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Emery to step up transfer search after Bellerin injury

Arsenal boss wants to bring in new faces

25 January, 2019 — By Steve Barnett

Unai Emery: ‘We need, if he can come here, a winger for the right or left or some players also at centre-back’

UNAI Emery has backed Hector Bellerin to “come back stronger” after the Arsenal right-back was ruled out for the rest of the season with a serious knee injury.

The Spain international will miss between six and nine months after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the 2-0 victory over Chelsea on Saturday.

Emery said everyone at the club felt “sad” for Bellerin, who joins Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck on a growing injury list of long-term absentees. The Gunners gaffer added that it was a set-back that will force the club to bring in new recruits before the transfer window closes on January 31 at 11pm.

“We were sad after his injury,” Emery said during yesterday’s (Wednesday) press conference ahead of the FA Cup fourth-round clash against Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow (Friday).

“I think this year is very difficult for big injuries like Hector, Rob Holding and Welbeck. But football is like that. We need to treat these injuries like a normality in football, but we are very sad for that.

“Hector is very mature and I think he received this injury like a football professional can take and he is already preparing to come back stronger than before.”

Reflecting on the final week of the transfer window, Emery added: “The club continues to work on signings. It’s difficult, you know, but I am working with our players and I think we need – and we can – sign some players to help after our injuries like Holding, like Welbeck, like Bellerin. But we can play with the players we have now and the same message is to you and every supporter: we only want to sign one or two players who can really help us with good performances.

“We need, if he can come here, a winger for the right or left or some players also at centre-back. But now, Dinos Mavropanos is coming back after his injuries and I think I can use him in the next matches.”

Club captain Laurent Koscielny has advised Bellerin to “enjoy life” away from football as he recovers from his injury. Koscielny, who recently returned from a seven-month injury lay-off after rupturing his achilles, told Sky Sports: “I said to him, put football on the side and enjoy a bit of your life with your family and friends.

“He knows all the team are here to help him because we know he will have some difficult moments during his rehab.”

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