Press conference

‘It's how we evolve... there’s great potential'


Mikel Arteta knows that this season’s results have not been good enough, but believes that some key changes will lead to major improvements next term.

With just three games left of the campaign, thoughts have turned to what we may do over the summer - and our manager knows exactly what he wants to see.

“We have made progress in many areas, I would say performance included, and that is supported by many factors that we have looked at,” Arteta said. “Results-wise, to be where we want to be, it has to be improved.

“We have already had an incredible amount of changes at the club over the past year or so, more than ever. We are looking to improve and be much closer than where we are at the moment. In order to do that there are certain things that we have to improve.

“Now it is how we evolve, there are a lot of things that had to be done and they have been done, a lot of changes to make and a lot of them have been made. Now it is time to evolve. To evolve you to have to take things so that when they are a little more settled and established, take them to the next level.

“There's great potential [with the young players], they've shown that this season. They are ready to take responsibility in important moments. They have the level to do it, they have the hunger to do it and they have the right senior players around them to help them as well. It's about how we click and how we are consistent because we've shown that on the day we can compete and beat the top teams but through 38 games, we haven't done it.

“Through the Europa League, we have done it to the point that we are so close to getting to that final, but in 38 games that's the duty that we have and the challenge ahead of us: to compete with the big teams in this league.”

So what can we expect to see in the transfer market this summer?

“There are so many things to do because we already have a lot of players on loan and a lot of players with contracts still that we need to sort,” Arteta said. “It will depend what happens with a lot of those players and what we are able to recruit to improve the team, that is going to determine where we are.

“We've been sitting down the whole year [to make plans]. We've been in constant communication and things will change, some things will stick to the plan that we already had and some other things will come out. But we sit down very, very regularly to talk about those things.”

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