January is looking set to be a crucial window for Mikel Arteta as the pressure continues to mount on the Arsenal boss.
The Gunners were busy in the summer. And in light of the deals for the likes of Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey, Arsenal fans would have been forgiven for expecting a quiet window next month.
However, their current form means that it may be a gamble to do little. And thus, it is little surprise to see the club gradually being linked with more and more names.
One of those reportedly on the club’s radar is John Stones. It was claimed by Eurosport at the start of the month that the Gunners wanted to be kept informed of his status at Manchester City.
At the time, it had appeared that Stones’s future at the Etihad Stadium was uncertain. He had made just two league starts before the report emerged.
However, almost a fortnight later, it would surely be fair to say that any hope Arsenal may have had of signing the centre-back next month have already been dashed.
Stones proving doubters wrong at City
Stones – who earns £100,000-a-week, according to Spotrac – has started City’s last two league games. His latest outing came in the Manchester derby at the weekend.
The former Everton man has been extremely impressive in this recent run in the side. In fact, the Cityzens have not conceded a goal in any of Stones’s last seven appearances in all competitions.
He currently looks to have a prominent role in Pep Guardiola’s plans. So even if he falls out of favour once again, there does not appear to be enough time for Stones to experience such a sharp decline that he suddenly becomes available.
And if that sharp decline does take place, and he somehow becomes available, it would surely not be the smartest idea for Arteta to make a move given the pressure he is currently under.
Unfortunately for the Gunners, it appears that signing Stones in January is out of the question.