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Additional reporting: Isaan Khan

matches last season. The loss of Saliba for the final weeks of the season, in a particular, was a killer blow.

‘It’s still a huge marathon ahead of us,’ said Arteta yesterday ahead of tonight’s game at Kenilworth Road. ‘The encouragement comes from watching the team play, watching them behave every day and how hungry and willing they are to approach every training session. That’s what gives me encouragement.’

Arteta yesterday said he wants to keep Aaron Ramsdale this January — but cannot guarantee the goalkeeper will stay. Ramsdale lost the No 1 spot to David Raya but is hoping to go to the European Championsip with England next summer, and has been linked with a move away. It is understood that the Gunners are sympathetic with Ramsdale’s aim of being England’s No 1. When asked whether he could say Ramsdale will not be sold in January, Arteta said: ‘I cannot tell you that any Arsenal player is not going to leave in January. Or he is to stay here for the next three years. I want Aaron with us. I am very happy to have two very, very good goalkeepers.’





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