Press conference

Arteta on Auba, transfers, Laca: full transcript

Arteta

Mikel Arteta faced the media on Wednesday and answered questions about a whole host of subjects.

Possible transfers were top of the agenda, while our head coach also discussed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sheffield United and more.

Read on for a full transcript:

on the latest on Sead Kolasinac…
I don’t know, the doctors are assessing him still - he had a normal session yesterday. He has been in some discomfort, we know this season that he had some little niggles, so we have to assess him and see if we can get him fit for Saturday or he will be out.

on Lucas Torreira…
Very similar situation. He trained yesterday as well, but still not 100 per cent confident so we will have to wait and see again.

on the nature of his injury…
It is something related to his hip, producing some pain in the muscle. I don’t know. He is a tough boy, he wants to train, he wants to play and hopefully he will be available for the weekend.

on Hector Bellerin…
He has been training with us for the past few days, he is looking much sharper, much better. He needs a little chunk of training sessions before he is ready to compete but he is looking much better.

on the latest transfer news…
I have bad news for you guys, I have nothing to say yet!

on being linked with John Stones…
No, no truth at all.

on links with AC Milan’s Franck Kessie…
No truth at all at the moment.

on whether we are short defensively…
We have a lot of issues at the back, the fact that Calum got the big injury is modifying our plans. It is what we have, the situation, it can happen between December and January, it is very common. We have to live with it, this is what we have. We have to put 11 players out on the pitch on Saturday and I am sure we will. They will try their best, and I will try to select the ones who in my opinion are the best fit for that game.

on having a chance to improve things in the January market…
Yes, but it has to be the right player, in the right context that financially we can compete and we can attract and all these factors, if you put them together, are not easy in this market.

on if he has a wishlist…
I have, yes. You need to have one always, just in case!

on Aubameyang's red card appeal...
It has been confirmed that he is going to be suspended for three games. So we're not going to have the player for the next three fixtures. It's a big shame and a big loss for us, because as well we know Auba's intention when he plays. But unfortunately he mistimed the tackle, he made a decision and we have to accept it.

on what the team will miss most about not having Auba involved...
Auba has been around, he was very sad after the game. He was disappointed that he left the team with 10 men. It's an action that is completely accidental in my opinion. He's been superb under me, he's trained really well, he's working so hard. He's scoring goals and has probably been the most important player on the team. So to lose him, obviously, is really bad news for us.

on whether the team plays worse without him on the pitch...
I don't know. I haven't experienced it. I hope not, I hope we can play better and even win the games and he will be pushing for that as well. Players have to step up. You know, when one of your big players is not there, they have to take responsibility. I'm sure when they're not playing, they want a chance and they talk. It's time to talk on the pitch, not outside. You come on there, you make the impact that he made and you sure me that you are as good as him or even better. You have the chance.

on what he will focus on against Sheffield United...
I've been very impressed. I've seen a lot of games and everything is prepared. Everything they do has a real sense, they are really difficult to break down. The solidarity in their team is incredible, how hard they work for each other and they have very clear principles - in attack and in defence, restarts of play, set-pieces - with what they want to do. So it will be a very difficult test. I already warned the players today.

on how he can help Lacazette to rediscover his goalscoring form…
You can help him by talking to him and giving him confidence, but that ball has to end up in the net. I think that’s the best medicine for strikers. What we have to try to do is put Laca in positions where he can have as many opportunities to do that as possible during a game.

on whether Martinelli could get minutes in Aubameyang’s absence…
He’s having an impact every time he’s coming on, but it’s not just him. It’s others players like Reiss and Nico too, so whoever players there on Saturday has to step in and has to be thinking that they need to make the difference for the team.

on whether John Stones is the type of player that he’d like at Arsenal…
John is a player that I really like and I followed. We signed him when I was at Manchester City and I worked with him for many years and know him well. When I look at centre backs he has many attributes that I like from one, but we’re not interested.

on whether Dani Ceballos remains in his plans…
Yes. Dani had an injury where he was out for almost two months and had to go to Madrid for his rehab. He came back and in the first few weeks I didn’t think that he was physically at the level to compete for starting games. It’s true that I have players in that position who have been performing really well, and last week when I believed that he was ready to step in, I decided to pick another player. But he’s been training good, I’m happy with him and I know him really well, so there’s no issues there.

on Chris Wilder…
The work he’s done is phenomenal and he’s done some special things as well with some movements and characteristics of how he moves his team around, and the demands that he puts on his players. What I like about a manager is when I see a team and they are a real team that fights for every single ball with their attitude and behaviour, as well as their intentions for what they want to do every time.  It’s very clear what he’s trying to do, so I have big admiration for him.

on whether he’d be happy if Arsenal don’t sign anyone…
I’m happy we have the squad that I believe we can compete for what we want. I’m fine. I want to keep the players and get the maximum from the players that I want, but if this scenario changes and we need somebody, I’m expecting that we will go into the market and try to solve the issue.

on who the captain will be on Saturday…
That depends on the team selection.

 

 

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