Press conference

Arteta on transfers, Jesus, USA tour and Saliba

Mari, Holding and Arteta

Fresh from guiding his side to a 3-1 win over Orlando City, Mikel Arteta faced the media in America, and discussed a wide range of topics, from possible signings, his options up front, William Saliba’s future and his targets for the season.

Read on for a full transcript…

on Oleksandr Zinchenko...

Yeah, as you've seen he is here. There are still a few formalities to get everything completed but we're really happy to have him. I know the player really well, he's an exceptional footballer and he is someone that is going to bring as well another competitive edge to that dressing room.

on his versatility to be able to play in midfield and as a left-back...

Both, he can play in both. He was a natural No. 10 early in his career and we converted him into a left back which can do a lot of things that we want in our way of playing. That versatility is something that is going to be important for the team because we have players in that position who are more specific full back so I'm really happy.

on if there are more signings to come...

I don't know. It's what we have today. We have a large squad so we have to make some decisions as well on the players that we're not going to be using consistently and be fair and straight with them and that's a process that is going to start very soon as well.

on outgoings...

We have to. We have a big squad and now we have to make things happen.

on versatility in new signings...

It's one of the things and the way we can adapt structures, formations and rotations within the squad and playing with the same players in a different way. To be more unpredictable is obviously important and that is why we have recruited those players.

on the impact of the five substitutes rule...

It will be much more unpredictable to try to figure out what the opponent is going to do and there are going to be changes so what you have planned at the beginning doesn't mean it's going to happen at the end.

on Sambi Lokonga...

We are trying. Where he fits comfortable and can develop in the best possible way. He's really comfortable playing in that position and we want to try and see what he can bring in that position as well. It is true that now we are missing Emile and Fabio another so that position was a little bit shot and he's done well.

on Lucas Torreira’s future…

Lucas Torreira is our player.

on Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah being used as a strike partnership…

We want to build those relationships and they haven’t played a lot of minutes together yet, the same with Martin and Gabi, for example. We have to start to do that, we obviously do it in training, but to put it into practice in matches is important and you can see that they’re finding themselves with good timing and it’s important because they are two players with a big goal threat.

on what a pre-season tour gives us…

Well, first of all obviously the exposure of the club. We are a huge club and you can see in every city that we are present in, the reaction and the support that we get. It’s really important for our brand, for our supporters to be next to them and the USA is a huge market, we have a large fanbase and we have to promote that and make them feel that we are ready to come here and then those practices and those tours give you a different level of competition against opponents that you don’t really know, they are in the middle of the season, so physically they are in a better condition than you and then to play in that heat, I think it brings a good adaption for when we have to go back to the UK.

on William Saliba’s contract…

We always have a plan and when we have to execute it, that’s a different story and football is a really funny game and we are really happy to have him and you can see the way he’s adapted, the way he’s matured and he’s playing well and we are delighted to have him.

on our targets for the upcoming season…

Our target at this club is to win competitions, it can’t be any other than that and the way we are building the squad is to achieve that. Today, we are still in pre-season, the window is not closed, the squad is not closed and we will set our target internally, but they won’t be at the end of the season, it will be much shorter because that’s still to far and a lot of things could happen.

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