Darren Bent says he 'never thought' he'd miss Arsenal player until Sunday
Darren Bent has told talkSPORT (broadcast on 11/1; 08:46) that he is worried about the current state of the Arsenal midfield, admitting that the Gunners missed Mohamed Elneny at the weekend.
Mikel Arteta will be hoping to strengthen his options in the middle of the park before the end of the January transfer window. Arsenal were dealt a major blow on Sunday as they were beaten by Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.
It was Albert Sambi Lokonga and Charlie Patino who started at the City Ground. Patino was making his full debut in the tie.
The teenager is considered one of the most exciting talents at the club. However, it is clear that Arteta was worried that it may be too soon for him to start the game, with reports claiming he considered using Sead Kolasinac in that role in the days before.
Elneny and Thomas Partey are both away at the Africa Cup of Nations. Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka is unavailable right now due to Covid.
Bent claimed that the defeat to Forest made him feel a way about Elneny that he never expected. He also suggested another option for the middle of the park while no new signings have arrived.
“A little bit [worried]. I never thought I’d miss Elneny but we did on Sunday,” he told talkSPORT. “Ben White has played a holding midfield role so he might have to play there. When you look at the midfield right now, it’s worrying.”
Arsenal fans will hope midfield issues inspire Gunners to act in transfer market
White is certainly an option to consider pushing forward. However, his partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes has been crucial to the Gunners’ success this term.
They could also look at deploying Martin Odegaard in a deeper position. But again, that would be removing someone from where they have done their best work this term.
Supporters will be hoping that their struggles lead to action being taken in the transfer window. It does appear that they need to strengthen in the middle of the park anyway.
They may have hoped to do that business in the summer. But plans may now need to change.
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