Arsenal’s elimination from the Europa League was clearly a tough one to take for Mikel Arteta, the club and its loyal supporters.
Gunners fans globally have been through a terrible year which has culminated in the likelihood that European football will evade Arsenal for the first time in 25 years.
There remains a very slender hope that a European place could be achieved in the league but the odds are stacked against Arsenal who need to win all 4 remaining games and rely upon plenty of points to be dropped by their rivals.
Mikel Arteta took responsibility for the season but hinted towards a major overhaul of the squad being needed in the summer. Describing what is needed as ruthlessness.
“We have not been competing with the top clubs in this country for five years,” he said. “It is not as if this process started six months ago – it started five years ago and you can see this trend. This year is not year one,” he said.
“I think a project has its phases and I am telling you we are in a much better position today to be where we want to be very soon, if we do what we have to do. But we have to be ruthless. There is no time to waste and there is a lot to do.”
European impact on summer signings
Arsenal have been linked to a number of players so far this season but positionally the focus has been on a variety of areas in need of an upgrade.
A report by The Telegraph details the areas of the pitch which Arsenal are looking at.
Depending on outgoings, Arsenal are expected to be on the hunt for two new full-backs, another centre-forward and a central midfield player in the summer window.
Arteta says that teams falling out of Europe have seen turning points in their trajectories as clubs, a clear reference to when Chelsea dropped out of the top 6 and came back very strong to win the title.
“We have some really good examples with teams in this country that have been out of Europe and that was the defining moment in that project, to go on and be much stronger,” said Arteta.
However, what players Arsenal can get differs massively to their west London rivals. Backed by huge investment from their owner, Chelsea added swathes of quality, Arsenal on the other hand have rarely, if at all, seen investment from Stan Kroenke and KSE and relied upon a self sustaining model.
Considering that the Telegraph believes Arsenal are looking to strengthen in both full-back positions, a centre-forward and central midfielder, although an attacking midfielder and goalkeeper will almost certainly be on the agenda too, their targets should still be achievable.
At right back, Arsenal have been linked with the likes of Emerson of Betis and Max Aarons. Both players would be making a ‘step up’ and Betis’ financial situation has seen fellow midfielder Guido Rodriguez also linked with a move to the club.
The Argentine has denied knowing of an impending move however.
“I saw it because friends from Argentina asked me, but I told them that I knew the same as them,” Rodriguez told Estadio Deportivo.
“I am the protagonist because I am in the news but today, I do not know more or less than you who also saw it.
Not denying that a move would interest him however.
This is the case for the players linked in the other key positions too.
Arsenal have the benefit of being a Premier League side of historic merit and with the potential to reach Champions League football in the coming years should things turn around.
High wages and London location also are a factor to consider. Granted, competing against their fellow EPL sides who have European football may be trickier but the acquisition of Thomas Partey last summer should encourage those that big moves can still happen.
The biggest question will be on the coach though. With the backing supposedly given to Arteta for the summer, can he identify the right targets and move on the deadwood with Technical Director Edu and incoming Director of Football Operations Richard Garlick to assist?
Arsenal woesArsenal’s elimination from the Europa League was clearly a tough one to take for Mikel Arteta, the club and its loyal supporters.Gunners fans globally have been through a terrible year which has culminated in the likelihood that European football will evade Arsenal for the first time in 25 years.There remains a very slender hopeFootball (soccer) greatest goals and highlights | 101 Great Goals – Feed