London (AFP) – Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said on Thursday it is the club’s job to make the fans excited for the new Premier League season despite not having the spending power of the favourites to win the title.
The Gunners have failed to qualify for the Champions League for the past five seasons, finishing down in eighth in both of Arteta’s campaigns in charge.
That has been reflected in the transfer market with Arsenal unable to match the £100 million ($117 million) splurges made by Manchester City and Manchester United, while Chelsea look set to add Romelu Lukaku for a club record £97 million.
Arteta has already bolstered his squad with the £50 million signing of centre-back Ben White, midfielder Albert Lokonga from Anderlecht and Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares.
“In this first period of the transfer window I think we’ve done a few things we wanted to do and it’s going to help us to get the squad in a much better place,” Arteta said ahead of his side’s season opener away to newly-promoted Brentford on Friday.
“We defined the profile of player that suits the model that we have at the moment at the club that can sustain our financial position, and we made three movements in relation to that.”
Attempts to add a creative midfielder have so far proved fruitless despite links with James Maddison, Martin Odegaard and Houssem Aouar, while talks with Sheffield United to sign goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale have reportedly broken down.
But Arteta is still hopeful of further additions before the end of the month to excite fans ahead of their return to the Emirates.
“Fans need to be excited and they need to see a team that is capable of competing with those teams because our history is related to that,” he added.
“Nobody can deny that. That’s the aim and that should be the objective.
“It is something at this time that is not possible to do on August 12 but is possible to do on the last day (of the window).”
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