Arteta predicting summer of unprecedented transfer upheaval at Arsenal

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Mikel Arteta says Arsenal face another summer of transfer upheaval but it remains unclear how much the club’s recent financial losses will affect his ability to recruit. 

Last week, the Gunners announced a £47.8 million post-tax loss for the year after the Covid-19 pandemic took a serious bite out of broadcast and matchday revenue streams. Having failed to qualify for the Champions League for three seasons and with the club facing an uphill struggle to rectify the situation this season, it’s likely that funds will be tight unless owners KSE dip into their own pocket. 

With question marks over the futures of so many of the first-team squad – some on loan, some loaned and others coming to the end of the contracts – Arteta would be well within his rights to lean on a Rumsfeldian acknowledgement of “known knowns”, “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns”. 

Simply put, the only thing that’s clear is that many things are unclear. 

Facing the press ahead of Thursday’s must-win Europa League clash with Olympiacos, ESPN’s James Olley pressed the Spaniard on the recent financial results and whether it’ll mess with his squad rebuild. 

“We don’t know yet because we have so many things to do,” said Arteta. “We have people on loan, people finishing contracts. There has been a lot going on in the last two transfer windows; the amount of things that had to be done was probably unprecedented and it will be again in the summer. 

“We are trying to put a plan together to see the resources that we have, how much we want to improve, how we’re going to do it and at what cost. There are so many factors, it’s not just about one thing or an [financial] amount. 

“It’s about the project and, timewise, how to build it is going to take some effort from everybody and we know that. The challenging moments that we are facing at the moment is making it even harder.”

Initially hired as a head coach with a remit to focus on football matters, Arteta has since been promoted to manager and seen more off-field responsibility heaped on him as part of a streamlined club structure. Like Arsene Wenger before him, he now feels pressure to keep a close eye on the purse strings. 

“I am [like Arsene] because I want a sustainable club,” he said. “I don’t want a club that can’t be run with its own resources. 

“It’s great that we have the support of our owners and we’ve had that in the summer when it was much needed because of everything that has happened with Covid and what happened at the club in the last three years without the Champions League and the hit we took. 

“But our responsibility and everything we are planning for the future is for the club to go back to being sustainable on its own and being all the time as strong as possible in all departments. The financial part of it is crucial as well.”

As was the case last season when the Gunners won the FA Cup to secure European football, it looks like a cup run is needed to rescue the season and ease some of those financial worries. It heaps the pressure on tomorrow’s game in Athens. 

“It’s another big, important factor,” said Arteta. “It gives us the opportunity to keep our club involved in Europe whether it’s the Europa League or Champions League, we know the aim is all the time to win the Champions League. 

“At the moment we know that things are looking difficult, but possible. Obviously, the financial package that is attached to it for the club, is really, really important.”

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pound4pound

I care much more about making Europe – in any form – this year than I have the past couple of seasons. With the losses already incurred tightening our purse strings, I’m not sure how we’re going to improve the club much without the enticement (and direct money) of EL / CL.

Damo

Maybe through selling £100m of players surplus to requirements?

Sanotir

Good luck.

We have not been able to sell players for much.

Are you awake?

PeteyB

We’d need buyers first

jim2w

Something that is always lost when people insert ‘just sell x player’ comments. That’s not even factoring in the salary top-up commitments that so many big clubs have to accept when they sell less desirable players.

Spanish Gooner

I don’t think £100m is an unreasonable objective. Torreira, Lacazette, and Guendouzi should get around £15m each, £5-10m For AMN, Chambers, Mavropanos, then nominal fees for Elneny and Kolasinac. With their wages, plus Ceballos, MØ, and Luiz gone, that’s nearly £850k off the weekly wage bill, or £44 million over a year, all without affecting our regular starting XI.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Selling Lacazette without replacement? Good stuff.

Martin

That the regular starting 11 who aren’t good enough?

Baichung Bhutia

Did he just say the aim is to win the champions league? I guess once we start competing with Bayern Munich that’s the next step.

Gus

Lol. Win the champions league- more like dream of being back in the champions league— we are millions of miles from winning that.

How sad the times have become, id have arsene back in a shot

Mentalista

Be Excited™.

Magazine_Gap

OI! You nicked that from me… who I nicked from the parasite owner’s son 😀

Everything is Awesome

No offense to either player but the purchase of Pepe and signing of Willian make the budget conscious management look pretty damn inept. If that is the route we want to take we need to be much, much smarter with out money. Something that has been an issue before Mikel and Edu btw.

georgekorda

Couldn’t agree more. I don’t like to see this Sancho Panza approach akin to how a cartel operates.. 72M for Pépe, Lille got like 50M EUR of that, Saliba’s transfer fee, and the list goes on. This is pure corruption or ineptitude, and Edu is still there.

Moxrex

We haven’t paid much of those yet. We will be paying installments and would be cursing our luck for hiring the wrong one while letting go the right ones (Minislet).

Sanotir

You don’t need Arteta to predict that. We are not in a good place and will be more difficult if without europa never mind CL. Too many people do not understand our predicament, they can only think of spend spend spend. We will lose key players and it is unlikely we will be able to afford equivalent or better additions in all of these positions. meanwhile we have as is outstanding holes in squad to fill. Add this to Edu’s thus far inability to mint money in market, our losses recently, we have a lot to do. Many issues have… Read more »

FMT

OMG! what is this?!

Anders Limpar

This is a therapy session.

Santori

In terms of additions to resolve, priorities clearly –

1) Back up Keeper
2) 2X Advance Mids
3) Striker
4) Lback

That’s a lot of holes to fill or resolve never mind Arsenal fans prefer to create others bc they think we are the dog’s bollocks.

Thierrys_Tears

I’m sure he feels he is reassuring us with his words, but that whole article is depressing af.

Sam

Yeah. Sell Pepe keep Willian n El Neny.We know.

Daveo

And don’t forget Luiz and Xhaka: “The Indispensables”

Rich

Clubs are haemorrhaging money, outside of Bayern Munich, and clubs with incredibly wealthy backers, I don’t see hardly any money being spent Everyone will be cutting costs, moving players on with be extremely difficult, and the idea clubs will be throwing around tens of millions, and giants contracts, seems extremely farfetched It’ll be mainly loans and free transfers, we’re about to see huge deflation in transfer fees + wages over the next 5-10 years, to pay for the loss of revenue over an 18 month period of reduced gate revenue, that may continue for even longer We’ll have a first… Read more »

Alex

Sustainable can mean making good decisions for the club.

For example, this week Martinez is rated as the best keeper in the world: https://www.footballcritic.com/top-players/goalkeepers

Leno is not top 10.

We just have to recognise how to use what we have. If anyone honestly believes that we would be where we are with Ancelotti in charge, I’d be very surprised. Can you honestly name 4 Everton players?

Patrick

Agreed Martinez is a brilliant keeper…but selling for £20m mid pandemic was not bad business..and what kind of nonsense is this.. Courtois 6th best keeper…Leno 41st? Use your eyes not some dumb algorithm website

karl

He’ll have trouble shifting players that are not needed. None of them want to leave the fat contracts handed out at Arsenal unless there is a payoff.

Unless Arteta makes Europe for next year, things might well be difficult.

Spanish Gooner

This might be unpopular, but if we do finish outside Europe this season it would be a huge financial gamble to spend big (a tactic which hasn’t worked at all so far) In summer, and Arteta won’t have done anything to prove he deserves to be trusted with such a serious investment.

Never Happen

Won’t have done anything? Nothing at all that comes to mind then

Rich

Price is what you pay, and value is what you get Moving players on and creating room for new players will be the main issue we face The best signing we could make would be a strong director of football There’s plenty of talent around, a serious shortage of disposable cash, and clubs who are haemorrhaging money, It’s a buyers market KSE should be doing what billionaires are famed for, and that’s capitalising during an economic downturn I think they’d be desperately misguided in letting Edu + Arteta loose with the company cheque book We should be aiming for quality… Read more »

Iyke

Everybody board members are involved to blame,
Some disappointment from the players then coaching departments why it’s their job to found out better individual players who fits into a match day not just by profile but now. Arsenal club business is very painful to me when looking at other clubs.

FJ80

“unless owners KSE dip into their own pocket”

So what is permitted as far as the Owner injecting money into the club? Is there a maximum amount before it is considered a loan or debit? What does FFP and/or the FA permit? Is it as simple as adding cash to the club, or are there downstream ramifications that could put the club in a more difficult position?

Hugh1942

I have supported Aresenal since the days of Jimmy Logie and have enjoyed the great FOOTBALL they always play despite the one pass too many! Arteta brought David Luiz into the team from Chelsea! ( who was their most underated player playing sweeper behind slowpoke Terry and the wandering goalscoring Lampard!) We won two cups! Arteta somehow changed from that brilliant beginning to blaming his players for losing games with his SYSTEM?? He played and exhausted players who could play his SYSTEM!! I hope he can get back on track and coach for the club rather than his SYSTEM! It… Read more »

2highbury

I know it’s an understatement but winning the Europa League is going to take a gigantic effort.

If we do it I’ll be in an absolute frenzy.

John Griffiths

Belatedly wanted to say what a great piece of writing it was about dear departed Dad

Mesut O’Neill

Realistically the only player on bigger wages that we could get rid of would be Lacazette.

No way Willian is leaving his cushy £220k a week wages.

Player sales wouldn’t garner much:
Maitland-Niles £20-25m
Guendouzi £15-20m
Torreira £20m
Lacazette£30m

That’s potentially £95m if any takers.

Doubt we will retain Odegaard & Ceballos so I think Ward-Prowse would be an interesting one for us.

Moxrex

“I am [like Arsene] because I want a sustainable club,” he said. “I don’t want a club that can’t be run with its own resources. “

It didn’t feel bad when Arsene was saying this because he basically made us financially strong. But you haven’t achieve anything yet and have your job on line. Spend the money and save your job.