Mikel Arteta speaks out on Arsenal’s search for a striker and summer transfer business



Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is anticipating a busy summer transfer window (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal are looking to ‘improve in every possible department’ and the club’s transfer activity is likely to ‘pick up a little bit’ once Euro 2024 and the Copa America are done and dusted.

Arsenal have been linked with high-profile players in practically every area of the pitch this summer but are yet to make any additions to the first-team squad, three weeks after the transfer window opened for business.

However, it’s understood work is underway behind the scenes to bolster Arteta’s options, with the Gunners determined to strengthen and freshen up after going another season without any major silverware last term.

Recent reports claimed Arsenal are concentrating their efforts on bringing in midfield reinforcements to provide competition and support for the likes of Declan Rice, Jorginho, Martin Odegaard and Thomas Partey in Arteta’s engine room.

The north London giants are also on the hunt for a centre-forward and have been credited with an interest in a host of highly rated strikers, including Sporting’s Viktor Gyokeres, Newcastle’s Alexander Isak and Napoli’s Victor Osimhen.

Left-back is another area of focus for Arsenal, with Oleksandr Zinchenko enduring a difficult second season at the Emirates and Kieran Tierney likely to leave on a permanent basis after his Real Sociedad loan move.

Asked whether Arsenal were looking for an attacking player this summer, Arteta told ESPN: ‘We are looking to improve in every possible department.

‘With the new regulations, there are certain things we have to respect and be conscious of and then obviously the Euros and Copa America are slowing everything down.

‘Hopefully now it is going to pick up a little bit.’

Edu and Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta
The Gunners pushed Manchester City to the final day of the season in the Premier League last term (Picture: Getty)

Arteta believes the current transfer market is ‘tricky’ for all clubs to navigate but the Spaniard is hopeful Arsenal will be able to achieve their objectives and agree deals ‘at the right time’.

Asked how active he expects Arsenal to be this summer, Arteta replied: ‘I think both ways [players coming in and going out of the club].

‘There are things that we have to improve, that’s for sure and we are going to try to. But the market is tricky.

‘We have been very aggressive, we are very determined and we have a clear idea obviously of what we want to do.

‘It will come down to finding the right agreements at the right time.’

Alexander Isak
Arsenal have been credited with a strong interest in Newcastle striker Isak (Picture: Getty)

On the potential difficulties of reintegrating players after summer’s international tournaments, the Arsenal manager added: ‘I think we’ve done a lot of planning with what we believe is the best plan for them and the best preparation to be fully ready when the whistle goes on the first day at the Emirates against Wolves.

‘We are going to have to tweak things for sure and adapt because players are going to come in at stages at the moment which are a bit uncertain, physically, mentally.

‘But if you think the players are always connected, they are willing to come back, excited for the new season and when you have that feeling I think something positive will happen again.’

Wolves
Arsenal open their 2024/25 campaign against Wolves at the Emirates (Picture: Getty)

After a painful finish in the Premier League last season, Arteta is looking forward to getting Arsenal’s title challenge underway again, starting with a ‘special’ opening match at home to Wolves.

‘I like playing the first game at home, that’s for sure. I think everybody is looking forward to that,’ he continued.

‘It is going to be a special day in the new season, starting with that level of energy and expectations. Obviously we are going to be very well prepared for that one.

‘Then in the Premier League you have to play against everybody. It looks tough but if you put it in any other way, it looks tough as well.

‘We are going to have to go through that. We have to be prepared because [the games are] going to come very thick and fast.’

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