Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Arteta relaxed on contract situation, explains Marbella camp and talks transfers

Mikel Arteta says he doesn’t envisage any problems when he sits down to negotiate a new contract with Arsenal but, for the moment, he’s prioritising pre-season preparations and strengthening his squad in the transfer market.

The Spaniard has taken the unusual step of hosting an obligatory training camp in Marbella for those first team squad members who aren’t on international duty and he seems to have the bit between his teeth when it comes to starting the 24/25 campaign on the front foot.

Speaking to ESPN from the club’s temporary base in Spain, he was pressed on the fact he only has one year left on his contract and whether progress had been made in agreeing an extension.

“No, there is no update at the moment,” he said. “The thing that hasn’t changed is how happy I am and how valued I feel here and how much I love representing this club.

“Things happen in a natural way and our relationship is that good that I don’t predict any issues happening. But things have to develop in the right way and it will happen.”

On there being increased chatter about his future now that he has less than 12 months remaining, he continued: “I understand that, but the focus now is, ‘OK, how we can improve things around the team, how we can improve now the things in the transfer window that we have.’ We have time to sit down and discuss that.”

Pre-season training will begin in earnest next week when Arteta and his staff return to London Colney and step up preparations for the upcoming tour of the USA. The Gunners have booked three fixtures – against Bournemouth, Manchester United and Liverpool – and will take a mix-and-match squad featuring a number of academy youngsters while they wait for key stars to return from Euro 2024 and the Copa America.

On the decision to request some players (as many as nine) start their training earlier than usual, he said: “It is a long break for some of the players that haven’t had international football, and nowadays we need top-level athletes at the level that we are competing and the schedule that we have.

“So we believe it was the right thing to do, to bring them in a little bit earlier and start connecting with the team, to check the physical levels and to start to get a good preparation.

“They still have some time off, some downtime to enjoy. Marbella gives you a bit of everything and I think it is working really well.

And on the upcoming tour of the US, which includes time in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, he added: “We feel at home and the fact we have been there a few years now and played in one of the nicest stadiums in the world, built by our owners, we have that connection.

“We have now that feeling with our supporters with the show that we put in last year against Barcelona. We have two big, big, big games coming up now and hopefully, we can deliver what everybody expects and use it for the preparation into what we need.”

On the transfer front, things have been quiet so far. The Gunners are expected to complete the permanent signing of David Raya imminently, missed out on Benjamin Sesko – the Slovakian Slovenian striker who signed a new deal at RB Leipzig – and have been heavily linked with Italian defender Riccardo Calafiori.

There have also been plenty of rumours tipping fringe players, including Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares, with moves away from the club.

“We are looking to improve in every possible department,” said Arteta. “With the new regulations, there are certain things we have to respect and be conscious of and then obviously the Euros and Copa América are slowing everything down. Hopefully now it is going to pick up a little bit.

“There are things that we have to improve, that’s for sure and we are going to try to,” he said about ins and outs.

“But the market is tricky. We have been very aggressive, we are very determined and we have a clear idea obviously of what we want to do. It will come down to finding the right agreements at the right time.”

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James Olley’s full interview for ESPN is well worth a read, find it here. 

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Johnny 4 Hats

Couldn’t be less worried about the Arteta contract thing.

Firstly, he’s on the verge of creating a generational football team. Why would he leave an unfinished job, especially given Man City’s upcoming controversy?

Secondly, even if he did leave, we are in such a fantastic position that a new manager would have an amazing framework to bring us success.

Gracias Mikel.

John C

There’s nowhere for him to go that’ll offer the same opportunity, money, prospects and possibly most importantly patience.

Arsenal is probably the best club job in world football

Johnny 4 Hats

Fun question :

If Arteta did leave tomorrow, who would you replace him with?

I personally would love Thomas Frank.

John C

No idea

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Didn’t Arsenal extend Arteta’s in the last two years?
If he leaves, will we bring in Yaya Touré or Aguero because they played under Guardiola? Kompany!

Dr. Gooner

There have been so many new appointments recently. I’ve been really impressed with Oliver Glasner over at Palace.

Slowatch

Benjamin Sesko – the Slovakian striker

Nope, Sesko is Slovenian striker

arseblog

Fixed 😉

Henkamp

Good to see you again, Mike! I have not watched any football since England’s first game at this Euros!

I have missed Mikel and the boys so much — can’t wait to see them on the pitch again.

I miss santi cazorla

How did you manage to watch 180 minutes of the England? I snoozed off after 30 minutes.

pahtotheworld

Is it true the camp started with 6 players?

Flash

Slovenia… not Slovakia

Cranky Colin

What an excellent man

Spanish Gooner

I don’t think we will move on all of Nelson, ESR, Vieira and Nketiah and my hope is that out of that group one of them will impress in Marbella to become a “full time” squad player, the way Trossard / Tomiyasu have been this season and closer to the way Man City use their squad. Nelson/ESR/Vieira/Nketiah (from January) basically shared the minutes of one player, which Nelson seems very happy to go and I can see Nketiah being picked up late in the window as a plan B signing for somebody mid-table, so I think that player will be… Read more »

I miss santi cazorla

Eddie is utter useless. Probably belongs to championship level.

Dr. Gooner

I can unironically declare that Nketiah would destroy the championship, and would probably be snapped up by a club like Sporting Lisbon, and then destroy the Portuguese league too. He would post 10 PL goals for a mid to lower half team that caters to his strengths in his sleep. He’s got all the tools you need as a CF. He’s just not at the level of the Arsenal first team and hasn’t played enough to develop further. So it’s awkward because his value to us is not the same as his market value, but teams will price him on… Read more »

Dr. Gooner

I think we are under rating Eddie Nketiah for not being Gabriel Jesus and Havertz. He’s a different profile, a direct threat. That’s what 95% of clubs want from their CF, because they don’t expect to dominate play. At Arsenal, we absolutely dominate play but Eddie’s game is not suited to that. He much better than a B option for all but the elites. Is he worse than Jean Mateta, Hwang Hee Chan, Rodrigo Muniz, Michael Antonio, Danny Welbeck, and Dominic Calvert Lewin, who all started lots of PL games last season? Heck is he worse than Richarlison, Hojlund, Solanke… Read more »

mc1892

For what it’s worth, my assessment of who he’s worse than: Jean Mateta – Yes Hwang Hee Chan – Yes Rodrigo Muniz – No Michael Antonio – Probably yes Danny Welbeck – Yes Dominic Calvert Lewin – Strong yes Richarlison – Yes Hojlund – Yes Solanke – No but Solanke has been in pretty good form Nico Jackson – Definitely not Eddie is just not good enough, sorry. He’s had plenty of chances and is largely absent in games but without the ‘goal out of nothing’ power of similar profile strikers. Wish him absolutely the best, as he’s clearly worked… Read more »

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