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Martinelli contract; Jesus injury; Smith Rowe return

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has spoken to the press ahead of the Gunners’ return to Premier League action.


They welcome West Ham United to the Emirates Stadium on Boxing Day as they look to maintain their title challenge.

Speaking to the media, Arteta discussed a range of topics, including transfers, contracts, injuries and more.

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“We need to adapt on the pitch. We have talked a lot about it, we know the importance of starting strong again. We are playing at home, it’s a very special day [Boxing Day] in Premier League history, it’s a family day to play football. It’s an incredible atmosphere and we want to make the most of it.”

“It’s obviously a huge blow with Gabriel Jesus and what happened in the World Cup with his injury. We’re going to miss him for a period of time. But the season has challenges, that’s a challenge we have to overcome as well. If you want to be at the top, you know that you’re going to have to face this type of challenge.

“With Gabi, it’s very difficult to put a timeframe. Obviously it was a very significant injury, and knowing him, I prefer not to give any dates away.

“With Reiss [Nelson], unfortunately he picked up an injury in the game against Juventus and he’s going to be out for a while I think. I’m talking about weeks, a few weeks, let’s see how he reacts, but he felt something straight away and with sprinters that’s not a good sign.

“Emile [Smith Rowe] is close. He’s starting to train again, he had a little setback but he’s there and in a good place.”

“We are going to be active and active means we are looking to strengthen the team. This squad still doesn’t have the luxury of not needing to maximise every window. But it has to be the right player.

“We know where we are in terms of the squad and numbers. We’ll be extremely cautious about what we want to do in the window.”

“No news. Extremely happy with him. I think he had a good experience with the Brazilian national team. You can keep asking in the next few weeks.”

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