Mikel Arteta expects 'changes' at Arsenal this summer after disappointing season

Gunners set to miss out on European football for the first time in 25 years

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during the Premier League win over West Brom. Reuters
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during the Premier League win over West Brom. Reuters

Mikel Arteta has said he expects there to be plenty of changes at Arsenal this summer as the Premier League club looks to bounce back from a disappointing season.

Arsenal were knocked out of the Europa League last week and are ninth in the Premier League ahead of their clash at third-placed Chelsea on Wednesday, facing the prospect of no European football for the first time in 25 years.

The Gunners have fared no better in the domestic cups, with a fourth round exit in the FA Cup, to Southampton, and a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City in the League Cup quarter-finals.

Arteta said that the club will also have to resolve the futures of several of their current players.

"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," Arteta told reporters.

"It'll depend what happens with a lot of those players and what we're able to recruit to improve the team, that's going to determine where we are.

"We've been sitting down the whole year ... been in constant communication and things will change, some things will stick to the plan we already had and some other things will come out. But we sit down very regularly to talk about those things."

Arteta said he hoped they will not have to pay off contracts in the close season to trim their squad. Arsenal endured expensive terminations of contracts for players who were left out of squad lists this season, including Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Mesut Ozil.

They also mutually terminated the contract of defender Shkodran Mustafi.

"I don't know where the summer will take us. I think every situation will be different and hopefully we're not in that position anymore," Arteta said.

Amid a predominantly bleak season, a number of Arsenal's young players have shone. Bukayo Saka has emerged as one of the most exciting talents in the Premier League, while Emile Smith Rowe has seized his chance in the first team with a string of impressive performances. Meanwhile, the likes of Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, and Reiss Nelson have shown promise, and Arteta believes Arsenal have a bright future as long as he can find the right balance in the squad.

"There's great potential with them ... They're ready to take responsibility in important moments," he said. "They have the level to do it, the hunger to do it and the right senior players around them to help as well. It's about how we click, how we're consistent."

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Published: May 11, 2021 03:46 PM

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