Arteta opens up on Arsenal’s transfer business and summer plans

Mikel Arteta has hardly had it easy since he took over from Unai Emery over a year ago, and he has had to make wholesale changes to the attitude of the squad and, more importantly, the quality and mindset of his team during Arsenal’s massive rebuild.

You have to admire his vision and capability to make the unsavoury needed changes, but he has handled it so far with dignity and resolve, but he has made it clear that there is still a long way to go to get the club to where he wants.

Arteta told SkySports: “We are planning everything for the summer, the same with the board, with [chief executive] Vinai [Venkatesham], with [non-executive director] Tim [Lewis], and with the owners,”

“We are very clear on how we want to do it.

“When you have to change 10 or 12 things in one window [as in January] it’s a lot, and that has some consequences with what has happened in previous months and what is going to happen in the following months.

“We still have to do quite a lot of things to do, but we will get to the point, hopefully, where it’s just ticking off a few things and the stability is there, because you need that as well to be consistent and be competitive.”

He obviously still has big plans for the transfer window, but he also makes it clear that promoting youngsters to the first team must be part of the forward thinking needed. He continued: “It’s about doing things in the right moments, when they can shine, when they protected and when they have the right players around them as well,” he says.

“It’s not about playing all the young players in every game, but we are putting a plan together, so they have space around the squad, space in the team, and we have the right flow between the players so they can become really important at the club. That path is being created.”

I personally am impressed with the work Arteta has done so far, and he obviously has a vision of where Arsenal are going. But it would appear that us fans still need to be patient, because his vision is not looking at a short-term success but planning for a long future of continued success.

Are the fans willing to be patient enough to let him do his job?


  1. He has my support until the end of season ,but after that will depend on these last 11-15 games if he can get us EL cup or at least put up a showing not like last time and possibly a good 7 wins in the league then maybe he will be here next season .

    1. Funny Dan, I doubt there is anything you can do to get him out of Arsenal even if you wanted to. I see Arteta here next season no matter how we end the season. I for one is willing to give him this summer transfer window and half of next season to see if there will be improvements.

      1. Arteta is here to rebuild the team…..

        lay the foundation and build a quality spine

        with a blend of youth of experience players

        it is going to take time….

      2. You only “doubt” okobino.
        I am certain that DAN HAS NO INFLUENCE AT ALL. Unless he is made a board member twixt now and next season, an unlikely occurrence, I’d suggest, then it is a CERTAINTY!
        Wouldnt you agree?

  2. I bet he’d get time to show a progress in December. But I predict we’d only make one big signing in the summer, because of our financial situation

    However, if we win EL or if we can sell some of our stars, we’d have bigger transfer budget

  3. MA’s comments echo what I said in a previous article – our excellent youngsters have to be protected by the senior players… until MA deems them experienced enough themselves.
    Simple really – make sure we don’t burn them out and put too much pressure on them… look how Saka has been in the last two games!!!
    Of course, we need our senior players to step up as well and MA has shipped out those he didn’t think were up to it.
    The summer transfer window will be very interesting, for both senior and “junior” players.

  4. Ad PAT, you ask, “Are the fans willing to be patient enough to let him do the job?” A rhetorical question only, I have to presume , BECAUSE like all on here, you are well aware that some are but many others are not patient enough or even at all.

    That surprises, no one least of all, you as you run this site and, presumably, see all the many comments, both wise and unwise.

  5. Arteta can have all the plans he wants, but if he doesn’t get the backing of the Owners (with substantial money), it might all be for nought. I am still worried we will be happy bringing in a group of warm a bodies, rather than one or two top players, particularly a top class scorer and maybe another strong midfielder. I am mystified with all the talk of trying to buy another center back. I can understand possibly getting back up for Tierney, but surely only after we have landed a top scorer to take the load off Auba. PS: I am still not sold on Odegaard, I will reserve judgment until the end of the season.

  6. Patience is a problem for some fans because they consistently deny the truth. They think Emery and Arteta didnt inherit any problems.

    In fact, things were so bad when Arteta arrived, that I say to these fans, find me a tougher job then?

    1. But they are even worse now! I dont get your logic. If he was doing a good job we wouldn’t be languishing in our lowest position in years and playing some of the most negative football since ever. His excuse about the youth being for the future, not now and how we will improve after this summer transfer windows are just smokescreens. On the pitch and in the league now is the only thing that matters, not false promises.

      1. It is so short sighted to base Arteta’s performance so far on the league table. If this was his second full season, you would have a point, but to say we are worse is simply lying!

        Given what you say about the league and what happens on the pitch is all that matters, I agree with, but in context. I still think it’s too early to judge Arteta simply on results, given what he inherited. Let’s not forget it was as recent as January that Arteta still had a bunch of deadwood on his hands, who we now know were causing problems. Right now, it’s not all about results, it’s about changing the culture and mentality that has dragged our club down for over a decade, which he is doing!

        Our football was dead before X-mas, and even I was thinking his time was up, but he has transitioned the tactics well since then, and now we are extremely creative in the final third, whilst keeping our defensive solidity.

        Improvements under Arteta:

        Consistently the best defending we have seen for over decade.

        Since X-mas, the best attacking football since Wenger.

        Identified and got rid of the deadwood asap.

        Massive improvement in performances and results against the top 6.

        Best tactics we have seen for well over a decade.

        We finally have discipline, and player power has been dealt with.

        A huge improvement in the culture and mentality.

        First manager since Wenger to win a trophy (two now)

        Of course Arteta has made mistakes, but I just wanted to highlight some of the improvements he has made. It’s an outright lie to say we haven’t improved, and it’s not all about the league table.

        Spurs are above us, so is Mourinho doing a better job than Arteta? Does the future look better under Mourinho for Spurs fans, than for fans of Arsenal? Should Klopp be sacked given the horrendous season he is having?

        1. My sentiments exactly TMJW.

          I’d like to think that Arteta is laying the solid foundations first as without them the house will fall down. It’s very much like having a new kitchen put in. The old one wasn’t great so the builders gut it and there is upheaval until the new one takes shape.

          I did worry, like you, that It wasn’t going well for Arteta. What I don’t want to see against WH is a performance like Thursday night where the mentality was askew. That is important to rectify

        2. Yes and whose goals won us the cup and shield? That’s right Aubameyang..
          If we’re bigging MA up, I just thought Auba deserved a mention….

        3. Finally a refreshing and reallistic comment among all the negativity written on here!! Thanks for that. I cant agree more with you and Im so sick of all the fans who always demand instant succes and just look at the league tabel.

    2. Every new manager will inherit problems

      the same for every club…..including City, PSG and Utd

      The same when top managers left their respective clubs…..including Fergurson, Klopp, Mourinho, Allegri and etc….

      1. Firstly that is not true at all. E.g. Pep inherited the best squad in the league, and nearly 200 million to spend, how is that a problem? Also, he finished 3rd, and won nothing in his first full season. So clearly, managers need time.

        And like I said, find me a manager who has recently inherited a tougher situation, specifically at a top club? Koeman maybe, but even then he’s got some quality players, he’s at one of biggest clubs in the world and in a much less demanding league.

  7. There has to be progression or some positive signs. Finishing 8th (in what was our worst premier league season in 25 years) but winning a trophy under Arteta, meant the season ended on a high.

    If we finish this season 8th or lower, without a trophy, then is will be a massive failure and Arteta, should be given half of 21/22 to show drastic signs of improvement. Otherwise he should be kicked out and we should look to see who’s available to replace him.

    1. The realist view is what is happening not what is promised to happen and most of us aren’t dreamers or wafflers, we say it as it is and not how it could be.

    2. No doubt Arteta has to show that since his arrival improvements are being made otherwise what is the point in retaining him? I’m impatient but trying to be patient knowing that the task was massive in the first place.
      Emery got the job because AW was slipping and then Arteta got the job because the players revolted under Emery and because there was a real fear that a relegation battle was unfolding.
      The Arsenal job is like an iceberg with more going on below sea level than above as we found out with certain executive departures. I’m not overly bothered now by who was responsible, but rather that the club get all aspects of itself back in better shape. That is beginning to happen thankfully

      1. I suppose the question is, how long do you wait before you realise you may have the wrong man for the (admittedly very difficult) job in hand?

        We don’t have as much money to spend as other clubs and if Arteta spends what little we do have (still substantial sums of money) on the wrong players, it will be left to someone else to ‘get the best out of a bad bunch’.

        I suppose the big question is, are three transfer windows enough to put together a team that starts competing for the top spot and, at the very least, gets us back into the champions league? I think so.

        1. Hi Big T
          That is the conundrum really.
          He still has to prove that he has the answers but I am hopeful
          Regarding 3 transfer windows being enough I beg to differ with you. Two of them have been in January which is a notoriously difficult one He has been in charge for 15 months with 3 months of no football and the football world now in a financial pickle.
          My support is not open ended and it has been tested but someone needs to tell me who is better, fulfils the criteria set by the Board and is available? When I think that Arteta is new to management and the likes of Steve Bruce who have been in the business for years and still gets EPL roles then I’m not in a rush to throw the baby out with the bath water. Many have said December is a proper time to judge and I go along with that although keeping an eye out for what happens in between. Hedging my bets?

  8. It takes at least 2 seasons to put a good team together. It’s about getting the right balance.

  9. I believe he will be here next summer irrespective of how we finish this season.

    It will be too expensive for Kroenke to sack Arteta and then get another top manager.

    Kroenke just needs to give Arteta at least 100 million pounds this summer window to buy a few good players.

    His buys have been good, apart from the aging Willian.

    Hopefully, we see more of his good buys to complete our squad.

    Goal keeper, Left back, Central midfielder, Attack midfielder. These positions need suitable bodies to fill in and do a good job.

  10. Mari
    Matt Ryan

    These are the 8 players Arteta has signed since his arrival. I like all of them. Even Willian has picked up a little form for assisting goals.
    Which players will follow next. Hopefully, they are good ones that will improve us.

    1. Good post S. J. – sometimes one needs to step back and take a breath.
      If only we could see consistency from ALL the players, then we could really evaluate what progress has been made.
      From my perspective, it seems we are just that one word away from becoming a force again.

      1. At least Mikel Arteta will rise or fall on the selected transfers he makes, rather than having to coach players transferred in by others.

        1. Agree 100% ozziegunner – Unlike Unai, both Mikel and Arsene (up until gazidis took control) had/have total control… let’s hope it doesn’t burn MA out like it did AW.

  11. If one was to read between the lines of Arteta’s ever-changing narrative…we should well-expect to see a lot more of the plodding 4-2-3-1, with Xhaka in the pivot and a year older Luiz at CB, both hoping not to set the wrong kind of records for the 3rd year running

    as for these seemingly encouraging words they ring a bit hollow since they’re largely born out of a position of desperation not strength…it’s clear his plan was to bring in Willian, play with a more veteran-laden squad, then make an unrealistic push for things, instead of making the much tougher yet more prudent decision to embrace the challenge of rebuilding this once-giant of the footballing world…all this talk is simply par for the course when damage control is required

    1. I just love how some of you know what was in Arteta’s head. Psychics.

      You wrote:

      ““it’s clear his plan was to bring in Willian, play with a more veteran-laden squad, then make an unrealistic push for things, instead of making the much tougher yet more prudent decision to embrace the challenge of rebuilding this once-giant of the footballing world……””

      Did Arteta tell you that or can you read his mind?

      1. first you absorb all the facts, which are indisputable as they actually occurred in a real life setting, then you observe the individual in question over an extended period of time to see if the same decisions are being made repeatedly, to properly determine if a pattern has developed…along the way you likewise listen intently to the words that have actually come from said individual’s own mouth, especially those pertaining directly to his reasoning behind particular selection decisions, then you make an intuitive statement based on the information provided…stick to the shallow end Kreskin

  12. Arteta for the long haul. Writers look at the defense that he has put together. 3rd lowest goals against. Our short comings, we need a little more discipline, not be scared to make that fast ball forward in the attack. The opponents are doing Saka an injustice the way he plays them. More protection from the Refree is needed.,

  13. Except for various hints about how young players will be integrated into the squad, I was left confused about what we are trying to achieve. The specific statement: “We are very clear on how we want to do it”- appears to be vague and open-ended. The specific goals we are trying to achieve as well as the associated timelines would, in my view, would be more helpful to fans.
    These would also serve as useful benchmarks to judge if we are moving in the right direction. If you don’t know your final destination, then any bus will get you there. We need to stop trusting in the process and start trusting the plan.
    Besides, I am not yet convinced that another major shake up to the squad is the right answer for the club. At some stage, we will need to carefully consider if a new manager, with a new vision and ideas, would be a better solution. There is so much evidence around us to show both the positive and negative side effects of managerial appointments. There is no harm in learning.

    1. RFrancis, even those of us who have never worked on the game understand that what Arsenal need is a striker, a midfielder and cover for the wing backs. It’s not a very complicated process provided you have been given a decent budget to We don’t have to be PSG, but at the same time we don’t have to be Burnley either. Mind you I would trust Dyer to fill in those positions with the right players ahead of either Arteta or Edu.

  14. I back Arteta and *The process” 100%. Building success in business / life in general takes time, wisdom, knowledge, and laying good foundations on which to build on. Fergie/Klopp/Guardiola are all good examples of doing that before enjoying their successes in the League. For Arteta to have a shot at also doing this, and without unlimited funds like Man City/Man U at their peak, we have to allow a few years to give him a chance. So long as we continue to see development & progress (Many examples provided by the others who posted comments on this subject) then I’m happy.

  15. In my opinion, even if we go out of the EL in the next round and finish the season in 10th position, Arteta will still be manager next season. I believe he set out his vision for the future when he took the job and convinced the board it would take more than a couple of seasons to get things right regarding improvements in the league and getting back into the CL. The FA Cup win was a bit of a false dawn but he will get us back to regular winning ways eventually. Declan

  16. Wait a minute, is M Arteta trying to put 2 irons into the fire at the same time and trying to hammer the 2 at the same time? For, he is talking of Arsenal finishing in the PL top-four place this season and also win the Europa League Cup. But he’s now talking about his Arsenal next summer transfer plan
    all at the same time.

    I would have thought Arsenal are yet to switch ON to next summer transfer window at this stage of 2/3 way into this season’s campaign with still much to play for in the PL for Arsenal to grab a top-four table finish. A 2 legged ELC quarterfinal match is looming on the horizon for Arsenal to play for a place in the semifinals of the competition.

    Therefore, these important 2 current campaigns in which Arsenal are still campaigning for honours should be more than a handful business in the hand to deal with and concentrate on them for Arsenal by M Arteta I would imagine.

    To me, instead of him to be trying to put the cart before the horse when Arsenal are still in 2 campaigns to win honours, let him wait to see how the Arsenal season this season will finally pans out to know which Gunners he will have to discard off on outgoing transfer or loan out. And which new players who he wants to sign and sign.

    In the main time, Arteta’s Arsenal whose PL top-four place finish chasing this season is not dead but still alive should in their today’s match playing at London Stadium beat their hosts the West Hammers team in the PL.

    Despite that West Hammers are 7 points above Arsenal in the table won’t be a reason for Arsenal to tender if they fail to beat them by playing to a draw in the match or lose it. This is because Arsenal should be able to beat any team that is above them in the table. And for this fact, I expect Arsenal to beat the West Hammers today to close the gap on the teams above them in the table.

  17. No harm in window shopping , Samuel. He is entitled to have a wish list, after all we fans often indulge ourselves in fantasies which are rarely realised. I really hope Arsenal do their shopping early for once. We are notorious for last minutes deals or compromises.

  18. I wish Jon could explain the meaning of realist because I see a lot of confusion among some contributors on this platform about its meaning. That aside, I fully concur with those who feel Arteta needs some time to rebuild the team. The signs of progress are there for those who are objective and do not expect overnight miracles. However for the miracle workers things have got worse!
    What criteria should we use to judge whether or not our team has improved? I believe the most reliable tool is statistics. Let us look at goals scored against us to judge the defence and the goals we have scored to judge our forwards. We also need to look at the passes completed and interceptions made to judge the Midfield players.
    Another indicator of progress to me is the way we have fared against the big teams. During the current season we have beaten Man U, Chelsea, Spurs and at the end of last season we beat Liverpool and Man City in FA cup. All these are signs of progress compared to the past where we were always losing against the big teams. Our performance is a good indicator of the progress we have made this season and my projection is that the future is bright. The pessimists can continue with the doom and gloom but we are definitely progressing and time will prove me right.

      Realists are not necessarily satisfied or not necessarily dissatisfied with the current state but DOES see the whole as it IS, not as fantasists – the opposite of realists – wish them to be.
      REALISTS PUT FAN BIAS – A NATURAL STATE FOR FANS – ASIDE WHEN SOBERLY CONSIDERING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE CURRENT POSITION. A realist will also consider what is possible and what is not possible to change and factor in the important matter of proper time and ALL RESOURCES taken to do this.

      A fantasist believes we have a magic wand- though no other club does – just us and that we can wave it and instant success will be present.

      Hope that helps you
      PS your post was that of a realist!

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