The manager of Arsenal football club, coach Mikel Arteta has insisted that the Premier League club is still very attractive to the best players in the world despite not playing in a European club competition.
The coach stressed that all the players he has spoken to about the possibility of joining Arsenal, are always interested in joining the London based club.
Recall that since 2016, Arsenal have not been able to qualify for the UEFA Champions League which used to be almost like a birthright for the London side.
The only European club competition that they have qualified for since the 2016-2017 season is the UEFA Europa League. But last season, it got so bad for coach Mikel Arteta and his boys that they could not finish at any spot close to a European spot.
But this season has been a bit different for Arsenal as Mikel Arteta has been able to find a way to make his team more productive in terms of recording results in the Premier League.
So far this season, coach Mikel Arteta and his boys have recorded 7 defeats, two draws, and 11 wins in 20 Premier League games. They are currently sitting on the 4th spot with 35 points, a point behind 5th placed West Ham United, two points above 6th placed Tottenham Hotspur with two games in hands, and three points above 7th placed Manchester United with a game in hand.
Hence, Arsenal are still not sure of securing a top-four finish which could be a problem for the club in the January transfer market and subsequent transfer windows.
Since the January transfer window opened, Arsenal are yet to sign any player. However, reports claimed that Arsenal’s priority is to sign Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic.
However, the 21-year-old Serbian striker who has scored 18 goals and provided 3 assists in 22 games so far this season reportedly said he can only leave Fiorentina for a club that plays in the Champions League.
On the contrary, coach Mikel Arteta said during the pre-match press conference for the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Liverpool, that the best stars still want to play for the club. He however failed to give an update concerning Arsenal’s interest in Dusan Vlahovic.
The coach said: “Historically, this club has been targeting the best players in the world and the best players in the world were always interested to come here.
“I consider that situation hasn’t changed. That is one of our biggest powers.
“Every time I have spoken to any player they were so willing to come, I have not faced any other situation.
“Our capacity to get the attention of people to come to our club is something that is a big advantage for us.”
On the other hand, Mikel Arteta insisted that the club’s striker Eddie Nketiah who has less than a season left on his contract with Arsenal would stay at the club beyond next summer.
Nketiah’s contract will expire on June 30, 2022, and he has not reached an agreement with Arsenal for the contract to be extended. Hence, Bayer Leverkusen and Crystal Palace have shown interest in the striker.
But coach Arteta said: “The situation is that Eddie is our player and he is going to stay here with us…
“He is our player and he is under contract, so he will stay with us.”
🗣 "Eddie [Nketiah] is our player and is going to stay here with us."— Football Daily (@footballdaily) January 12, 2022
Mikel Arteta confirms Eddie Nketiah won't be leaving Arsenal in this transfer window pic.twitter.com/b5OXieSdYQ