The former Gunners striker can appreciate why fresh faces will be sought in the winter window, but he wants the “right players” to be targeted Arsenal should only be spending on the “right players” in January, says Alan Smith, with the former Gunners striker warning that the likes of Emi Buendia and Yves Bissouma may not be ready for a step up at Emirates Stadium.
Mikel Arteta is in the process of weighing up his options with another window now open.
He is preparing to part with Mesut Ozil, who has been frozen out this season, while Sead Kolasinac has already linked up with Schalke on loan. Editors’ Picks
Other departures are being mooted, with there a chance that funds and squad space will open up in north London.
Norwich playmaker Buendia and Brighton enforcer Bissouma are among those Arsenal are said to have their eye on, but Smith has warned Arteta against spending for the sake of it.
He has told Sky Sports: “It’s always the right thing to bring in new players but only if you can get the right players. Somebody who is going to suit what you are looking for, and importantly, who is good enough and who is the right character as well. Sometimes that is the hard part in judging whether they are right for the club.
“Can they handle a step up? For example, somebody like Emi Buendia at Norwich or Yves Bissouma at Brighton, can they handle the step up in expectation at a bigger club? Some people can, some can’t, but you can never be certain until a player arrives.
“We know Arsenal haven’t got much money, so they are going to have to be creative. They’d love to get three or four out of the club.
“Arteta is still moulding a squad in his image. He inherited these players and he’s trying to get in the players he wants, but he’s got one arm tied around his back with the lack of funds.
“All managers want two or three transfer windows at least with a bit more money to spend than he’s had. It’s certainly a longer-term project but, as we know in football, nobody gets time if the results aren’t there. So, he’s got to try and buy time with enough wins to get to the point where he wants to be.
“It’s a long haul at Arsenal but I think they’ve got the right man in charge. He seems an excellent coach and hopefully he can improve the players he’s already got there. That’s what all good coaches do and hopefully he can also bring some more talent into the squad.”
Arsenal have rediscovered a spark of late, going unbeaten through their last five games in all competitions and collecting 10 Premier League points from the last 12 on offer.