We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta may regret not making any additions in the January transfer window. North London rivals Tottenham used the mid-season market wisely and their two signings could prove the difference in the race for the Premier League top four. Dejan Kulusevski joined from Juventus on loan with an option to buy in the summer. Rodrigo Bentancur also arrived from the Serie A giants, signing on a permanent deal which could rise to £21.5million. After making a few substitute appearances, both players have now become regular starters under Antonio Conte. They have started each of the last five league matches, with Spurs winning four and losing one. Kulusevski has two goals and five assists in his first 10 league outings, with Bentancur a solid addition to the midfield alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Spurs’ upturn in form has seen them leapfrog Arsenal into fourth place. READ MORE: Benzema proves Rio Ferdinand wrong as Real Madrid star bags Chelsea hat-trick
The Gunners still have Champions League qualification in their own hands. Arteta’s side are level on points with Spurs, have a game in hand over them, and have to visit the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for May’s rearranged match. However, what has proven to be more damaging than the 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace on Monday has been the injury problems that came out after the match. Kieran Tierney missed the trip due to a knee problem and will sit out the remainder of the season. Thomas Partey, who had been playing his best football in an Arsenal shirt, suffered a thigh injury on Monday and is set for a spell out. Arteta’s squad is set to be stretched to its absolute limits, with Takehiro Tomiyasu continuing to be absent with a calf injury. Arteta allowed six players to depart in January, either on loan or by mutual consent. But he may be wishing he had one or two of them to call upon for the next six weeks. DON’T MISS Chelsea’s Mount has defiant message for Real Madrid – ‘If anyone can do it, it’s us’ [INTERVIEW] Thierry Henry’s puzzled reaction when Micah Richards compared Benzema to Harry Kane [TV] Joe Cole singles out two Chelsea stars for criticism after Real Madrid defeat [REACTION]
Spurs boss Conte knew he had to strengthen in January to give his team any chance of finishing in the top four. Kulusevski and Bentancur may not have been his top two targets. The Italian wanted to sign Adama Traore, who joined Barcelona, and Luis Diaz, who instead moved to Liverpool. But the additions of the duo from Juventus have proven to be successful pieces of business so far. They have immediately improved Tottenham’s first-choice starting XI. That could ultimately be enough to continue their recent dominance over their local rivals.
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