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Arteta says Arsenal transfer pot is ‘a big concern’

After win against Premier League champions, Gunners boss looks ahead to the window

17 July, 2020 — By Steve Barnett

Mikel Arteta: ‘You need to improve with quality, quality players in the squad’

MIKEL Arteta says “it’s pretty clear” that Arsenal need to strengthen their squad if they are ever going to be a force in the Premier League again.

Despite seeing his side come from behind to beat champions Liverpool 2-1 on Wednesday night, the Gunners boss was quick to acknowledge the growing gap between the club and the genuine title contenders.

Quizzed on if he would be given the necessary funds to spend this summer, Arteta very publicly sent a message to the Arsenal board.

He said: “I don’t know. It’s a big concern.

“You need it to build a squad. It’s not magic. You need to improve with quality, quality players in the squad and you need bigger squads to compete in this competition. That is the challenge.”

Arteta has no doubt that the win over Liverpool proves his young crop “can create something”. But pushed on how long it would take to close the gap, he added: “I’ve seen it and I’ve experienced it in one year, and I’ve also seen other clubs never do it, or some do it in four or five years.

“It depends on the context, it depends on your resources, and it depends on how much you have to change.

“We are in a process and we don’t know at the moment.

“I want to make our players better and I want to make them more comfortable and create an identity for the football club, because then it will be easier to say ‘we need this, this and this’.”

It is clear that Arteta has no intention of abandoning the young players emerging within the club.

Three players aged under 21 featured against Liverpool, with Reiss Nelson, 20, scoring his first ever Premier League goal, Bukayo Saka, 18, again impressing, and Joe Willock, 20, coming off the bench early in the second-half.

Arteta added: “The first thing is the selection because I cannot tell them that I believe in them and then never play them. We try to make sure that everyone fits as part of the team because that’s how you keep the spirit, and you have to put them in big games as well.

“They showed again against Liverpool that everybody is ready.

“It’s the way they train every day, it’s the way they have been behaving every day, and everybody deserves a chance.“

Meanwhile, Konstantinos Mavropanos has signed a new contract at Arsenal, and instantly agreed a season-long loan spell at Stuttgart for the 2020-21 campaign.

The 22-year-old Greek defender has been on loan at German second division side Nuremberg since January, where he made 12 appearances and became a key figure in saving them from relegation this season.

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