Mikel Arteta has praised two Arsenal players following the pre-season friendly thrashing of Sevilla, while also making a claim about new players joining.
The Gunners have been in good form in the run up to the new campaign. They have beaten Nurnberg, Everton, Orlando City and Chelsea, scoring 14 goals in the process and conceding just four times.
New striker Gabriel Jesus has been the star, registering four goals in those victories. And the Brazilian continued his exciting form on Saturday, bagging a hat-trick in a 6-0 rout against Sevilla.
Bukayo Saka got a brace, while Eddie Nketiah joined them on the scoresheet with an 88th-minute goal to make it six.
The result means Arsenal will start their Premier League campaign high in confidence. Arteta’s men come up against Crystal Palace next Friday at 20:00.
Before the win versus Sevilla, attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard was named Arsenal’s new captain.
And after his top display in the friendly, during which he linked up well with Jesus, Arteta said (via Sky Sports’ Sam Blitz): “He makes Gabby better and he needs threat so he can make the last pass in front of him. The connection is already there.”
On Jesus, Arteta continued: “[He] plays with that intensity to win the ball and play on opposition half. You can’t do that if players don’t work.”
Arsenal ‘hoping to do something else’ – Mikel Arteta
The Spanish coach then hinted more players could join Arsenal before the transfer window closes. The Gunners have already signed Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fabio Vieira, Matt Turner and Marquinhos.
“We are still hoping to do something else if the market allows,” Arteta said. “You have seen some movement in the last few days as well.
“We want to get the perfect balance and the plan we wanted from the beginning. Whether we accomplish that or not is another story.”
Arsenal have let Portuguese left-back Nuno Tavares go on loan to Marseille for the 2022/23 campaign. They are also hoping to ship midfielder Lucas Torreira out, amid links with Valencia.
But Arteta’s comment suggests there could be one or two more new arrivals in north London. One could be England forward Jarrod Bowen of West Ham.
Recent reports state Arsenal would like to sign the 25-year-old, although they will have to put up some serious money.
A West Ham insider claims Bowen will be remaining at the London Stadium. Arsenal, or any other club, are yet to make an enquiry about his availability.
Due to West Ham’s firm stance, Arteta’s side may need to make Bowen their most expensive signing ever if they truly want to land him. The current record is the £72m they spent on Nicolas Pepe in 2019.
Meanwhile, Hector Bellerin is planning shock action to try and force through an Arsenal exit, as per a report.