Mikel Arteta: Arsenal can do better in front of goal but not thinking of signing a striker in January

Mikel Arteta has admitted Arsenal are underperforming in front of goal but insists they are not considering signing a striker in January.

Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah started Sunday’s 2-2 draw at home to Tottenham but were both criticized after failing to find the scoresheet.

Arsenal have scored 11 Premier League goals, compared to an expected total of 11.38 this season, but Arteta said: “There are different ways to score goals and we score goals.

“But we should have scored a lot more with the chances we created.”

Despite reports that Arteta is keen to sign Ivan Toney when he returns from suspension in January, the Arsenal boss, when asked about signing a striker, said: “We are not thinking about that at all.

“We have really good players up front. It is true that we have some injuries at the moment. We will continue with the players we have.”

However, Arteta did namecheck Toney when asked about the traditional number 9 being chased out of football, saying: “It’s coming back.

“There are a few players if you look at Harry Kane, (Erling) Halaand, Ivan Toney, (Aleksandar) Mitrovic. You have examples of players who score a lot of goals.”

Frank: Why should we sell Toney?

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Brentford head coach Thomas Frank questions why he would sell striker Toney in the January transfer window amid reports of interest from Arsenal

Brentford hosted Arsenal in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday and although Toney is unavailable due to his betting ban, the striker was a talking point for Thomas Frank.

Toney has changed representation and has spoken openly about the potential of leaving Brentford earlier this season, but when asked if he could leave in January, Frank said: “I don’t know. All I’m concentrating on is the tomorrow’s match.” Wednesday).

“We are preparing for the upcoming transfer windows. We are prepared in every position if something were to happen. Let’s see.”

“I don’t want to sell him. I want my best players. I say: ‘don’t sell him’. Ivan is a world-class player, so why should we sell a world-class player?

“I want him to play here for the rest of his contract, but that is not up to me to decide.”

Merson: Arsenal may need Toney in January

Sky Sports’ Paul Merson:

I’ve always said it from day one: Eddie Nketiah is not going to win you the Premier League.

You need a good striker. I don’t blame Nketiah because they drew 2-2 against Tottenham, but with 32 games to go and all the Champions League games to play, I don’t think he will take them to the next level. I don’t even think Gabriel Jesus takes them to the next level.

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This week in The Question, Sam Blitz and Nick Wright ask whether Arsenal need a new number 9 if they want to win the Premier League

I was so confident that Arsenal would win on Sunday, but when I saw the teams I was very worried. Jesus on the wing, Nketiah up front, Fabio Vieira, I don’t think he’s good enough. Then Declan Rice comes off and Jorginho comes on.

It wasn’t Arsenal’s strongest team, but when you think about the Champions League and all the games they have to play, they looked a bit weak on Sunday, didn’t they?

It’s fine to sit there and think ‘they need a striker’ – but who is there?

Only Ivan Toney is available to them in January; there are not many centre-forwards in the world. They are a dying breed.

I heard Michael Owen talking the other day. Years ago you had him, Alan Shearer, Teddy Sheringham and Robbie Fowler scoring 20 to 30 goals a season and they weren’t scoring a million caps for England. Ian Wright and Les Ferdinand too. Now you’re scoring 20 goals in the Premier League and playing for England.

Toney is a good player: he can hold the ball high and is good in the air. Arsenal might have to go for him. But there are not a million centre-forwards in circulation.

If Arsenal now lose to Manchester City on October 8, they will be out of the title race. They would be seven points behind.

A lot of people say, ‘But there are still so many games left.’ But Arsenal wouldn’t catch Man City with 600 games left if City had a seven-point lead. You just can’t make up for that because from then on Arsenal would only have one more game against City and then it would be over.

That match at the Emirates is a huge match, it is already a matter of make or break.

Neville: Arsenal are still missing their right-wing striker

Sky Sports’ Gary Neville:

I like strikers who are flexible and can play on the left or right, but you still need to have a few players in your team who can sniff out where the ball is going to land.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Sunday’s Premier League match between Arsenal and Tottenham

Not a poacher – the days of traditional poachers are over – but we’re still talking about someone who knows where to go.

Listening to Sir Alex Ferguson and the England coaches over the years, it was always the way for attackers to run over the defender. But if the ball is on the other side and is passed to the back post, they can also run to that area.

If you start at a corner, you must enter at the back post. I think of Ian Wright starting in and around the six-yard box because I was marking him on the corners and he was a nightmare.

He used to crawl to the back post to make sure that if the ball was looked at – which is what happens – it was there. Nketiah was not there. He was hanging around and didn’t make that flight.

And earlier with Jesus, when he robbed (James) Maddison, these are big moments in the game. You have to be on the move and sniff, smell, anticipate, and Arsenal don’t have that.

I really like this Arsenal team and they could win a title or finish second, have a great season and win trophies without that type of player, but it became clear in this game that that was missing.

Alan Smith also pointed it out in the commentary and he knows a lot more than I do about playing up front.