Mikel Arteta has insisted that any players signed by Arsenal in pre-season will need to possess the right character and be able to provide goals on a consistent basis in order to be successful at the club. The Gunners were the Premier League’s biggest spenders last summer and have been tipped to launch another large-scale recruitment drive in order to strengthen their ranks before the start of next season.
Arsenal welcomed no less than six new faces prior to last summer’s transfer deadline, including the likes of Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Martin Odegaard, who returned to north London on a permanent basis from Real Madrid. However, there is still plenty of work to be done in future windows to ensure they can secure Champions League football on a yearly basis in the not-too-distant future.
It seems as though Arteta will not be looking to panic-buy when the bidding re-opens in a few months, though. The Spaniard told reporters in Friday’s press conference that he will give plenty of consideration to the personal traits of his summer targets before deciding whether or not to bring them to the Emirates Stadium.
“I cannot use that word, but I agree on that,” Arteta told reporters when asked if he would be looking to emulate the famous ‘no d***heads’ policy employed by the All Blacks. “But within that you need different characters, you don’t just want a team that is all the same.
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“You need players that can express their feelings in different ways and react in different ways. But they have to have certain commonalities, respect, passion, integrity and the values that we want at the club, that’s for sure. And if you do that it’s much easier to be stable and perform at the highest level.”
Arteta went on to add that he is also keen on improving his side’s goal threat by underlining the importance of being able to trouble opposition defences on a regular basis. The Gunners are set to lose Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah at the end of the season as things stand, leaving Folarin Balogun as the club’s only recognised striker in the absence of any new signings.
“To be with the top teams in this season you need to score 90 to 100 goals at least,” said Arteta. “Somehow you need those goals in the team, don’t ask me how, but you need them.
“They have to come. That contribution how it’s done and how possible it is to happen, you have to find the right pieces to do that. But that’s a non-negotiable, that’s for sure.
“If you look at the Barcelona team that won six titles, between three players they scored 100 goals for three years. If you don’t have that then you need to have 30 clean sheets.
“In the last 11 games if we can score 11 goals and concede zero, we’re going to win 11 games. Or we can score 35 and concede, we’re still going to have 33 points. But in a very different way.”
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