Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal have an opportunity to add real quality to the squad this summer, prioritising a goal threat.
Speaking to the media ahead of Arsenal’s weekend clash with Watford, Mikel Arteta answered a question about how this summer’s transfer window compares to the last one in terms of its importance.
“More important,” Arteta said. “I think now is the moment we have to go to a different level. We have been able to get the squad balance in a much better shape.
“Financially, we are in a much more stable position with the money we have spent on certain players touching the pitch for a certain amount of minutes. That balance is much better spread out across the squad.
“And now is the moment to raise the quality.”
We already know that Arsenal will be looking at bringing in a striker or two in the summer.
You only have to take one look at the squad to see that, with Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah’s contracts expiring and Folarin Balogun set to be the only player you could realistically call a “senior striker” with a deal beyond June.
As for the kind of forward Arteta is looking for, he says he’s prioritising a goalscorer.
“He puts the ball in the net, that’s priority number one,” Arteta joked. “Goal threat. Any successful team needs enough goal threat in the squad. Without it, you have nothing.
“You can play good football but you need enough goal threat in the team.
“The other thing is that he has to complement the other people we have, personally and on the pitch, and for that, we need the right profile.”
There’s a lot of pressure on Arsenal to do good business in the summer window, but that’s only because it’s a real opportunity for the team to push on and reach a new level.
The stakes are high because if everything goes right over the next six months, Arsenal could be back in the Champions League with a team that is capable of competing with other top sides.
At the same time, it’s still very possible they fail to make the top four or fail to land their targets and go into next season weaker than they are now. There’s a lot of work still to do.