Press conference

Arteta on... Lacazette, Auba, Edu and more

We may be playing Wolves on Tuesday, but one subject dominated Mikel Arteta's pre-match press conference: transfer deadline day.

With hours left of the window, our manager was asked about potential incomings and outgoings and how the squad is shaping up.
 
This is what he told the media:
 
on how we have changed since the last game v Wolves...
Definitely results are much better. We improved a lot of terms of getting many more points from our games. It was a tough game back then because we started the game a little bit slow, we conceded a goal, we scored a goal and then we dominated the game. But then we conceded another goal in one of the counter-attacks. We're expecting a tough game. They're a side that have improved so much over the years, that have picked up some big results against the big teams, so it will be a nice test for us.

on how much Raul Jimenez's injury has defined their season...
I don't know. First of all it would be good to ask everyone how he's feeling because it was a big shock for all of us when the incident happened. I don't know. We're all getting affected by injuries, by coronavirus, by all the things going on. It's really difficult to play a starting XI twice in a row. I think it's the same for every team.

on whether Martin Odegaard is ready to start...
Let's see today how everybody is. We have some other issues in the last few days as well, so today we'll have a better picture of who is available to play tomorrow. Then we'll put the players who are completely fit to start the game.

on Bukayo Saka and Kieran Tierney...
We don't know yet [if they'll return]. Today we've got a training session and they haven't been able to train with us yet, so I think it will be really difficult for them. But I don't know, we're going to try to last-minute see how they are feeling.

on whether there could be any deadline-day incomings...
The last day of the transfer window is always unpredictable so things can happen. They might happen, they might not happen. We are on it.

on potential outgoings...
We have decided [who could leave on loan today] and we are working on it. You will find out before 11pm.

on Ainsley Maitland-Niles...
I don't know, I cannot speak about any individual players. What we want to do, the conversations we've had, the various reasons... Let's see if we can get something done tonight.

on whether Maitland-Niles will be a loan departure or permanent...
Again, I cannot talk about any individual players and what our plans are for them for now or the future.

on Alex Lacazette...
We have to follow the protocols, that we have to test him and make an x-ray. He was completely fine after the game, he was fine yesterday and he has slept well. I'm expecting him to be available.

on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang...
There's still some things to clear up. Maybe yes, maybe no. We don't know. We're still doing some paperwork at the moment.
 
on how he sums up his transfer business…
I can’t answer that question until probably after tonight because there are things to do to get done.
 
on whether he likes deadline day…
Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t! It is what it is, at least when you know what you want to do, what you want to achieve, it is easier. Hopefully we won’t have any bad surprises and we can control what we want to do.
 
on players who could leave…
You mention a few players, so you have a better chance. The more you mention, the greater the chance you have to get it right! Again, we are discussing things with some players and some clubs, and if we do anything before the deadline, it is because we believe it is the right thing for their development.
 
on whether this feels like his squad now…
We had some priorities that we wanted to get done, we have managed to have some done, some others we haven’t yet, so let’s wait and see how things develop today and what we are able to do, and what we aren’t.
 
on whether he’s reassessed the team’s aims in the wake of our good form…
Obviously we took some pressure off ourselves with the situation we were in the table, but we know there is a long way to go, a lot of points to catch up with the top teams but we have to go game by game, and if we keep performing in the way we are at the moment, we will be in a good position at the end of the season. But we have to be very consistent to have any chance of achieving any top spot.
 
on whether he speaks to Edu more than anyone at this time of year…
Probably in the last year, I have spoken to Edu more than anyone else in my life! That’s what my wife says because of the things we have to go through, with coronavirus as well, the transfers, luckily enough we have a great relationship, a great understanding and we support each other in a great way. It is lucky that if you have to talk to someone many times around the deadline day that the relationship is strong.
 
on whether he’s surprised Edu has managed to get so many deals done…
I think he is doing a great job at the club since I joined, the clarity that he showed when they came to try to convince me to join the club and then to stick to the plan we have and the way he is going about it, I am really impressed with him.
 
on whether there will be any issues with numbers for the PL and EL squads…
It will depend on what happens today, we will have to make a decision probably which we want to delay as much as possible but it will have to be done.
 
on whether any high-profile players will be left out like last time…
Hopefully not!

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