Arsenal press conference live: Mikel Arteta on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, transfers and Fulham
Live coverage of Mikel Arteta's pre-match press conference for the Gunners' Premier League opener vs Fulham
The Gunners' campaign officially began with their Community Shield victory over Liverpool at Wembley on August 29, but now Arteta and his side will embark on their first full season together.
Leading up to the game, the Spaniard received a promotion in regard to his job title. First appointed as head coach in December, his title now stands as 'first team manager' as he continues to work on developing the squad further with technical director Edu.
In more off-pitch news, Vinai Venkatesham has also become the club's chief executive.
As well as having a focus on newly-promoted Fulham, Arteta is expected to be quizzed on the status of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's contract. The 31-year-old is expected to sign a new three-year deal with the club with his current contract expiring next summer.
The manager is also likely to be asked about signings Arsenal could potentially make in the latter stages of the transfer window. Deadline day stands at October 6 with Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar emerging as top priorities in midfield.
Arteta on his players
“They want more, they are not satisfied. What we done doesn’t count for anything, it gives us confidence but this is a new competition.
“There’s a reason we were out of the Champions League spots.”
“Matteo’s been training like any other player in the squad. We had some really positive conversations, he’s been training well. He played really well with France.
”I’m not going to discuss what happened internally.”
On transfer plans
“We’re still active in the market. Active in players in and out, the squad balance is not what we want.
“We have to bare in mind the timings because clubs are acting in different ways. Number-wise, some positions are overbooked.
“Some positions, the specific qualities are still not there. It’ll be hard to do it in one window. It’s a constant evolution. You need a clear direction of what you want to achieve.”
On Lacazette's future
“He’s really happy here. He wants to keep contributing to the team. He knows about the competition with the strikers here. The way he’s been training has been excellent.
“I think he’s very happy here.”
Leno or Martinez to start?
“I don’t treat the goalkeeping position differently to any others. Whoever trains better starts. The other one [has] to push him as they did last season.”
Arteta on Ljungberg leaving
“The situation with Freddie was clear about his ambition. He was very important, that left a gap. I had people in mind before I joined that I couldn’t bring in to improve key areas so that’s why.”
On Martinez to Villa speculation
“I cannot stop speculation. I don’t want to comment on any individuals without having the right answers.”
“All the players we have available will be treated the same way. They all put maximum effort in training and this is what I expect.”
On Martinez, Ozil and Guendouzi
“It’s very difficult to promise game time and it’s part of this period in the market.”
On Aubameyang's contract
“I can say I’m even more confident that at the end of last season. I’m really optimistic.”
On facing Fulham
“The team is a good reflection of the coach. A very thorough person, the way they got promoted was really good. We know it’s a typical, tight stadium, it will be tough.”
On whether Willian and Gabriel could be involved
“They are adapting quickly, really good energy from both. [Gabriel] has huge potential to be influential for us.”
Arteta on injuries
Arteta confirmed that Luiz and Sokratis will miss out.
“We have a few issues, that’s normal. It’s not ideal to have key players out but we have enough players and we will put the best plan to win.”
Arteta on Arsenal transfer plans
Mikel Arteta has spoken about Arsenal’s reported interest in Houssem Aouar.
Arteta on his new role
“My title has changed but I’m just here to do my job. It’s nice to be recognised by the club but I just want to help the club do the right things and be the most successful in the country.”
Lyon chief provides Aouar update
Arsenal are in talks over the signing of Houssem Aouar, but they have been dealt a setback, according to a Lyon chief.
Lyon sporting director Juninho has confirmed he has spoken to his Arsenal counterpart Edu, but the most recent discussions broke down due to the player the Gunners offered in exchange.
Arsenal made a player-plus-cash deal involving unwanted midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, but Lyon were having none of it.
“I get on very well with the Sporting Director (Edu),” Juninho told RMC Sport. “We spoke on the phone. Houssem Aouar is really well liked by Arteta.”
Elsewhere, it has been reported that Emiliano Martinez has already agreed personal terms with Aston Villa worth £60k-a-week ahead of a proposed £20m move.
According to the Independent, the Gunners have offered the Argentine stopper a significantly improved deal as they look to keep him at the club, where they want him to compete with Bernd Leno for the number one spot.
However, Martinez is seeking first-team assurances which have not been forthcoming and, with it stated Leno will make his return in tomorrow’s clash with Fulham, Arsenal are reluctantly set to agree to a sale.
Edu on Arsenal's transfer blueprint
Edu also spoke to James Benge about how Arsenal are approaching the rest of the transfer window.
Edu on Ozil
Now that all the injury madness is out the way, here's some more from James Benge's chat with Edu yesterday.
He touched on why Mesut Ozil hasn't featured under Mikel Arteta recently and whether he can work his way back into the side.
Full injury story
More injury updates
- David Luiz to miss Fulham [neck spasm]
- Emile Smith Rowe to be back in full training soon after having sling removed from a shoulder injury next week
- Sokratis to miss Fulham [calf strain].
This summer has seen a lot of change in regard to the structure at Arsenal. The latest change has come in the change of Mikel Arteta's job title from head coach to first team manager.
James Benge had the chance to discuss these changes with Edu and Vinai Venkatesham to get a deeper understanding for the reasons behind the change.
Some fresh injury news from Arsenal this morning regarding Pablo Mari and Gabriel Martinelli.
- Mari is back running outside and aiming for an end of September return to full training.
- Martinelli is back from Brazil focusing on strengthening and recovery for the end of the calendar year.