Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he plans to sign one player in January at an absolute minimum, one small silver lining for Gunners fans in a press conference full of disappointing news on the injury front, but that addition will not be Chelsea goalkeeper Pete Cech.
Wenger admitted that both Mikel Arteta has no chance of featuring against West Bromwich Albion this weekend, after damaging his calf against Borussia Dortmund for the third time already this season, while Wojciech Szczesny hasn't trained all week and Danny Welbeck is also a huge doubt.
Add those setbacks to the desperately disappointing news that Jack Wilshere will need at least three months to recover from surgery on damaged ankle ligaments and Wenger's options are seriously depleted, an injury crisis that will definitely force him into the transfer market this January.
Surely need a new defender
Ahead of tomorrow's trip to The Hawthorns the Gunners boss revealed that Mathieu Debuchy is two weeks away from returning and Laurent Koscielny is fit to star if required, but that double boost won't stop him chasing new signings when the transfer window opens.
Wenger said: “We have gone through a period where we were very short. But we discovered as well that players have learned the job in the centre-back position like [Nacho] Monreal and he’s doing very well now. In January we’ll of course try to get at least one body in.”
Podolski expected to stay
Unsurprisingly given his lack of first-team action Wenger was also asked about Lukas Podolski, who continues to struggle to convince the Gunners boss he deserves a consistent starting spot.
Podolski revealed he's been approached by Wolfsburg after being left out in favour of Yaya Sanogo against Dortmund, but Wenger is adamant that the forward's attitude is excellent and he fully expects the World Cup winner to still be at the Emirates fighting for his place until at least the end of the season.
No chance of Cech joining Arsenal in January
After rubbishing January rumours linking Arsenal with Petr Cech the Gunners boss also conceded that Theo Walcott's groin strain will keep out of contention to face the Baggies, while Sanogo is also struggling with Wenger rather vaguely termed as "problems."
Wenger gave talk of a move for Cech the thumbs down in a what was certainly a wide-ranging pre-match presser, with Arsenal hoping that transfer speculation finally subsides thanks to a combination of players coming back from long-term problems and improved results on the pitch, starting with three points against West Brom tomorrow lunchtime.