Arsenal have one of the thinnest squads in the Premier League but, ahead of the game against Brighton on Saturday, Mikel Arteta revealed something of his summer plans.

mikel arteta motm
Mikel Arteta wins Manager of the Month award for March (via Arsenal)

All being well, Arsenal will return to European competition next season.

We don’t know if it will be Champions League, Europa League, or even Europa League conference, but barring a spectacular collapse, one of those seems probable.

Of course, that means Arsenal navigating the remainder of the season with a light squad, that just got even lighter with the loss of Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey.

At present, Arsenal have a total of 18 senior outfield players and three goalkeepers.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal embraces Martin Odegaard of Arsenal following victory in the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on March 13, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 13: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal embraces Martin Odegaard of Arsenal following victory in the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on March 13, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta, however, would like to have a first team squad of 22 outfield players for Arsenal’s return to Europe, meaning he will be targeting an extra four players, in addition to replacing those who leave this summer.

“Both competitions [the Champions League and Europa League] require a much larger squad because the number of games you play is much bigger, so I don’t think it makes a lot of difference [which competition Arsenal qualify for],” Arteta told reporters.

“If you can afford it, and we don’t have to do the turnaround in the squad that we’ve had to do, if you ask me what I want it’s 22 outfield players and three goalkeepers.”

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.