The African Cup of Nations could force Arsenal into the transfer market in January.
The Gunners have four layers likely to be absent with their countries, and given that they have now been told players must be released aa early as Boxing Day, thoughts are already turning to what the squad may look like in their absence.
Central midfield is of particular concern, because with Thomas Partey away with Ghana, and the return of Granit Xhaka from injury by no means guaranteed, they could be left with an untried partnership of Albert “Sambi” Lakonga and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
One name who has been linked with the club once more is Portuguese international William Carvalho.
The former Sporting Lisbon man has been a target for the Gunners a number of times over the years, but now plays in Spain for Real Betis, managed by former Manchester City and West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini.
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.