Ivan Gazidis says that there will be more transfer market activity this summer as Unai Emery builds a squad to compete in the Premier League next season, but insists that the Spaniard will uphold the Arsenal ‘values’ of developing young talent.
The chief executive was speaking at a Supporter’s Q&A event last night where the new head coach was billed as a ‘special guest’, and he says that the new team involved in making transfers happen – from targetting players to them signing their contracts – will ensure that Emery has the players he needs after detailing where he feels the squad needs investment.
“We really have a collective effort now, in terms of how we identify players and then how we take forward our interest and of course Unai is a huge part of that as well,” said Gazidis.
“This is now a different way of doing things, one with a very, very accomplished team of professionals who we have spent time bedding into the club.
“Unai has been in the thick of that process in terms of what we need in the squad, we’ve signed two new players so far this summer and there will be more to come.
“At the same time we have to manage the squad that we have, but by the first game of the season, we hope that Unai has a squad that he has had time to work with and a balanced squad that addresses all of the needs that Unai has identified.”
Gazidis also confirmed there would be some departures, and went on to inform attendees that he’d given the former Sevilla, Valencia and PSG boss a crash-course in the club’s values.
“One of the interesting things about speaking with Unai in recent weeks is that he continually emphasises that he wants to understand the club and he wants to understand our values,” he said.
“We spent an hour earlier today just talking about values and what Arsenal represents. One of the long standing traditions at the club is in developing players and that’s one of the things Unai has done throughout his career.
“We spent a lot of time behind the scenes over the last few years developing our academy, our academy at Hale End is unrecognisable from how it was a few years ago.
|We’ve got new leadership in the academy now with Per Mertesacker and Freddie Ljungberg managing the U-23s.
“So there is tremendous energy, not just in this room and with Unai, but right across the club.”