Press conference

Emery on Angers, Pepe, Koscielny and transfers

Unai Emery during our friendly against Angers

Unai Emery was asked about a number of topics following our pre-season match in Angers on Wednesday night.

Our head coach fielded questions surrounding transfer speculation, what pleased him about his side’s performance, former Gunner Jeff Reine-Adelaide, and Laurent Koscielny.

Here’s how he answered:

on the game…
Good evening. We are going to play the first match away against Newcastle, and tonight was a similar performance against that sort of opposition Angers, and also they were giving everything in their performance against us for their supporters. There were two very different halves. The first half they started harder than us and they scored. We didn't control the game like we wanted. In the second half we became better to control the game, with the ball and having more chances to score. I think from the second half we deserved a better result. But the most important thing today was to work well physically and with different players. Also today the young players took some minutes, knowing we needed a performance against a difficult team here away. Little by little we are closer to starting the first game against Newcastle. We are working and preparing the team with different players and above all we are going to progress, finding our first idea with the players, and above all every player can be ready to player and be ready for the season.

on how Nicolas Pepe could fit in…
He played here in Angers a few years ago, and then in Lille. He has progressed as a player. We are speaking about a lot of players, we want to select on players who can really help us, give us big performances and improve our squad. We have different options. This one at the moment is not closed, but he is one we are following.

on whether he can play with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang…
Yes first because he is left footed. We have a left footer in Bukayo, a young player who has a big future for us. For example on the winger one left-footed player can play on one side or the other. It can give us different options.

on how good the strikeforce will be…
No deal is official now, and I will only speak in the next hours or days if it can be official for us.

on whether there will be more spending…
We are working on the possibilities to sign players. We signed Ceballos, and we have a possibility with Pepe. We are looking for the possibility to improve, but only if we can take more steps in the squad. Our target is to sign another player if he can really, really improve us. Our target is continuing to sign another player if we can.

on Jeff Reine-Adelaide…
Very good player, he is playing very well here in Angers. I knew him last season with us in pre-season, but then he signed here, I said to him congratulations, because he was doing well for France Under-21s.

on Laurent Koscielny…
He's a very important player for us. We are speaking with him and with the team, about my responsibilities, the club's responsibility and his responsibility. With respect it's better for us, it's better for the team, and it's changing our idea with the centre back, because if he is here with us this season, it's very different than if he isn’t with us. At the moment it's a very personal decision, and we are respecting that. I am speaking with him and we are going to find the best solution, but overall we need a player like him. We want to be strong in our defensive line, working with the players we have now. We are speaking about the centre backs, but we have a lot of centre backs, we have good centre backs, and if we can sign one more centre back, it is because he is clearly better than we have. Because at the moment we have six. We are in different positions with some players because Mavropanos has his injury and we are continuing to see that situation. We have until August 8, and we need to speak over these few days about how we can be, and how we can close our squad.

on whether he will let him leave if he signs a centre back…
Now it is between the club and him. I fight to convince him, but I respect his decision, a very personal decision, and that situation can only manage with one argument. I haven’t lost my hope that he will be with us next year. But at the moment his decision is to leave and we are also thinking if we can improve with other players and how we can help with him.