Home Premier League Mikel Arteta spells out Arsenal transfer criteria as spending spree continues

Mikel Arteta spells out Arsenal transfer criteria as spending spree continues

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has used new signing Nuno Tavares as an example of the deals the club are looking for in the transfer market.

Portuguese left-back Tavares, 21, signed for the Gunners earlier this month in a £7m deal from Benfica.

Belgian midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga, also 21, followed suit on Monday when he penned a long-term deal in North London after departing Anderlecht in an £18m deal.

Arsenal have been linked with a host of other players, with both Arteta and technical director Edu recognising that the squad needs reshaping in order to progress from last year’s disappointing eighth-place finish.

The majority of the players linked with the club, including Ben White, Hassem Aouar and Martin Odegaard, are under the age of 23.

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Arteta was discussing Tavares’ after he found the net in Arsenal’s 2-2 friendly draw with Rangers when he described the young full-back as ‘the right profile for what we’re building’.

“We wanted to have more strength and specific qualities in the left-back position,” Arteta told Arsenal Media.

“We identified Nuno a while ago.

“To be fair to the scouting department, they have done brilliantly to identify a talent with the qualities that we required, at the age we required and financially it was something we can afford.”

White’s £50m arrival from Brighton is thought to be imminent, with the 23-year-old set to boost a defence which conceded just 39 goals last year – the third-best in the Premier League only behind Chelsea (36) and champions Manchester City (32).

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Despite targeting further deals for young players such as Tavares and Lokonga, Arteta has hailed the importance of his more experienced players whilst stressing the importance of having a ‘good mixture’ in the squad.

“We need some senior players, players with different types of leadership in the team, with different qualities, people that complement each other.

“At the end of the day, it is about the cohesion of the team so we need a squad that is cohesive that can develop and adapt, that offers different qualities to change games, protect games when we need to and this is what we are trying to build.”

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One area where Arteta does crave more experience is in midfield, with Lokonga not expected to be first choice alongside Thomas Partey this season.

Brighton ‘s Yves Bissouma and Wolves Ruben Neves are two of the names who keep cropping up – although both are only 24, both have Premier League experience which is a big plus.

Manuel Locatelli, one of the stars of Italy’s triumphant Euros campaign, is another player who Arsenal are reported to have an interest in.

However, it’s believed that the 23-year-old Sassuolo midfield maestro would prefer to stay in Italy by switching to Juventus rather than the Emirates.

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