Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has admitted that the club must be smart in the transfer window, with a busy summer lying in wait for the Gunners.
The north London side spent more than £150m on six players last summer but it remains evident that Arsenal still need some effective signings to make in the summer window.
Arsenal have disappointed in the current campaign and their fate is no longer in their hands. The Gunners need to beat Everton and hope that relegated Norwich beat Tottenham on Sunday. Otherwise, it would be six consecutive seasons without Champions League football.
A host of players on the transfer market are in search of Champions League football and Mikel Arteta admits that the club must employ a smart approach in their transfer dealings.
“We are going to have certain resources, not unlimited resources, some resources,” he said in a press conference on Friday. “And with our resources we have to play and do what we have to do in the best possible way. We don’t know what the rest are going to have in terms of resources, which I’m assuming is going to be challenging because now it’s not a top three or top four league. Now it is a top eight or 10 teams that are involved. That’s why we have to find a way to do again what we did last summer.”
“Everything that we did do, was trying to reach the objectives that we had after January – which was to try to be challenging the top four, and the way we were going to do it,” he added.
Arsenal failed to land Dusan Vlahovic in the January window, with the Serbian eventually joining Juventus. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also left for Barcelona in January, leaving Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah as the only senior forwards at the club.
Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette could yet leave in the summer, meaning there could indeed be a need for a forward. It is perhaps no surprise that Arsenal have been linked with Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus. The Gunners will also need to sign a central midfielder, as well as full-backs and centre-backs to bolster his backline.
Arsenal’s summer budget is not yet exactly known but Arteta already has an idea of what could be spent in terms of resources.
“It’s not only about that amount,” he said. “If you see the wage (bill) that we have and we had, it’s night and day. So it’s not only about spending, it’s about what you have sold. We had 28 players and we ended up with 19 in the squad, so it’s about the total expenditure. Because if not that figure is irrelevant. Because what is the total annual cost of the squad you are building?”