Friday, January 27, 2023

Arteta: We put everything on the table to sign our targets

Mikel Arteta says he’s pleased with Arsenal’s transfer business even if the club were thwarted in their last-ditch attempts to add strength in depth to the midfield and flanks.

In total, the Gunners recruited five players for the first team for an outlay in the region of £120 million. We recouped £23 million from 10 permanent departures (five for a fee) and capped off the transfer window by sending 24 players out on loan.

While recent injuries to Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny have taken the shine off things a little, with everyone fit, the squad, on paper, looks to be in a far better state than this time 12 months ago.

Despite having three bids for Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz rejected, Arteta was keen to stress the positives of a busy summer.

“No,” he replied when asked if he was disappointed not to sign another midfielder.

“We had a lot of things still to do in the squad, you see the amount of departures, compared to the number we have recruited.

“The club has done a phenomenal job, and put everything on the table to try to bring in the players and the profile that we wanted.

“We did business pretty early, but unfortunately in the past 72 hours Thomas [Partey] got injured in the same place as last time, and then Mo [Elneny] has a long-term injury.

“Then we had to react in the market and we tried, but at the end of the day we have to bring in the player that we feel is right for the team and for the club and we didn’t manage to do that.”

He added: “We pushed to strengthen the team and bring the best possible people and players into this football club and we have managed that to a certain level.

“Then we have our limitations; time was a big limitation in what happened in the last 72 hours with our midfield. We tried to act but we couldn’t find the right player.”

While attempts to sign players on deadline day always has a whiff of panic about it, the fact the Gunners had a budget in mind and refused to go above and beyond it suggests we maintained a level of restraint, even if it comes back to bite us in the arse.

On not panicking, Arteta said: “I think we have learned a lot from that [the past] and there’s still the players that we have to get out.

|We only have to bring in top talent, top quality people through that door and be very disciplined and in those moments you can make a huge mistake that can cost the club and the team a lot – not just in the near future but a little bit ahead, and we want to avoid that as much as possible.”

While Arsenal tackled the summer with a clear plan to recruit players with specific qualities in key positions, the boss says it doesn’t mean the club will be immune from reactive last-minute deals in the future.

“No, because yesterday we could have done something if it was the right player, the right deal and something that we could afford, because sometimes you have to react to something that happened and we would have done that.

“Yesterday it was a real possibility and we tried, but then we kept the decision to say that it has to be the right player for the team and for the club.”

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Johnny 4 Hats

To be fair to Edu and Arteta, I chatted to my buddy who’s a big Villa fan and it made a bit more sense. Villa didn’t want to let him go unless they got a silly bid as City have a 20% sell on clause. However, if they sell him for less than £15m then there is no clause. So their plan is to most likely sell him in January for around £10-15m and in the meantime he can be a valuable squad player. I think maybe Edu mistook hardball for a club that just weren’t that bothered about selling.… Read more »


That is rather stupid on Aston Villa’s part – if they had received 25 million from Arsenal they would have still walked away with 20 million which is a lot more than the £10-15 million they might possibly receive in January – 20 million that will help them when they are in the Championship…

Johnny 4 Hats

It’s a bit mad. My buddy also said there’s a bit of bad blood between the clubs after the ESR situation.

But I don’t really see why Villa should be annoyed?

Just a shit club trying to pretend they are a big club methinks.


Not sure I buy the ‘bad blood’ thing. They made an offer for ESR (a derisory one, at that) and it was rebuffed. I think clubs at executive level have thicker skin than that.

A Different George

I think their keeper might have said a word or two.

Giuseppe Hovno

In my experience executive level is exactly where you get the biggest egos with the thinnest skins!

Alan Sunderland

You’re buddy must not remember Callum Chambers.


Just a shit club near Wolves.


If thats the case then it’s silly of them after selling them Martinez and Chambers.

Giuseppe Hovno

Good luck to them trying to get £15 mil for him on January….(although that said, every other team seems to sell better than us so who knows)

Neil Bamford

Gerrard isn’t exactly turning up trees this season and he needs all the help he can get. The bigger picture is keeping your decent players in the hood that you record a better bottom half position so he doesn’t get flung out of the door. He hasn’t got to pay the money back! If I was Gerrard I would have kept him. Would have loved to have brought someone in but look at what business we have done. No point paying over the odds for a player that would be a filler. They should have kept Azeez to see how… Read more »


I was never really convinced about Luis or Tielemans and it feels like the club didn’t really want to push that hard either. Sambi has the potential to be a better player and would have lost the playing time if someone else came in.


I think Arsenal had shown restraint. Why would they overpay for pending free agents? I think that’s good business sense.

Yeah, the unfortunate injuries are a stroke of bad luck, but it’s not like we are in a desperate need of any players that would justify overpaying for one.

Yeah, would be nice to get one or the other, but it’s not a terrible window that some deems it to be because we missed out on a target.

VAR will solve all the problems

One aspect of our transfer policy that I really like is our unwillingness to compromise on the quality of the players. So much so that we are even willing to sacrifice our league position than to get a “not Arteta/Edu” player. In the long run, this will increase the value of our players because buying teams will already know they are paying for quality and there won’t be much room for negotiations. They won’t be buying Runnersons or Maris from Arsenal anymore!


Whilst I would have liked a signing following the recent injuries, I am pleased they did not panic buy and I am pleased with the window, overall.
My biggest concern is not the lack of an extra midfielder. My concern is that the lack of a deadline day signing will be used as an excuse to inject some negativity into the positivity currently surrounding the club. Sadly, there are lots of people that would love this to happen.

Pete Plum

I wouldn’t worry about that. Its just other people’s opinions and the atmosphere in the ground isn’t going tits up any time soon


Reallt feels like all this recruitment and departures is really for setting us up flr next season even though they’ll never admit it. I think they wanted the deadwood off the books (Torreira, AMN, Bellerin, etc), trim the squad to players who will either A: Grow into stars or B: retain or increase value. I think we will qualify for CL this year and in the summer have a blockbuster signing or two to push us over that edge into conteders.

Boy Bastin

That’s quite possible. That’s mainly contingent on CL qualification really and the money that brings in (and the drawing power it has for potential “big” signings). However, if the worst should happen and we don’t get 4th place or better this season, I don’t think we can rely upon the owners forking out large sums for transfers as has happened recently.


Interested to hear yours and everyone thoughts on what position we should make a “block buster” signing?
CM is my opinion with depth to LAM as back up and competition to Saka. Where else and why?


A Bellingham or Camavinga or a de jong or something like that. A man can dream


We’ll have to replace Elneny and Cedric as well as buy a top Lw as competition for Saka, possibly a CB to replace Holding or just an additional LCB. I think we’d also try for a third Giroud type striker. So 4-5 signings I reckon with 3-4 (Nelson, Elneny, Cedric and maybe Holding out).

You have Tavares and Balogun who club probably see as part of project but not sure they’d come back or go back on loan. Also remans to be seen what we do with Marquinhos next season or this season.


I think both Elneny, Nelson and Cedric have one year left on their contract.

Cannon and ball and arse’n’all

I’d go Moussa Diaby for the right wing. Both he and Saka are left footed so can also cover left wing as well as competition for one another. Norton-cuffy and Patino will likely move into the first team next season, Sambi I expect to cement his place as Partey’s successor and I think Vieira will show enough quality to cover MO and other positions. Zinchenko will compete with xhaka and ESR will push Martinelli, as will Eddie with Jesus. Don’t see too many gaps for a blockbuster signing other than perhaps right wing – but even then it’s against Saka,… Read more »


CM for sure and another winger. Xhaka is good but we need someone better there for that next level. Partay is always hurt it seems and Mo is a squad player. Ideally 2 more CMs and 1 more winger.

El Mintero

Yup. Move Partey on next season. Too fragile.


CDM is still an area that requires attention next summer transfer window. At that time both Partey and El Neny will be over 30. I also believe we need support for Saka and I’d like an ‘alternative’ striker to Jesus/Nketiah – maybe a big one to get on the end of crosses. None of this is a criticism of any of the current squad, just as additions/alternatives to the current profiles.

Malcolm Alden

I can understand the club’s situation. Last ditch bids and purchases never seem to go well in the long run most of the time and the signings end up being deadwood we need to get rid of.

On the other hand, though, I feel like a club should be ready to have good squad players and depth on hand in those positions where they know the main player(s) are/is injury prone.

house of goons

To be fair, Elneny was never really considered injury prone. And there’s always the Ben White option to slot in there while Tommy takes over right back. Feels like it’s doable till Party gets sorted. Doesn’t stop me from worrying about Sunday of course.

Transfer window’s an 8 out of 10 for me.

house of goons

And Lokanga looked great to me on Wednesday.


Yes, I think Sambi has flown under the radar a bit to be honest. He’s looked good more than he’s looked bad, and he has looked excellent on a few occasions. It was a solid debut season for someone in his position. He could be an excellent player and I hope to see him get plenty of minutes.

Bleeding gums murphy

Trust him on Sunday. He’s a good player who is gonna get better. I am terrified that odegarrd and ramsey might be out. If so we are on a wing and a prayer


It’s difficult to rate this window without seeing Fabio Vieira play. I feel like our attacking midfield was not a priority with Odegaard and ESR. And those 34 millions made the difference in us missing on Neto or a midfielder. This transfers seems like it wasn’t really planned but they found a super talented player and that was way too good to pass. So if he’s actually great that’s a 10/10 summer for me, but if he’s not first team talent this season and struggle to find a clear role (wings ? Attacking mid ? Center mid ?), that’s a… Read more »


It’s straight bad luck. That’s it. We have at least FIVE capable CM’s (Xhaka, Partey, Elneny, Lokonga, Zinchenko) and it’s just our shit luck that three of them will be injured in practically the same time span. I know injuries happen, but if, say, only two of the three got injured, we won’t be having this narrative that our midfield is thin. And in a pinch, Ben White and Fabio Viera can play CM. We are covered. Yeah, it would be nice to have a Youri Tielemans or a Douglas Luiz as a backup option, but if it involves overpaying… Read more »

Boy Bastin

It’s a fair argument from Arteta. I think we must have been getting pretty close (relatively) to the owner’s overdraft limit anyway and there’s possible spending in the January window to consider, if necessary. Also, we didn’t get a fee for AMN in the end which must have been a blow as a figure of around £20m or so had been mentioned widely. Overall, it seems to me that the priority was really getting players out in the closing stages rather than too much effort the other way.

Cannon and ball and arse’n’all

Had there not been 2 injuries in the same position within the last week of deadline day I don’t think anyone could complain about our window. If zinchenko were fit he’d be cover at 6 that I would trust, so it was really 3 injuries, and the fact it’s United away next just adds to an element of worry. Personally I think we’re fine as is – zinny and partey will be back soon and Sambi needs games – so with xhaka as an added option we have decent depth at 6. Vieira, Marquinhos, ESR and Nelson are more than… Read more »

Determination Cultured

And we can believe thst utd will have their captain start against us. Maguire’s one of the most loved players in EPL, by all 19 clubs

Cannon and ball and arse’n’all

It would be massive for us if Maguire was back. Unfortunately I only see him playing a handful of games this season and all will be for England


I think Maguire’s United goose is cooked. He’s become a laughing stock and not without reason. Barring injuries, I reckon he’s out of the starting 11 for good. Shame for everyone else in the league but good for United.

A Different George

In their last game, Varane looked really good–like a central defender in his prime who has won everything. I think Maguire’s absence actually helps him play his own game. With luck though, the combination of Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus will mean that Varane needs more than Dalot to help him.

Teryima Adi

Your comment is like soothing balm to the soul.

Spanish Gooner

Overall this has been a good window, but i’d have liked to keep some of the players we sent on loan. Not because I think they’d contribute much, but it sends a message. If we keep letting players go for free, clubs will keep refusing to pay for our players. AMN has been on loan at two clubs and both have refused to buy him. Why will Southampton be different, especially now his contract is running down?


Hasn’t he signed an extension to his contract as well as going on loan? So his contract situation isn’t such a concern now – good season with Southampton and hopefully we can get a fee for him.

I don’t disagree with you, thoigh!

Teryima Adi

They are not buying because they are not world class or good enough for the buying club. For crying out loud, we sold Willock, Chamberlain, Martinez and Iwobi for good money.

Naked Cygan

I would love it, I would love it if we get Douglas Luiz for free next year and Villa go down.

Man Manny

I don’t believe Saka does not have a replacement. Faith in Marquinhos will prove that.
Fabio Vieira can do a job in the Ødegaard role. ESR is there. Lokonga is there.
I would be more worried if we lost Saliba/Gabriel to any significant injury

Yellow Ribbon

Then Ben White comes in and Tomiyasu fills in at right back. Injuries are bad and they
always create a bit of a panic attack but some of the reactions have just been bit over the top overall.


We’ve also got Holding who (north London derby apart) has always been a solid player to come in when needed. Quite unfairly lambasted at times. Central defence is in very good shape. There is also Cedric adding depth at right back if course. Another player who isn’t as bad as people like to make out (though of course I’d rather see Tomi or White playing there). Defence is looking pretty good overall.


Cedric is not bad, he is rather poor.

Holding works best when on a 3-man defence line


I can’t believe you just said “Tomiyasu fills in at right back” and it’s actually not a bad comment. Tomiyasu is so good that even implying that he’s not a strating right back would have been madness a year ago. This also show the quality of Ben White. I wonder if Ben White wouldn’t be a better defensive midfielder than a right back. I feel like his only problems at RB are lack of pace and lack of ability to progress the ball with dribbles. His placement, passing and ball conservation is great. So it’s possible that it works to… Read more »

James Lillie

Probably should have born in mind that Partey would be injured early as he has a constant injury problem. Not hind sight just a fact.. I am encouraged with the new signings but Sundays match will be a huge test.

Determination Cultured

I guess we need to be prepared to switch to a back 3 in some games to manage the lack of DM. Lakonga is more xhaka’s long term replacement in the 8 or a cover for 8


There are better targets out there than Luiz
We need to be improving not simply adding to the squad…


It’s been a good Summer
The Arteta-Edu-Kroenke plan looks to be taking shape nicely.
Investment in top quality young players.
And Gary Neville might be going to prison.
Prison Gary.
Might get to share a cell with Ryan Giggs and Mason Greenwood…


I believe him. I think this was an A- window, and the minus is only because Partey and Elneny are both injured (which is not primarily a transfers problem). I think a lot of clubs believe we need their players more than they need to sell them. It’s up to Arteta to prove them wrong. With another midfielder, we could have pushed for a title challenge. But even without, this is a top 4 quality squad. We’ve made a great start. Now the manager has to find a workable base of midfield between Zinchenko, Lokonga and Xhaka – a challenge,… Read more »


fair enough


Due to Europa league commitments I thought- just my own- that we were a central midfielder and an attacker short. We let players go and not replace them. Whether we get into a champions league spot now depends on who we get in January. We still had a good transfer window early on but others have now overtaken us on this regard. Hope I’m wrong


In other words, the club were not planning on signing another midfielder till Elneny and Partey got injured. Edu and Arteta should be sacked! How such incompetence is accepted I’ll never know.
Anyone with half a brain knew we needed a midfielder BEFORE the injuries.
Don’t think we’ll make top 6. Look at the business Chelsea and Manure have done…imagine thinking we’ll finish ahead of them.


I see you’re a glass all the way empty kind of guy…


to put a positive spin on the rw situation: if we were to lose saka them jesus can play there. I know it’s not ideal but I think we can all agree Eddie deserves some minutes. just a thought that I haven’t seen mentioned…


A great summer’s work, no two ways about it, but, as ever, the “little bit short” Wenger albatross remains firmly around our necks.

It seems no matter how much we spend or how many windows come and go, the ‘full squad’ remains as elusive as ever.

Sambi and Xhaka have to stay fit, no matter what. Yeah, I know.

Let us pray…..


I think a big difference now is that before we’ve always been a couple of players short in the actual starting 11. Always seemed to be a central defender and a winger (as an example, not always those two positions!) away from a quality starting line up.

Now, the first 11 is looking like the finished product (though I’m not sure what our strongest 11 actually is in a couple of positions!) and it’s just a bit lacking in terms of squad depth. That’s a much better place to be.


I can see a reverse of the Man United 3: Arsenal 2 feature played at OT on Feb 28, 2016 where we underestimated United squad because they were missing like 8 first team players. We thought we could roll them over but Rashford gut his debut goal and a brace against us.
This time around, United will think we are also a push over because we are missing key personnel in the middle of the park.
This is the game that will bring ASL to limelight. I see an Arsenal victory here.


I fucking hate man u. COYG

Mark Hazelwood

Disappointed we couldn’t loan a few players off Forrest.

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