Saturday, June 22, 2024

Arteta on his new signings, Rice’s qualities and Balogun’s future

Mikel Arteta has been facing the media in Washington D.C. ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Wayne Rooney’s MLS All-Stars at Audi Field.

Here’s what he had to say (via Sky Sports).

On how happy he is with his new signings…

Very pleased, obviously, as you can imagine. We signed the players that we wanted, we signed them early and they seem to have started to adapt to the team really fast. We have some time now to prepare and for them as well, to give them the best chance to express themselves the right way. To do that they need to experience a few days of how it looks at Arsenal.

On what Declan Rice will bring to the team…

Every signing that we’ve made brings a very special thing to the team. Obviously, Declan is very much known in the league and he’s done tremendously well both for West Ham and England. He’s going to bring a lot of qualities, a lot of leadership, a lot of experience in the league. He’s very specific in his position with the qualities that he has so we’re delighted to have him.

On whether Arsenal will be doing more business this summer…

Let’s see. There’s still a lot of time left in the market, and there are a lot of expectations of our players as well. We’ll have to see and how things develop in the next couple of weeks. We will be alert, there’s still time to do things, there’s still time for exits as well, obviously, so I’m sure things will move.

On what fans can expect from Rice…

I think you all know, you all know his leadership, his personality, the experience he already has at 24. Very smooth [the way he has settled in], he’s already very close with a few of the boys, obviously he knew a few of the boys from the England camp as well. He seems very happy.

On Flo Balogun’s future…

It’s great because he’s done incredibly well. Now we have to think about what is best to do. We want to see him, we want to experience him in the next few games, he played the last game against Nuremberg and he do so again in the next few games, then we’ll make the best decision.

On how excited he is to be facing the MLS All-Stars…

It’s great, there’s a lot of expectations. It will be a special atmosphere and something we haven’t done before, so we’re looking forward to it.

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I miss santi cazorla

Arsenal must KEEP Balogun. Period.


As much as we want Balogan, Arteta is unlikely to yield to a player that insist on first team selection.


With 5 subs in every PL game and necessary squad rotation, and the three cup competitions, there is plenty of games where Flo can get match time.

He should stay. Eddie should be sold if we are going to get rid of a striker.


I say we keep all three!


Eddie doesn’t impact the game when he comes on as a Sub – and for that reason I don’t think he’s worth keeping


It’s unlikely he’s going to ‘yield’ to the demands of the player and more likely the club and manager will see it as a disruption.


Feels like Mikel has a way of getting to players and convincing them they should stick around and fight for their place rather than expect things to be given to them. I wouldn’t necessarily think what Balogun said in the press two months ago is still how he thinks after a summer of conversations with Mikel and other people at the club. It feels like both sides are genuinely giving this a chance in the pre-season to see how it clicks and just being open, and then they’ll make the decision based on how it’s gone. I do think Artera… Read more »


I genuinely hope you’re right

Cannon and ball and arsen’all

Think you’ve nailed it with that summary


I think he deserves it after possibly the greatest ever loan season any player has had. The dude scored more goals than Osimhen did in the French league in a season before he moved to Lille. He would compete for a 1st team spot. I don’t think nketiah pushes gabi for that spot.


for Lille before he moved to Napoli*


Please explain me why. It seems like there will be very limited game time for him. Unless he does a Saliba and simply blows everyone away at pre season. He has the potential of being our biggest sale in a long time. And unless we play him regularly he is at his peak value. For him and for us a sale seems fruitful.

Johnny 4 Hats

Did the stress of the Balogun situation make you menstruate?

Been there buddy.

Funsho Patrick

One of Eddie or Flo… Gabriel Jesus is still first choice…..Flo seems more disruptive when he’s not playing though….may have to go if the money is good….Mikel seems them both in training though…knows better than we do…


I mean Mikel saw Holding and Kiwior in training and went with Holding at the tailend of last season which cost us deeply. There’s a reason so many clubs are after Balogun and no one is asking about Eddie even though he’s second choice and teams should be able to lure him with first team football.


I think it’s incredibly difficult to make a definitive judgment on a striker after one season in the French league.

Did anyone watch him during his spell at Middlesbrough?


I disagree. Napoli bought Osimhen after he scored 13 goals for Lille in the French League. Haaland for dortmund. Young players having a prolific season is usually correlated with an even more successful season the season after – so it should be easy to make a definitive judgement. Henry came from the French league and so did Mahrez and lit up the premier league.


If Inter Milan (or anyone else) come in with anything north of 40 million, I think we’d need to consider it, preferably with a sell-on or buyback clause.


Salomon kalou and mvila should be available. Time to get this saga across the line. Up the Arse


Capoue is the one. Otherwise we’ll have to settle for William Carvalho.


Where’s Stefan Frey at these days? Can we do a straight swap for Runarsson?


Well, Swartzer an option too…..

Man Manny

Higuain is on his way to America. He’ll sign the papers there.


Shame that the Saudis got the jump on Benzema. Still, we can can activate Luis Suarez’s release clause (providing we haven’t smoked all our money at the The Emirates) or finally welcome Julian Draxler to the carpet.

Moronic Inferno

Still hopeful on Tony Cotee.


Someone spotted Robbie Fowler looking at houses in North London


Chris Samba is available on a free

North Bank Gooner

Butterflies are starting, haven’t looked forward to a season this much since early Arsene, COYG!!!


What would you view as a “good season”? The problem is, finish second in league, make it out of group stages in CL and get a ways into both domestic cups would really be a success, but would likely feel disappointed to most, if not all fans after last year.

Giuseppe Hovno

Nah I’d be happy enough with that


We need a trophy, even if it’s a little one. We’re not Tottenham.

North Bank Gooner

For me it would be about being competitive, and there or thereabouts at the end. Good progress in CL, looking like we can compete with the very best. Be great to win something, so last season without the shit ending would be great, and take points off the oil cheats too! Not much to ask….

Heavenly Chapecoense

If Balogun is sold then we need to plan for a top top striker. The reality is that with Jesus we are in the same situation we were with Giroud. The Frenchman was very very good at hold up play, was technical with physical presence but scored less than required. Jesus is very very good at high-pressing game, can create goals but scores less than required. We want to challenge Man City but what happened at City is that Guardiola (who is lousy at dealing with players, even worse than Benitez) once used Zinchenko as a CF and Jesus on… Read more »


I don’t think lack of goals is what cost us the title. More likely depth.


Don’t think we have depth upfront without Balogun. I agree the only way selling Balogun makes sense is if we replace him with someone WC like Mbappe which I don’t see happening. Jesus as much as like his other attributes is not prolific. I’d offload Nketiah cause he doesn’t offer anything to a title challenge either.

Jamie Ryan

We scored 88 goals in the league last season–quite a bit ahead of all but Man. City. Yes to a reliable Jesus alternative (I don’t think it’s Nketiah)–but, as others have said, we can score from anywhere with Saka, Martinelli, and others.

Our real title-affecting gap is quality in midfield and, arguably, central defense when the first-choice pairings are out. I hope the new signings fix that!


I agree totally. Liverpool won the league with Firmino who has never been prolific. Their goals came from wide primarily. If Saka and Martinelli can tick up a little towards Salah & Mane numbers (not all the way) I think we’ll be ok. Havertz should contribute more than Xhaka, Odegaard can do the same again…

Heavenly Chapecoense

Didn’t man City score from everywhere with De Bruyne, Mahrez, Gundogan, Foden, Rodrigo and still have a goal machine in front of them? Do we want to chase them or not? If the plan is to settle for the second place, this is by no means shameful, just that we’ve been waiting for 20 years.


Man City scored 99 goals in 2021/22 and 94 goals in 2022/23 so five less with Haaland

Houston Gooner

Disagree. I don’t care where the goals come from, just that they come. Jesus plays a massive role in helping that to happen.

No foot Norbert

Watching highlights of the season, we were leaking so many goals it was just that we scored 5 x the amount. It was always going to become a problem once key players got tired/injured etc. Defence can definitely be improved upon and signing rice goes a long way to helping that aspect of our game

Grecian Gunner

Would rather keep Balogun and sell Nketiah.

Jamie Ryan

Let’s keep some perspective on Balogun. He did well for a mid-table team in a mid-ranking league last year. He did well on loan and for our and England’s under-age sides. Has he ever looking like kicking on? Does he look like a 20-goals a year guy for a top team in a top league? Should he be in the starting XI in front of Martinelli, Havertz, ESR, Nketiah, or Nelson? Should he be on the bench instead of any of those? The only one I could say yes to is the last question. But Balogun seemingly doesn’t want to… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

Although in a different position, Saliba established himself in Ligue 1, same as Balogun. Henry (via a very short unfruitful stop at Juventus) and Osimhen came from the french league. That is if you want to talk about top top top as they say. To stay with a single “top”, the example is Adebayor who was able to score 30 goals for us in total in 2007-2008, was called absolute nightmare to defend against by Ferdinand and came to Arsenal after scoring one goal the previous season.

Jamie Ryan

Saliba is a reasonable counterpoint, for sure. As far as I recall, he was viewed as top-tier from early on–hence his inclusion in France’s World Cup squad last year, and the general surprise that we were able to (a) get and (b) hold on to him. I see none of that potential with Balogun, who of course is the same age as Saliba.


All the goals he scored on the counter attack running into acres of space in France don’t count. Gotta learn the Pepe lesson.


Spot on. He is a counter attacking style player, not a possession style player, therefore doesn’t fit our system and style of play.

I appreciate his ambition to start now but it won’t be with the Arsenal.


Balogun scored against PSG. A lot of the goals he scored were top shelf and he scored all sorts of goals – in traffic, volleys, both feet. Pepe played for Lille a much better team than Reims, so Balogun consistently played against stronger opponents. Osimhen also scored a few goals for Lille before Napoli and Osimhen is WC – so not sure what we learn other than all players are different. And Baloguns definitely built different.

Bleeding Gums Murphy

Please explain how Balogun consistently played against stronger opponents. If at Lille or Reims you still play the same opponent unless you’re playing against each other.

A Different George

I think there are only a couple of genuine issues left for this window. We have only three players with real market value who might leave– Balogun, Partey, and Tierney. Only Partey had an important role last year and, I think, if he leaves he must be replaced. Rice for Partey and Havertz for Xhaka might be an improvement, but it is a risk. Tierney, as much as I like him, will have a better career if he leaves; he can play Luke Shaw’s role which many teams will want, but not Zinchenko’s, which is what Arteta wants. Balogun, there’s… Read more »


Balogun he’s not a prolific striker, he should have scored in Germany. I’m sorry but he not prevailing upon the chance to hit behind the goalkeeper.


This guys scores 20+ goals only for you to call him not prolific lol after a miss I’m a preseason game where Eddie didn’t do anything and olayed more minutes. Did Eddie even have a shot on goal?

Naked Cygan

I remember Yaya Sanogo had one excellent pre season and scored a bunch of goals. Not sure we can use Balogun playing a couple of pre season games as a measure of how good he will be at Arsenal. He did a great job like Pepe in France but the Premier League is a different story. I hope he will stay and do amazing things

Jamie Ryan

I think Sanogo scored 4 in a single pre-season game! And that was…pretty much it.


How can you not be excited?


If for anything, I want Balo to stay because of his goal against psg last term. That goal shows that we can have a counter attacking weapon when opponent chasing the game againstbus and put more bodies forward

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