in defensive reinforcements.

Goalkeeper Alex Runarsson is also potentially available on loan now the Gunners have acquired the services of Brighton goalkeeper Ryan.

The Athletic claim that West Brom are one of several clubs to have expressed an interest in signing Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan from Arsenal.

A top-four club is also said to be in the frame for the England international.

Arteta has urged the versatility man to give him a reason to play him with his performances on the training pitch at London Colney.

“Yes, it is a concern when there is international football involved as well and the chance to reach that opportunity,” Arteta said on Maitland-Niles.

“I understand that Ainsley wants more minutes and what he needs to do is fight, train and challenge his teammates and show us that he can be one of our starters.”

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