Thursday, September 28, 2023

Arteta: The best players still want to come to Arsenal

At his pre-Liverpool press conference this morning, Mikel Arteta would not be drawn on any specific targets Arsenal might have during this transfer window.

He refused point blank to talk about Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic who has been strongly linked with a move to North London in the last week. The Spaniard is consistent in this regard, never willing to discuss individuals or players at other clubs.

However, when it comes to the market itself, he’s more open, and when asked if the fact the Gunners don’t have Europe might be a hindrance when it comes to attracting top talent, he made it clear the club is still a draw to the best players around.

“Historically this club has always been targeting the best players in the world and the best players in the world are always interested to come here and I can say that situation hasn’t changed,” he said.

“Anytime I have spoken to any player, they were so willing to come, I haven’t faced any other situation and that’s one of our biggest powers, our capacity to get the attention of people to come and join our club.

“It’s something that is a big advantage for us.”

There have been rumours of outgoings, including Eddie Nketiah, Pablo Mari and Sead Kolasinac, but with a squad that is quite stretched already, Arteta says everyone is ‘fully involved’ right now.

“What I really want this month is that we have as many players as possible fit and healthy and that we do the best and maximum with those players,” he said.

“After we have a strategy of how we want to evolve and improve the team, and whenever that is possible we are going to try to do it.

“We all know that this market is extremely difficult.”

Whatever happens in this transfer window, it’s not going to happen before Thursday and, in all likelihood, not before Sunday either, so whatever boost we end up getting, we’re going to have to deal with Liverpool and Sp*rs with the players we have right now.

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“Historically this club has always been targeting the best players in the world and the best players in the world are always interested to come here and I can say that situation hasn’t changed,” 

This is a comment straight out of Le Prof’s book!


I’m not sure it is even true.
I distinctly remember Aouar turning his nose up at us last year. While in the past the likes of Suarez, Higuain etc have clearly just refused to join.

CJ Mc'cloud

You may be confused there I am pretty certain that Suarez went on strike because he wanted to join us after the infamous £+1 release clause saga. We had the pull Liverpool just didn’t honor their “agreement with him”. Which just makes it more irritating that we didn’t go the extra mile to make the deal happen.


Aouar might’ve turned his nose up (which got him nowhere) but Suarez was more than willing to come (it was Liverpool who refused to let him go) and we ditched Higuain at the last minute to sign Ozil.


Pretty sure Suarez always had eyes on Barcelona. He didn’t say it explicitly, but that was never going to happen for us.
Higuain / ozil, fair enough, but debatable if we made the right choice. I think he broke the Serie A goals record for Napoli around then.. While we had ozil crossing for Giroud and Sanogo.

Martin R

Are you honestly saying it was debatable that we signed the most creative player in the world who was the fastest to 50 assists and helped us win 3 FA Cups in 4 years?





Determination Cultured

Who retired after signing a new contract

A Different George

This is completely irrelevant to the point you were making. You said we had trouble attracting the best players and used the fact that we didn’t sign Higuain as one example. But it turns out–indisputably–that it was our choice not to sign him. Even if we had chosen to sign Chamakh instead of Higuain, your point would still be wrong.


If we ‘ditched’ Higuain to sign Ozil (which, no we didn’t, he/his agents chose a different offer), one may ask how on earth that ever looked like a coherent transfer strategy.

We needed a striker more than we needed a creative (at Arsenal, this is a relatively safe order of priorities for about 15 years in the last 20).

Alternatively, hear me out – we could have signed Higuain *and* Ozil. But of course we were warming our wok for bigger fish like Asano and Lucas Perez.

I thought Suarez wanted to join us and it was Liverpool who blocked the move.

Santi's Thigh Grab

How did Aouar turn up his nose when we didn’t make an offer? Did I miss the offer?


Some people read tabloid gossip as fact, unfortunately.


Aouar was very negative about Arsenal when he was asked about his future, it came back to bite him as he’s been shit ever since and now nobody really wants him.


Everyone wanted Peter Marinello. He signed for us.

Everyone wanted Charlie Nicholas. He signed for us.

Everyone wanted Sol Campbell. He signed for us.

Why? Because we’re The Arsenal. 😉

Johnny 4 Hats

I think Auba could be the key to all of this. And seeing him at the Afcon with his Arsenal shirt on makes it seem like he’s planning on coming back and playing for the rest of the season. If that’s the case, I don’t see us signing a striker. Between Laca and Auba, we’ve got 550k of wages and I can’t see Stan sanctioning another 200k even if it is for just six months. I kind of hope Auba leaves. I know that’s very disloyal of me and he’s been great for us. But if it’s a choice of… Read more »

Merlin’s Panini

Fucks sake. Now I want crumpets.

Eazy Deezy

And now I want a panini!


LoL that killed me.It would be amazing if Auba came back and regained his form

Santi's Thigh Grab

I don’t care to watch Auba in an Arsenal shirt anymore either but if he wants to give it a go, then we should honor his contract and play him in games when he can actually have an impact. We should also bring in a striker this window. We have team goals, minimum Europe and hopefully fourth. I really don’t care who the manager plays as long as we are winning and putting in improving performances. Let Auba compete like everyone else, his days of starting because of his price tag and the manager not wanting to piss him off… Read more »

Cliff Bastin

We need agent Pepe to work on getting Kessie (last 6 months of contract btw) to join our great club but then that also means we lose our whole midfield every AFCON.


Not sure Pepe might be Arsenal’s best ambassador right now…

This is the last time AFCON will be held in January, in the future will be played during the European summer.

Eazy Deezy

CAF did say that before, but ended up moving this one from summer to January (for climate reasons, not Covid – they moved it from June 2021 to Jan 2021, before postponing to 2022).

I think we have to accept that African players may sometimes have a mid season AFCON.


Give Jack Wilshere a short term contract please

David C

He must not be doing much at training plus he’s always injured. I initially thought it was going to be a Flamini situation again.


I think we’re an extremely attractive proposition.

-We’re a young team
– on a positive trajectory with a clear strategy
– we treat our players well and pay well
– historically have never blocked a transfer to a “bigger club”
– Biggest club in one of the best cities in the World
– Play in the most watched league giving players the most worldwide exposure.
– Can guarentee playing time in several positions.

Anyone who isn’t interested has not been advised well.

A Different George

In the past, we had four qualities that attracted the best players, especially foreign players (though not in this order): London, high pay, two decades of Champions League football, Wenger. We still have London and high pay but we now have a young, aspiring team with a manager who may turn out great but is not a world football icon. So, we are less likely to attract established stars like Ozil or Alexis, but we are still a very big draw for players like Odegaard–or today’s version of the young Thierry Henry.

Eazy Deezy

Well put. That’s especially true for younger players developing their careers. They can be part of the project, and move on later if they want

But to be fair the very best established/older players may want a club that challenges for the Champions League. That’s not us anytime soon


“Can guarentee playing time in several positions.” LoL maybe this is our problem


Yes, OUR problem. If you are a striker, rb, rw, or cm it’s an opportunity.

Arteta-tinted Glasses

Ha, might as well have been an Arsene Wenger presser, this, love it!


People (mainly pundits) over-do the “player X wants to play in the champions league” bit. The main priorities for a player WILL ALWAYS BE high wages & location. Arsenal has both. For any player looking to build a brand and lifelong career, its a top-10 club in the world. Champions league, trophies, glory, etc are all bonuses that come over time while playing for a promising manager in a big club.

Eazy Deezy

I guess Vlahovic isn’t one of the best players then…


I would agree with him that currently some of the best players might want to come to the Emirates. He is clearly ignoring the last number of years that anyone playing at a high level had no thought of coming to Arsenal. I think he’d be wise to speak of the current state of the team and what a big talent could do to move us forward.


Yeah, Ornstein has said that Vlahović not particularly wanting to come is just about the only hurdle. Fiorentina is apparently willing to accept what Arsenal is willing to pay.

I know who I’ll trust on this one.

Ipal Taka

Vlahovic (and his agents) sounds like pure trouble. As we seem to have a young, hungry and focused team at the moment, I’m not sure that’s what we really should be adding. We’d probably get lots of goals for a while, followed by lots of drama, while paying a premium for it. Maybe he’s worth it, maybe it makes more sense to look at alternatives

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