Arteta asks for ‘immediate’ response after hinting at new Arsenal contract

Date published: Thursday 10th December 2020 8:42 - Steve Pearson


Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta acknowledged his team must turn things around in the league “immediately”, and hinted that a resolution in the contract situation of a promising youngster is on the agenda.

Arsenal made it six wins from six to top their Europa League group with a perfect record.

The victory over Dundalk owed much to the Gunners’ young stars, with Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah and Folarin Balogun all finding the net.

Debuts were also handed to Ben Cottrell and Miguel Azeez on a night that showcased the next generation of Arsenal stars.

Speaking to the media after the match (via Football LondonArteta said: “The group stage in general is really positive.

“It’s never easy to win six games in Europe. I think we’ve been really consistent and performing well.”

FULL MATCH REPORT: Young Gunners pepper scoresheet as Arsenal progress with perfect record

On the impressive performance of Emile Smith-Rowe, the Spaniard added: “He played in a position that doesn’t suit him perfectly for his qualities.

“He has a lot of creativity and has the quality to receive the ball and do things. He’s a threat and I’m really happy for his performance.”

Balogun impressed following his introduction on the hour mark, showing great strength to set up Willock’s goal before notching himself.


Hinting at a breakthrough in their quest to tie him down with the club long-term, Arteta said: “He has done really well.

“Every minute that he has been on that field he has been superb. Today he looked a threat again. He scored a goal, he set up another one and he looked really lively and mature on that pitch.

“We are having some discussions with the player.

“He knows that we want to retain him at the club. We know the length of his contract at the moment is an issue, but we are trying to resolve it in the best possible way.

“He said to me he wants to stay at the club so hopefully we can reach an agreement and extend his contract.”

The club’s league form has been in stark contrast to their Europa League exploits as of late.

Recognising the need to turn their domestic form around “immediately”, Arteta concluded: “We need to start winning football matches immediately. We know that has to start on Sunday.”


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