Saturday, February 24, 2024

“We want to retain our best players” – Arteta plays down summer exits

Vieira. Henry. Fabregas. Adebayor. Van Persie. Sanchez.

Given Arsenal’s history of high-profile sales in the last 17 years, it’s understandable that the fanbase gets twitchy when key players start getting linked with big name rivals, both here and on the continent.

Just before he picked up his season-ending injury, Kieran Tierney was linked with Real Madrid and in the last couple of weeks, Barcelona and Juventus have been touted as suitors for fellow defender Gabriel Magalhaes.

With Bukayo Saka set to enter the final two years of his deal at Emirates Stadium, it’s said domestic rivals are also keeping a close eye on his circumstances.

Like we said, it makes you twitchy.

Having committed his own future to the club, Mikel Arteta maintains that his focus is very much on improving his young squad not breaking it up.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s match with Leeds United, he said: “What we want to do is improve the team, the squad. Obviously, we know there’s not one player who doesn’t have a margin to improve or evolve in this way of playing or his career.

“We want to retain our best players, for sure and we want to add into that, more quality and depth to be competitive.”

While Arteta pointed out that clubs can’t always stand in the way of players switching allegiances, he made clear that they can work on controlling the timing.

“What we have to be is really prepared for when we need to do that and why we’re going to do that,” he said.

“We can control those timings and we can have the decision-making on when is the right timing to do it and be prepared for that.

“Sometimes it’s inevitable [that you sell players] because you cannot offer the same competition level as they’ve been offered or you think it’s the right moment to make a move.

“In principle, we want to maintain our best players and keep them and get better.”

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We must push to keep the good ones, especially Saka (for his whole career), but ESR, Martinelli, Tierney etc etc. I’d keep Hale End boy Nketiah but we need a top striker too so not sure Eddie will stay.

Hope the players are seeing the upwards direction and are buying into it.


We need two. Jesus is a great option and can play all across the front three, but we need a tall, powerful number 9….I’d go all out for Osimhen.

Shirt sales in Nigeria alone would pay the transfer fee, and he wants to come 💥

...and really bad eggs...

This shirt sales being able to pay off transfer fees narrative again. I thought someone had proven it doesn’t really work like that. Also as a Nigerian I can tell you this – yes there are tons and tons of Arsenal fans here, some of which buy jerseys regularly. I don’t however think that Osimhen joining Arsenal will cause his Jersey sales in Nigeria to sky rocket. Also Nigerians are more likely to have their own name on the back of a jersey if any at all. Secondly and more importantly. Napoli spent a buttload of money buying Osimhen and… Read more »


I’m Nigerian and I genuinely hope we don’t go for Osihmen. He’s not elite enough imo.

Man Mann

I agree with you. I have never been excited about the prospect of Osihmen playing for Arsenal. We’d be looking to offload him after 2 seasons.

Man Mann

95% of the
shirts sold in Nigeria won’t add a dime in Arsenal’s coffers.


I’d point out to those looking to leave players like wilf zaha, eden hazard and aaron ramsey. players who all left teams who adored them for a ‘bigger club’ only to fail.


Why does Zaha get a mention? He is still at Palace after he left United.


He left palace for united, it didnt work out


Am I the only one who gets the joke? Very good lol


I’ve said it before; I’ll say it again.

Securing top four for next season is vital. Not 2023/24. Save that for another day.

2022/23. Next season. Champions League Football.

Get top four NOW and we can tie these guys down to their long term futures NOW.

Wait another year and their agents will be down their shell-like ears and they’ll be getting itchy feet.

Alan Sunderland

Think this is a sliding doors moment, top 4 this year could change the course of the club for years to come.



This will be as pivotal a moment as David Rocastle’s last minute winner against Spurs in the Littlewoods Cup Semi Final Replay in March 1987. It was the birth of Modern Arsenal; the whole trajectory of the clubs fortunes changed that night. It was our first visit to Wembley for seven years and it was also the night we took back North London from that lot – and they haven’t been anywhere near us ever since.


Downvoters – my sympathies that you were simply too young to be there (were you even born?) to enjoy it.

Alan Sunderland

Good comparison, I’d forgotten about the semi final. People always credit the win over liverpool as the start of that team competing

Man Mann

The non-negotiables: Saka; ESR; Martinelli; Tierney; Tomiyasu; Saliba; Partey; Ramsdale; White; Gabriel; Ødegaard.
The Expendables: Pepe; Cedric; Lacazette; Leno; AMN; Bellerin; Torreira;
The Upgradables: Nketiah; Xhaka; Elneny.
The Loanables: Lokonga; Tavares.


Weird downvotes! You’re expressing an opinion that I – generally speaking – agree with. The only exception being Xhaka. I’d keep him. A role model for the youngsters, and never gives anything short of 100%. Yeah, the occasional brain-fart, but – overall – his presence has far more positives than negatives. And – PS – when was the last time an Arsenal squad had 11 players that you would definitely keep?


Exception of Pepe. I know Saka is keeping him out the team but on.his day he’s unplayable. He just needs more consistency. I would give him another season. Agree the rest.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Re the so-called upgradables – Arteta has hinted he would like to keep all three of Nketiah, Xhaka, and Elneny.

The Beast

It’s possible to keep some/all of them whilst still bringing in upgrades given the size of the squad atm.

Getting rid of both Xhaka & Elneny in the same window alone would leave us massively short in midfield.

Arteta publicly cannot say he wants to get rid of some players while season is on, does he? Being diplomatic is important, you never know when any of the players is needed to contribute.


Another Pepe basher.



Think we are alright in this aspect. We already gotten Abu off so the rest of the core still be fine.


This will no doubt be a huge summer, with so many players contract expiring like Laca and Eddie to be leaving and then the sales of fringe players like Bellerin, ANM, Elneny, Leno (hopefully we get transfer fee from them and not transfer free) and the additional of Saliba (even through he is already an Arsenal player). Can’t wait to see which others to join is. Massive!

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