Arteta: If we have to wait for the right player, we wait


In yesterday’s press conference, Mikel Arteta outlined why Arsenal have to be bold in the transfer market this summer even if the club’s finances are rocked by Covid-19 uncertainty and a lack of European football.

In essence, he called on the club to give him the necessary players to execute his philosophy and to speculate to accumulate in the hope of returning to the Champions League. He admits it’s a risky policy but also pointed to the risk of doing nothing and the gap between us and our rivals growing ever bigger.

Ahead of Liverpool’s visit to the Emirates this evening, the media, understandably, wanted to get Arteta’s take on the turnaround at Anfield in the last few years. Since Fenway Sports bought the Reds for £300 million in 2010, they’ve diligently reshaped every area of the club both on and off the field. Success in Europe and on the home front in the last two years has been their reward.

After squandering the cash raised by the sale of Luis Suarez, Liverpool learnt the hard way that reactive buying is bad and recruiting players that solve specific problems is good. They came to recognise the importance of patience, as shown by their lengthy pursuit of Virgil van Dijk.

While time is always of the essence for coaches, especially when results aren’t going your way, Arteta says he’s willing to bide his time in the search for the right profile of player.

“At the end of the day, everything that comes through our door has to be top, top quality,” said Arteta.

“That’s the demands of this club. It cannot be any different. If we have to wait for the right player to do that, let’s wait.

“Everything that comes through our door, it has to be something that increases, significantly, the level of the team.””

When you consider that our recent attempts to outsmart the market ended with us panic buying David Luiz and then recruiting another centre-back, Pablo Mari, it’s hard to feel a huge confidence in the football executive committee.

That said, while Unai Emery was, for the most part, happy to let those above him make decisions on recruitment, it definitely feels like Arteta will be far more involved.

It also sounds like he’s happy to shop around, looking for local bargains and stars alike.

“They [Liverpool] got a good mixture, as well, they bought players from Monaco, from Italy; it’s a good mixture.

“You need players that have the experience in the Premier League and they’ve done it here so in terms of adaptation the process is much quicker.

“As well, they bought players with European experience as well, playing in big national teams with big responsibility. Don’t forget, for a big amount of money as well.”

This summer is certainly shaping up to be one of the most challenging in the club’s recent history. There are tough decisions ahead. Here’s hoping Arteta’s bullishness pays dividends. The transfer window will open for 10 weeks, starting 27 July and ending 5 October

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This summer is certainly shaping up to be one of the most challenging in the club’s recent history”

I wonder how many seasons in a row we’ve been in this boat now

Too Drunk To Be Offside

Genuinely feel Arsenal should give the youngsters a go. I feel there is a lot of talent in the youth side (Saka, Nketiah, Willock, Reiss, Holding, Saliba whenever he is available, Rowe Smith, Osei Tutu, etc. to name a few). I think the big spend culture has meant that no one values players unless that player has a gazillion pound price tag attached to him. Integrate the yougsters, they have been really good this season and that is the way to go. Saka is probably the player of the season, at least it feels like that right now. Isn’t that… Read more »


There will be plenty of room to do both. We can continue to integrate youngsters, as we have been doing, while adding genuine star quality to the squad in key positions. Personally I’ve seen very little from Willock or Nketiah to suggest that they’re anywhere near being able to be an important part of a top 4 Premier League team. Presumably the players that have been involved less are even further away, in Arteta’s mind at least. Saka is obviously a different story, and I’m more optimistic about Nelson if only because winger is an easier position for a young… Read more »


It’s not like it’s an impossible task, we did well with Martinelli as an example. I personally don’t buy into the philosophy that you have to spend money for great talent. Sure it helps, but a club like Arsenal with all it’s resources should have scouts capable enough to find players that can do the job required.

Additionally, I think historically one of our biggest issues has been a reluctance to be proactive and more reactive. Also, I feel like we can pushed around a lot by other clubs. Let’s take a stand and stick to our guns ??


The current mental, technical and athletic weaknesses are obvious, and so they’ve been found out – again. Kola belongs on the bench until he’s sold.  Xhaka is ever so slow to manoeuvre around. Bellerin looks better since Cedric’s debut, but he still seems second best, specially in terms of build-up. Pepe has little influence and too much waste despite his talent ; he got schooled by Lucas, and generally looks like an amateur when defending (and weak on 50-50s). Without much to lose now, I’m hoping to see alternative systems focused on the more technically assured players, and also to… Read more »


Your 442 option sounds ever so wonky. Why would you stick a left winger/wing back (Saka) in the middle of the park, a right winger (Reiss-Nelson) on the left, and 2 central midfielders (Maitland-Niles & Willock) on the right?

The last three have also yet to really show that they’re worthy of a spot in the first team week in, week out.


Well, Saka is very complete, and I for one would be happy to see him having more of the ball, making runs in the box, shoot, get on the end of crosses etc… Nelson played some of his best attacking football from the left when in Germany. Why not try it again now, with a similar attacking approach? He was considered a dangerous player not so long ago… We know Niles brings athleticism and has the capacity to provide good cover for an attacking full-back, and he has said he wants to play as winger, so why not let him… Read more »


Saka is very complete?

You actually just wrote that. The kid is what, 18?

Good heavens man. Just log off…..


Good enough = old enough, simple as.
Remember Fabregas?
Ever heard of MBappé?
The boy’s played fb, wb, winger on both side, why not through the middle?


“Ever heard of these generational talents that are among the best ever at their positions?”
Come on dude.


xhaka is no good infront of the back 4 hes too slow and cant tackle. he can only play in a deep lying role with someone next to him. very limited player.

djourou's nutmeg

im starting to support mikel more than i support arsenal, you know…


Sounds like a good plan. The player recruitment should come from the manager. It worked for Wenger and Dein and it works for Klopp and Liverpool owners. Arsenal execs and their agent pals is not the way forward.


Liverpool pay the most amount of money to agents, more than even City, Chelsea or Utd.

Agents earn far more from our rivals than they do from us, but we seem to be the club that complains about agents the most.


Fans fear the degree of influence, not necessarily what agents earn.


Excellently put


Those two things are of course inextricable, though.


After squandering the cash raised by the sale of Luis Suarez”

Balotelli, Lambert, Markovic, Moreno, Can, Origi and Lallana

Can and Lallana aside, how did Liverpool recover from signing those duds, and in just a few years? Gives us some hope I suppose…


They accepted they were mistakes and moved them on many at a loss, Arsenal on the other hand persist with the same flops season after season, xhaka mustafi kolasanic ozil now add luiz to the list hoping they will magically be the players to get us back in the top 4.

Obama Young

We also sell and manage contracts horrendously, which hurts our chances of having enough money to bring in who we need. It’s not just in years past– last summer we got rid of Koscielny, Monreal, Ramsey and Mikhitaryan, who combined to start 108 games and score 15 goals for us last season. We got back a total of less than 5 million for them all! The problem was not moving on from those specific players. They all had their issues. Fine, move on. But do it right. The problem was and is letting player situations and contracts deteriorate so badly… Read more »

A Different George

Well, then they got another windfall with the (forced) sale of Coutinho. By the way–why Can and Origi aside? Can was okay for them, but was never going to move them into the elite. Lallana’s career, whatever it’s promise, was ruined by injury as much as Jack Wilshire’s was.


Soothing words coming from Arteta, this is absolutely what we should do in terms of strategy. We need to buy players to strengthen our squad and not because a player’s agent hangs out with a certain director or so.

It is obvious we need 3 new players in midfield, a new centre back and a left winger.

Guns Up

Depending on formation and your definition of a “left winger,” you’re talking about Tierney, Saka, Martinelli or Auba – can’t think of a position in this squad, with the possible exception of GK, less in need of overhaul.


If we can keep Auba and move on Laca then I’d love to see Auba back central… which means yes we would need a good LW.
Otherwise yeah I guess I agree it’s got some good options


Wow Arteta! I hope the Luiz extension is an anomaly.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

He is top top quality in the dressing room. We will win the PL of dressing rooms. Commentators used to say we had best fanbase until we bottled it.

Lucas Sam

I could see him being courted by Barcelona soon. Their current manager is less than impressive and I fear that Arteta being a graduate of la masia is one of their target. If the Arsenal project is not interesting enough I’m afraid his ambition is greater than his loyalty. The same way he prefered to go coaching with Guardiola instead of the coaching spot Wenger proposed to him speaks volume. KSE needs to back up their Arsenal investment or risk decline/stagnation.


In all likelihood the next Barcelona manager will be Xavi, a lot will depend on their upcoming club president elections.


Xavi has next dibs. Plus also Arteta hasn’t done anything Barca would count on as a success just yet.


Neither has Xavi


Xavi is a Barca legend though. Clubs probably shouldn’t care so much about that, but they do.


Please Arsenal fans and management,
Every good result need good foundation, I said it before the Arsenal team need a good playmaker and a new Centre Back, than Ozil and D Luz because none has the speed any more,
That the areas money needs to be spent if they need to move forward like other teams.


Ozil mind is not for Arsenal, better let him go for any amount as a lost investment

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Loss on Ozil is like finding out that your house was built on a former nuclear waste site and your insurance does not cover it.


The right words from Arteta but I highly highly doubt Kronke is keen on spending cash this summer. Sport is completely in the toilet and he is the owner of six professional sports teams with no fans. Coupled with the fact that we are highly likely to miss out on Europe and made a pretty serious investment, in a so far unsuccessful player, last summer, I just don’t see it. Hope I am wrong but I think we will be bargain bin shopping. I mean we just signed Pablo Mari and Cedric for goodness sake. Good players in their own… Read more »


Sorry Arteta, Luiz is definitely not top top quality. I am not so sure about Cedric either, pretty solid premier league player but nothing exciting. I can’t really say about Mari. Arteta contradicting himself is starting to irritate me a little now, I know he’s trying hard but he can’t talk about new players increasing the standard significantly when he seemed to have agreed with extending Luiz’ contract. It just doesn’t add up.


I am guessing it will be a buyer’s market this year because of the uncertainty around COVID. It should be a great time to invest in a rebuilding project.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

Why not splash the cash when City and Chelsea have proven the FFP is all bollocks and there is not incentive to operate a football club within those profit limits.

Once a gunner

I have a feeling that he knows what he is doing


This has always been the case for us more so now. Some people on here go on as if this is some sort of new revelation by Arteta. Wenger use to sign very late on for a reason. Generally true prices reveal themselves at end of market (like with any haggling process) with sellers becoming desperate. As has always been mention this is a poker game of calling the bluff and not for feint hearted. Of course if you have dosh to throw at the problem like City or Chelsea or United, you can afford to buy early at higher… Read more »