What Mikel Arteta said when asked about Arsenal transfer plans for January window

Posted Saturday, December 21, 2019 by Express.co.uk

What Mikel Arteta said when asked about Arsenal transfer plans for January window
What Mikel Arteta said when asked about Arsenal transfer plans for January window (Image: GETTY)

Mikel Arteta was asked about his plans for the January transfer window in his first press conference as Arsenal manager.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insists he has not discussed incomings or outgoings with the club’s hierarchy yet, after being announced as the club’s new manager. The Spaniard officially replaced compatriot Unai Emery on Friday after Freddie Ljungberg stepped in as interim head coach for three weeks.

Arteta has signed a three-and-a-half year contract to return to the club where he spent five years as a player and retired in 2016.

He inherits an ailing Gunners squad who sit 10th in the Premier League after 17 matches and who have won just one of their last 12 matches across all competitions.

Major questions have been asked of late of the state of the Arsenal squad, but Arteta says he is yet to discuss whether or not the north London outfit will overhaul the team in winter.

“We haven’t discussed the transfer windows,” Arteta said when asked about his plans for the winter window.

“Obviously there are a lot of conversations to have around that.

“I’m only concerned about trying to win football games right now and finding a way to improve little things that bring them confidence to step on that football pitch and do better than what they’ve been doing.”

Arsenal are likely to be restricted financially even if Arteta does opt to make signings in the winter window, former manager Emery having only been allowed to sign Denis Suarez on loan.

In the summer, Emery also had to be stringent with the purse strings and only struck a deal for £72million club-record addition Nicolas Pepe because Lille were happy to accept the fee in instalments across five years.

Instead, Arteta's immediate priority will be to make the most of what he has - and he is keen to change the negative atmosphere that has immersed the Emirates Stadium of late.

"First thing to do is change the energy. Last week I was here with Manchester City and I was a little down after the game," he said.

"We have to try to engage everyone. We have to convince the players of what I want and how I want to do it. They have to accept a different way of thinking.

"I want to get all the staff with the same mindset. We have to build a culture to sustain the rest. After that we can talk about other things.

"We need to start winning games and raising the level of confidence of the players.

"Finally we need to engage the fans anad transmit with our behaviours our intentions of what we want to bring. We have to plug these things together. There is so much to do, I’m so excited."

But the 37-year-old insists he is yet to set any objectives as Arsenal seek to avoid a fourth straight season outside of the Champions League by clinching a top-four spot.

"To set targets at the moment isn’t what I would like to do. I’d like to take it day by day," he said.

"The ambiton of this club is clear – you have to be in Europe and fight for trophies. The rest is not good enough.

"Now to talk about this is a little bitt far. I’d like to talk about what we’ll do tomorrow."

And having spent five seasons at the club as a player, retiring at the Emirates in 2016, Arteta admits the offer was too good to turn down.

The former Spain international had a cushy job as Pep Guardiola's right-hand man at Premier League champions Manchester City before the call of the Arsenal board.

He admitted: "Sometimes in this industry you can have a plan and an idea of how to develop. And then emotions get involved.

"When Arsenal knock the door, and it touches my heart, it makes it very difficult [to say no].

"It was a very difficult decision. But I felt the club needed someone to appoint. They were so convinced they wanted me that I said I have to take the challenge."

Arteta's first game will be against another of his old clubs, Everton, tomorrow. He will however be in the stands rather than on the touchline with Ljungberg overseeing his final match in charge.

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