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Granit Xhaka injury update gives Mikel Arteta Arsenal transfer dilemma

Granit Xhaka was recently ruled out for up to three months with a knee injury and Mikel Arteta could face a shortage of midfielders when the January transfer window rolls around

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Mikel Arteta laments Xhaka injury blow for Arsenal

Granit Xhaka ‘s latest injury update has given Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta a transfer dilemma in January.

The 28-year-old was recently ruled out for up to three months as a result of a knee injury sustained in the north London derby victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

That means Xhaka could next feature after the January transfer window has opened, the time when a number of team-mates are set to jet off to play in the African Cup of Nations and Arteta will subsequently face a shortage of midfielders.

The Spanish boss says he is keen to keep the “big loss” around the team during his rehabilitation due to his “top” mentality, but the Switzerland captain’s absence on the pitch means the Gunners will need a solution to replace the midfield general.

And Arsenal may well find that fix in the transfer window through a new signing, with the club evidently willing to splash the cash, spending over £150million on six players over the summer months.

Xhaka is not set to feature until 2022

The Gunners’ official website gave an update on Xhaka ahead of their match at home to Crystal Palace on Monday, stating: “Granit is making good progress in the initial stages of his recovery from a medial knee ligament injury sustained on September 26.

“The current aim is for Granit to be back in full training early in the New Year.”

Despite limited minutes this season, the 28-year-old has impressed, building a strong campaign last term, albeit one which saw the Arteta and co slump to a ninth-place finish in the Premier League.

Xhaka’s range of passing complimented Thomas Partey ‘s more combative approach, while the Swiss, then heavily linked with a switch to Serie A giants Roma, enjoyed a stellar time with his national team at the European Championships as Vladimir Petkovic’s men made the quarter-finals and narrowly lost to Spain.

Arteta could seek to sign a similar profile of player as a short-term solution, already noting how careful his side must be when getting Xhaka back in action come 2022, although summer signing Albert Sambi Lokonga will be hoping to fill the void.

What is more, Partey and fellow midfielder Mohamed Elneny – as well as forwards Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – are set to feature for their countries at the AFCON which runs from January 9 to February 6.

When asked about the looming situation, Arteta responded: “Let’s see where we are at that point, which players we have available and which players definitely have to be there and for how long, because there are some question marks there as well.

“We will find a solution. if they have to leave, they have to leave.

“We’ll have to find the right replacements for them.”

On Xhaka’s recovery, he added: “With Granit, I don’t know, but I’m sure that if you tell him three [months], he will be thinking two [months],”

“He will be trying to do extra work to try to minimise that time, that’s for sure.

“We have to do it in the right way because it’s a significant injury and we want to have him back properly when he can.”

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