Press conference

Arteta on… the transfer window

Much of Mikel Arteta’s press conference on Thursday was dominated by transfers.

Our manager was asked about the business we have already done this summer, and what he hopes to do between now and deadline day.

This is what he told the media:

on our transfer window so far…
Well, in this first period of the transfer window I think we’ve done a few things we wanted to do and it’s going to help us to get the squad in a much better place. There is still a bit of the window to go, so I’m sure things will happen either way.

on how many more players he would like to sign…
I’m willing to work with the players that I have at the moment and get the best out of them, and we will see what we can do.

on our business so far and whether we will do more…
Well, we identified what we wanted to do and how we can strengthen our team short, medium and long term, and what we needed to achieve that. We defined the profile of player that suits the model that we have at the moment at the club that can sustain our financial position, and we made three movements in relation to that.

on whether we’re close to signing a goalkeeper…
I cannot tell you, I have no answers to that.

on the number of signings that would make him happy…
That the team puts in place what we’ve been working on and the spirit that they have and the energy that they’ve been training with and in games more consistently, because we’ve had some very good patches against both teams in the last two games against Spurs and Chelsea. It’s how we compete in matches to get the wins, which is the most important things. 

on Joe Willock's situation…
The situation is that he’s our player and we’ve held some conversations because it’s not only about what we want to do, it’s the player’s interest and the role that a player can field in a squad and in a club. What he’s done is put himself in a really strong position where he can choose a little bit with more options of what his future could look like, and this is what we’re trying to define right now.

on whether Willock will be here in September…
I don’t know. In football I’m not going to do that because if not, you will come with the quote that you said at the end of last season, so I would prefer not to answer to that.

on if the transfer window has been underwhelming....
It has been really busy and you've just named a few names but that tells you as well how much we've had to do from the position that we started the window. We are talking about probably the most difficult transfer market in this industry over the last years for sure and we are trying to adapt. The club, the owners and myself, we all have the same interests, which is to make this team much stronger and we know that we still have things to do to get what we want.

on if he still has the time to achieve that...
It is but things take time and there are all the time different parties and different interests there to get deals done. For sure we are trying to do what we can and as important as that is to make sure that the squad is healthy and we have the stability within that squad, which is something that we certainly missed last year after December so that is important as well.

on our transfer activity compared to our traditional rivals...
Absolutely, [fans] need to be excited and they need to see a team that is capable of competing with those teams because our history is related to that. Nobody can deny that. That's the aim and that should be the objective.

on if it is frustrating going into the new season with uncertainty around transfers...
It is how the others develop. It is something at this time that is not possible to do on August 12 but is possible to do on the last day. Whether you are happy bringing the player in or not is more important, with Thomas Partey we managed to do it at the end [of the window] but the difficulty with him is how long he has been injured and only being able to participate because of the impact he would have on the team. That is the disappointing thing.

on if he expects to be busy right up to the deadline...
Anything is possible and there is still a lot of things to be done and a lot of clubs involved and you can see that things have started to move at a different speed in the last week or so. It's been a really difficult transfer window and probably a lot of things will happen in the last week or so.

on if he had to pick one position to fill before the deadline...
No [it would not be the goalkeeper position], I wouldn't say that. It is trying to do what we have to do and it's not about the player or the position it's about where the squad should be finishing. That's what I would pick for the squad, the squad that we're going to have at the end of this transfer window. That is what I would be doing.

on players departing in the window...
I think everything is related to who we bring in, who is out, our capacity to hold foreign players in the squad. There are a lot of question marks still to be resolved. It's still pretty open.

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