David Ornstein has provided an update on Arsenal’s managerial situation and possible January transfers, but fair warning, it’s not a particularly exciting one.
Unai Emery’s position as head coach at Arsenal is currently under heavy scrutiny, for good reason. The Gunners sit in sixth place behind Sheffield United on goal difference, and with an eight-point gap to the Champions League places after just 12 games.
There’s still plenty of time to salvage the season, but Emery doesn’t look like doing so in any way, shape or form. All the same, the suggestion from Ornstein is that Arsenal aren’t currently looking to make a change, and the Jose Mourinho reports appeared to come from the Portuguese manager’s side.
“Arsenal completely reject suggestions they are looking at potential replacements for Emery,” Ornstein said on The Athletic. “Whether or not that’s true, they can’t say anything else.
“All clubs are constantly looking at players and players and managers in preparation for needing to make a move at some point – this is standard – so internal conversations are possible (I’m not saying I know they’re happening, I don’t) and there’s a good chance this wouldn’t come out.
“But if Arsenal were actively talking to potential replacements or their people/intermediaries, I do think this would come out because people talk and nothing has come out yet apart from the Mourinho reports, which I suspect were driven from his end to alert clubs to his availability.”
When a team is doing badly, the biggest talking point other than the coach is always going to be potential signings. As a result, Ornstein was also asked about the possibility of the Gunners bringing in someone in January, but he doesn’t seem too hopeful.
“It’s probably still a bit early to say and a lot can change before then,” Ornstein added.
“I know the plan was not to use January unless absolutely necessary – Raul Sanllehi has publicly stated he much prefers the summer window – and so far I haven’t heard of a shift in that approach, but hopefully we’ll know more in the coming weeks.”
You’d think Arsenal would be hesitant to back Emery financially any more than they already have. They broke the club’s transfer record for Nicolas Pepe over the summer, they brought in William Saliba, David Luiz and Kieran Tierney to boost the defence at great expense, and they signed a big talent in Gabriel Martinelli.
Making further signings for Emery without any evidence of an improvement in results would be risky, to say the least. It’s going to be a big month-and-a-half for Emery now.