Mikel Arteta’s three priorities as Arsenal boss raises concerns over summer transfer plans

Arsenal: Arteta gives honest assessment of progress

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After a season in which Arsenal have struggled desperately, so much so that they are highly unlikely to qualify for a European competition, the Gunners need to reset. The appointment of Mikel Arteta was hailed 18 months ago, but now the Spaniard’s management is being questioned by fans and pundits.

If he is to turn things around at Arsenal next season, this summer is going to be critical to his future plans.

With several players out of contract and some big-money signings not working out as he would have hoped, Arteta will have some big decisions to make.

The Spanish boss will have three main priorities this summer, particularly around the make-up of his squad.

The first priority is deciding what to do with the players who will be out of contract this summer, as well as those who’s loan deals with the club expire.

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Some decisions would appear to be simple, such as releasing David Luiz, while others, such as whether to make a permanent move for Dani Ceballos, appear more complex.

Arteta himself sees sorting the future of those set to leave the Emirates Stadium as being one of the most important things for the summer.

“We are looking to improve and be much closer than where we are at the moment. In order to do that there are certain things that we have to improve,” he said.

“There are so many things to do because we already have a lot of players on loan and a lot of players with contracts still that we need to sort.

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“It will depend what happens with a lot of those players and what we are able to recruit to improve the team, that is going to determine where we are.”

The next priority facing Arteta is evaluating his methods, with some aspects of his management style clearly not having the desired effect.

The Spaniard has given a hint that there could be changes on the horizon at the Gunners.

“Now it is time to evolve. To evolve you to have to take things so that when they are a little more settled and established, take them to the next level,” he said.

One of the few bright spots of Arsenal’s season has been the emergence of Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka.

Arteta’s final priority appears to be deciding on how to build around them next season, with the Gunners boss hinting those two players will be at the heart of his team going forward.

“There’s great potential with them, they’ve shown that this season. They are ready to take responsibility in important moments,” he said.

“They have the level to do it, they have the hunger to do it and they have the right senior players around them to help them as well.”
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