Arteta wants more new faces to get balance right at Arsenal
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says the club must sign more players this summer to find the right squad balance.
Arteta, who was this week promoted from head coach to manager, said Arsenal were still lacking players with the “specific qualities” he needed, despite already signing Willian and Gabriel Magalhaes.
Arsenal are hoping to buy at least one more central midfield player in this window, with Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey and Lyon’s Houssem Aouar two of their more ambitious targets. But the club’s challenging financial situation means they must also look to sell, and Arteta admitted that some positions in his squad were overstaffed.
“We are still active in the market,” Arteta said. “The squad balance is not the ideal we want to achieve, so there is still work to do.
“We have to bear in mind the complication with this transfer market and the complexity and the timing, because you can see that clubs are behaving in many different ways.”
Arsenal have been searching for a buyer for midfielder Matteo Guendouzi and also are set to cash in on Lucas Torreira, who has interest from a number of clubs in Italy. Arteta did suggest, however, that Guendouzi could still have a future at the club. The Frenchman was exiled for bad behaviour last season, but is “training well” now, according to the boss.
Arsenal’s league season begins with a trip to newly-promoted Fulham, where Gabriel and Willian could make their first appearances. Willian has signed a three-year deal after joining from Chelsea on a free transfer and Arteta believes he will provide crucial experience.
“With all the conversations that I had with him, the thing that stood out is his ambition and his willingness to be the man who can drive this club forward,” Arteta said. “He has very special qualities. He has experience in this league.”
Asked if he saw Willian as a winger or a No 10, Arteta said: “We can field him in three or four different positions, depending on the formation that we use.”