Mikel Arteta praises Arsenal for adapting to secure victory against FC Zurich
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Arsenal remain interested in signing Villarreal forward Alex Baena, though face stiff competition from their Premier League rivals. Mikel Arteta is desperate to add depth to his frontline in order to retain their spot at the top of the table.
The Gunners are enjoying a terrific start to the season, with Arteta reaping the benefits of the immense spending power he has been granted over the past few seasons to reshuffle his squad. The arrivals of Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus have had an instant impact at the Emirates Stadium, lifting the overall quality of the squad.
With Liverpool struggling, Arsenal now look the likeliest candidates to push Manchester City for the title, though they will need depth to do so. The Gunners were keen to sign a winger late in the summer but were unable to bring one in, though Edu has not thrown his shortlist of potential incomings out of the window.
According to Ekrem Konur, the Gunners remain keen on winger Baena and are ‘monitoring his situation’. The 21-year-old has scored four goals in 11 La Liga appearances so far this season, also scoring four in five Europa Conference League starts.
Baena reportedly has a £30million release clause in his contract, which could prove terrific value given that the Spanish prospect is cited as one of the top young talents in the La Liga. Manchester City and Liverpool were also interested in the Villarreal academy product, with Aston Villa now also emerging as interested.
The Villa Park outfit managed to prise Unai Emery away from Villarreal recently after the sacking of Steven Gerrard, and the former Arsenal boss evidently was impressed with the forward from this time at the club. Villa’s financial situation also means that £30m is certainly a price tag that is not out of their reach.
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Given that Baena can be purchased by simply activating the release clause in his contract, Arsenal will need to be quick on their feet to acquire the services of their long-term target. Arteta recently spoke of his hopes for the January transfer window earlier this week, saying: “First of all because we know the January window, how special it is, the opportunities that you have, the short window that you have.
“Once you get the player they are straight away competing, so there is not an adaption process. And obviously, with the position that we are in right now as well, it demands, as well, another level of player – and that player has to be available. We will look at everything and let’s see what we can do.”
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