Interview

Arteta - The thinking behind our transfer strategy

At the end of a hectic transfer window, it is clear that we have decided to invest in youth.

But why is the club pursuing this strategy?

“In recent years, and what we have inherited, the fact that we don’t play in Europe, [we] needed a substantial change,” Mikel Arteta told the official matchday programme. 

“We want a club that is sustainable, that is stable financially but the same time can compete at the highest level, because we know the demands for our club is to be the best. We have to do that. 

“On top of that, we needed to recruit in a lot of positions. In order to do that, we had to spread the money and how it was spent wisely. Then we had to be very specific with the qualities, the targets we want that can reach the potential that is required at that level with the competition we have with other teams, to reach that [aim]. 

“The whole strategy was around that, making those decisions as quickly as possible that could give us big margins of improvement in a short period of time.”

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Following such a strategy in an impatient sport comes with inherent risks of course, which Arteta acknowledges.

“That’s the complexity in this industry,” he said. “We are trying to build a medium to long-term project, which needs immediate results. That only happens in elite sport and most importantly in football. We have to embrace that challenge. It is what it is. 

“We cannot change that and we don’t want to change that, because we want results right now. That’s what we have to put on top of the players’ heads. It has to happen now and it has to keep improving in the medium and long term, and that’s it.”

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