Arteta warns that strengthening squad could be difficult this summer

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Mikel Arteta is aware that he needs to strengthen his Arsenal squad but he maintains that his priority in the short-term is making sure his players feel valued and ensuring he gets the best from them in the remainder of the season.

While clubs like Chelsea have laid down a marker by securing the big-money signing of Germany international Timo Werner, the Spaniard is trying to persuade key players, young and old, that the Gunners are similarly ambitious despite the financial hit of Covid-19 and three years without Champions League football.

One thing is clear, whether he has money to spend when the transfer window opens or not, he is desperate to close the gap that has opened between us and our traditional rivals.

“We’re trying to put a plan together to improve what we have,” said Arteta when asked about transfer plans.

“We haven’t been able to do or achieve the results we wanted in the last three years.

“There’s a reason behind it and if we stand still obviously that gap will get bigger and bigger. I haven’t come here to accept or to do that.

“The challenge for all of us, is first to improve the players that we have and then to improve the squad in the right positions in order to give us the best possible chance and tools that we need to compete at that level which is getting higher and higher each year.”

Back in early April, Arteta seemed to suggest that the club had a number of potential scenarios when it came to summer transfer dealings. Asked if that was still the case, the boss seemed to hint that none of them fully accounted for the way Covid-19 has taken a toll.

“The plans I had were not considering the coronavirus and all the side effects that it has had. We know what we have to do to improve the team, that’s for sure. Whether we’re able to do it the way we want, that’s a different story.

“My focus right now is just to improve the team, to get the results that we need to give us the best chance possible to get into Europe, to convince the players that this is the right place for them, the right environment, and then work from there.”

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Pkub

This

“I haven’t come here to accept or to do that”

My manager, keep the pressure on the board & the owners!!!

Hantal

Similar line to what Wenger put out every summer

Andy

Why do we have to put up with these platitudes every summer? Just stow it Mikel, and come back in September (or whenever) with a group of players who at least try every week. That’s enough for me.

Vonnie

Wenger told lies, was past his best and always looking for excuses. Mikel tells the truth and has a determination to make things happen. I don’t see any similarities between them, thank goodness.

Chamakhyungpark

Wenger was not a liar, he was great man. Football moved passed him in the end, but show him some respect for gods sake. If anyone in the club deserves it over the last decade, it is him.

Artetas Assistant

I agree with you. The times moved past Wenger who was already quite a limited human-manager but good at football.

atom

This was always going to be a tough summer without CL football given our finances, but clearly the economic hit from COVID is going to be massive. That said we have a good base of young players who look ready to play. We still have some saleable assets in Laca/Auba (Auba is a tough call) that will allow us to reinvest in the squad. And while we have a lot of players heading into their final year, largely they are highly paid underachieving players we won’t be sorry to see leave. We won’t get significant fees for any of them… Read more »

Robh

Not sure why you’re getting heat on this. We absolutely have to cut the wage bill. We are spending approximately £240 million on wages. We aren’t getting anywhere near our value for that. We all wish we had a squad that was close to contending for titles. That was one or two purchases away from competing with City and Liverpool. That is not the case. We have to be realistic. Our best chance of getting back to the level we want is planning 3-4 years in the future. It’s how Liverpool took a squad worse than we have currently and… Read more »

Riku

We spend less on wages than city, utd, Liverpool, Chelsea. Partley from a. Madrid is gonna join because we will triple his current wages. Wages issue is important

Flash

I think we are somewhere in between the 3-4 years and the “next year” and maybe that is one of the reason why Auba is hesitating. 1-2 player may not be enough, but selling those who were mentioned (plus Elneny, AMN) could cover the 3rd. And I think with 3 talented players, who also have some years of experience we could be easily mentioned at the level of MU, Chesea and the Spuds, and really close to those other two.
 
 

loose_cannon

They sold their best players at the beginning of this Era as well.”
 
Meanwhile we let them go for a pittance if for anything at all. If Sanchez and Ramsey were Liverpool players they’d probably get 100m for them each! Alongside our outsized wage bill and our inability to ruthlessly shift deadwood, it’s worth taking a step back and wondering how it has gotten to this (and who should be sacked for it).

Cultured Determination

agree. should have sold alexis for 50-80 mil to city, and maybe even ram to somewhere else for similar amount.

Joel

Is it just me, or would anyone else love to see Arteta manage to pull Ramsey back from Juve? (To be clear, I have no idea around his contract etc. Just love the thought of it).

Mick Malthouse

His body is shot.

Cultured Determination

yup. i cant see us paying for him when we just let him leave for free last season. let’s not pogbanize ourselves.

The Spoon

It’s a situation most clubs are in, and we can hopefully take advantage of it. If ol Stan put his hand in his pocket we could pick up a few decent players on the cheap. I’m sure it’ll be a weird summer of swaps and loans. Everyones talking about Auba going, but the stories linking Laca going won’t go away, and he has value. Despite his poor goalscoring record this season it’d be a disaster to lose both. We have some fantastic youth strikers but to get them to take over from those too, that would be crazy.

Artetas Assistant

Laca is a really just an attitude-awakening away from excellence. I don’t know to wait for him or maybe a downstep is the kick he needs in his career

Goontang

For once we have started making investment’s into our defense. Tierney, Salina, Toreirra, Leno. These are players that should and could shine next season. Leno is obviously doing that. Torierra if he stays I feel was ruined after a bright start by Emery by all the sudden thinking he couldn’t be a defensive midfielder. If we add Partey to the mix I can’t see why we can’t push on next season with arteta at the helm. It would have been interesting to see where we would be now if he got the job over emery 2 years ago. There is… Read more »

Voldemort

Hard to see auba staying if we dont strengthen. He rightly wants to win things and has one more contract to enable that. Lose him and we have a mountian to climb for cl next season and the downward spiral continues.

Nilaroulettes

I think we should look at the players PSG are letting go without contracts.   Thomas Meunier is really good at right back, I think his game is perfect for the premier league. He’s also really tall and quite strong. Perfect man to compete against Bellerin and we can have him for free.   Edinson Cavani is still a really good striker, he’s just not as good as Icardi and Mbappé. He does a lot of pressing and he is tenacious, I think if we lose Auba or Laca he could be perfect. He’s 33 and has a few good… Read more »

Pat Rice and Beans

What about the wages and (certainly) the sign on fees they will demand?

Nilaroulettes

If we can’t pay those, that means we really have zero money.

Cultured Determination

top priority is saka. i see him as a 100m player in 1-2 years’ time. strange that AMN is linked away cos i think he’s the perfect arteta-type RB cos he can play as a CM when we attack down the left, like how arteta likes to play.
Looking at the miserly kronke, we’ll really have to make sure arteta can get the best out of our youngsters like saliba, thierny, AMN, Saka, Eddie, Nelson, and build from there.

Rocky07

Agree that Saka is most important contact to sort out.
Party- the reports just won’t go away, is there a chance we really are interested?