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Arteta hopes signings will shape Arsenal future




Mikel Arteta tells Sky Sports why Arsenal have targeted young players this summer and how he hopes to help Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rediscover his form.
It is Friday morning at Arsenal's London Colney headquarters and Mikel Arteta has just spent half an hour fielding questions on everything from the Covid outbreak that threw his opening-day plans into turmoil to the critics trying to "bury" him and his side.

The fallout from Arsenal's 2-0 loss to Brentford has been intense but Arteta is defiant. The response among his players has been "incredible", he says in his press conference. Sunday's clash with Chelsea is described as an opportunity to change the mood.

If Arteta is feeling the pressure, he is not showing it. "I just have enthusiasm, passion and a will to work, to make this project a magnificent project," he tells Sky Sports with a smile. "That's my responsibility, that's why I'm here, and that's what I enjoy doing."


Defeat by Brentford was a setback but Arteta's belief in what he is trying to achieve at Arsenal is as strong as ever - "from day one to today, there is no difference," he says - and so too is his determination to set the club up for long-term success.

It can be seen in their recent transfer dealings. Only an hour before this interview, Arsenal confirmed the permanent signing of Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid. The subsequent arrival of goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale pushes their spending north of £125m.

Odegaard and Ramsdale follow Ben White, Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga through the door this summer and one similarity stands out: they are all aged 23 or under.




Arteta raves about Ramsdale's "huge, huge" potential. He talks of Odegaard's "immense" capacity for improvement. The focus on youth has lowered the average age of the squad dramatically. The hope is that the new recruits will blossom in Arsenal colours.

It is a strategy designed with the future in mind.

"We have to be sustainable," says Arteta. "We have to perform now and we also need a plan for the medium and the long term.

It is a strategy designed with the future in mind.

"We have to be sustainable," says Arteta. "We have to perform now and we also need a plan for the medium and the long term.

Arteta knows a second consecutive defeat would ramp up the pressure but he is unfazed by the criticism he and his side have faced lately and remains adamant, after a summer of investment in the club's future, that his Arsenal project is heading in a positive direction.

"It's a beautiful challenge and we have to face it," he says. "We know the competition that we have in this league and we know what the expectations are. Let's go for it."

Watch Arsenal vs Chelsea live on Sky Sports Premier League from 4pm on Super Sunday; kick-off 4.30pm.


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