Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has admitted that the club felt compelled to dip into the market to sign Jorginho after being handed a ‘big inconvenience’ with Mohamed Elneny’s injury setback. The Gunners were busy throughout the January transfer window, originally starting with an attempt to sign Mykhaylo Mudryk.
Negotiations went on for several weeks before Chelsea swooped in to steal the winger from under Arsenal’s noses. Arsenal reacted by moving their interest to Brighton star Leandro Trossard and they also brought in Jakub Kiwior to provide cover for Gabriel Magalhaes on the left side of defence.
But the final few days of the transfer window saw Arsenal frantically trying to complete a move for a central midfielder. Moises Caicedo was the top target, but Brighton indicated that they weren’t willing to drop their high asking price.
After Arsenal had their second bid, worth a reported £70m, turned down, the Gunners moved on to Jorginho. A deal was eventually agreed for the Italian to join for just £12m on an 18-month contract and he’s set to make his debut for Arsenal this weekend.
Arteta has run light of options in central midfield with Thomas Partey still not fully fit while Mohamed Elneny suffered a setback recently on his trouble knee injury. The Egyptian is now set to miss the remainder of the season and Arteta has indicated that the club’s move for Jorginho was a direct result of Elneny’s injury.
“We knew that in this market you have to adapt and be flexible and ready for inconvenience,” he said. “We had a big one with Mo and we needed a player in that position.
“He’s a great character who’ll bring leadership and quality in that position.”
Elneny’s injury has been compounded even further by Partey’s latest knock. The Ghana international was forced off at half-time during Arsenal’s FA Cup defeat to Manchester City last week due to a blow to the ribs.
Arteta admits the injury is not serious, but no decision has been made on whether the midfielder will be risked against Everton. “Let’s see, that one is still a doubt,” Arteta said.
“Let’s see how he comes in today and if he’s able to train or not. We will make a decision on that. He’s not ruled out and it’s nothing very significant, but it was significant enough to get him out of the game which for Thomas is a bit unusual but hopefully he’ll be fine.”