Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal facing crunch time in transfer market
Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal are entering a “crucial moment” in the transfer window but insists if no more signings are made it will not be through the want of trying.
The Gunners have been heavily linked with a number of midfield targets for much of the summer but are running out of time to add to their squad ahead of Monday’s international deadline.
It is understood that talks are ongoing with Lyon over a move for Houssem Aouar but Jean-Michel Aulas – the outspoken chief executive of the Ligue 1 side – has said no players will be allowed to leave after Friday.
A deal for Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey stalled some weeks ago, even though it is understood Lucas Torreira may soon move the other way on a season-long loan deal.
Other potential outgoings include defenders Sead Kolasinac and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, with William Saliba linked with a loan move away having failed to break into the team in the early weeks of the season.
Asked how big the next few days are for the club, Arteta replied: “I think it is a crucial moment because the end defines the people, the players, the balance and the quality that you are going to have, probably, for the rest of the season.
“So we need to make some decisions in the next three days. I think everything has been delayed so much.
“It is not only us but also probably every team because of the context we are in at the moment.
“But we will try to make the best possible decisions and at the end whatever we have, we go for it fully convinced and prepared to have a good season.”
Arteta defends Arsenal approach
Arteta sidestepped a question on whether he would be happy with his squad if there were no new signings made before 23:00GMT on Monday night.
But he did defend Arsenal’s approach to the transfer window as he works alongside technical director Edu to bring in the desired talent, with the transfer strategy fully supported by the club’s owners.
“It is because we can’t do more,” he said when asked what happens if no new players come in.
“We are trying our maximum. We are maximising our resources, with full support from the owners as well with what we are trying to achieve. It is whether we can do it or not.
“I’m very happy because the way we are acting and the way we are approaching and the way we are doing the process around the market, around the squad, the communication and link we have between myself, Edu, the board and the ownership is really good.
“I am really satisfied. I know that we are all trying our best to improve the team and trying to take the direction to achieve the goals that we want.
“After to achieve it or not, sometimes in a deal a lot of things can happen. You have three or four parties that have to be involved, but we are trying our best.
“I am really happy the way this link and communication is flowing at the moment.”
Big Blades test for Gunners
Having beaten Liverpool on penalties to reach the Carabao Cup quarter-finals, Arsenal return to Premier League action on Sunday against early strugglers Sheffield United.
Despite their slow start, Arteta is expecting a challenge from Chris Wilder’s men.
“The margins in the league of winning, drawing and losing are really small and the details are crucial, but they have generated big chances every game and they’ve been really unlucky in my opinion not to get anything out of those games,” added the Spaniard.
“The season they had (last year), the way they have evolved as a team since they joined the Premier League has been unbelievable, the work that the manager has done with the coaching staff with the resources they have is remarkable. We need to be really alert and we have to play at our best again.”