Premier League: Emery expects further Arsenal departures

Arsenal's recruitment team was busy in the close season and the club is expecting to see a few more faces leave in the next three weeks.

Unai Emery is set for a second season in charge at Arsenal.   -  Getty Images

Unai Emery expects more players to follow Laurent Koscielny and Alex Iwobi out of the Arsenal exit before the European transfer windows close.

Arsenal had a busy close season before the English transfer window finished on Thursday, strengthening with the arrivals of Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos, Gabriel Martinelli, Kieran Tierney and David Luiz, the latter two signing on deadline day.

READ | Deadline Day review: Arsenal gets Tierney and David Luiz, Iwobi moves to Everton

Many more players left the club, however, with Petr Cech retiring, Danny Welbeck, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Aaron Ramsey departing on free transfers, and Carl Jenkinson, Koscielny and Iwobi sealing moves.

Mohamed Elneny and the much-maligned Shkodran Mustafi have reportedly been made available for transfers, and while Emery did not mention any names, he does expect more players to leave for overseas clubs.

"We were changing players at the last moment," he said of Arsenal's deadline day deals. "We had with Laurent Koscielny the first captain, but just five days ago he left. Other players came in, we finished our market, but it is at the moment open in other countries.

"In the next 20-25 days some players will leave. It's the reason, I want to close [complete] our squad, clearly."

The signing of David Luiz from Premier League rival Chelsea came as a surprise to many, but after the experienced Koscielny departed, Emery is adamant the Brazilian is an important addition.

"We worked together for two months at PSG," Emery said of David Luiz. "After three matches [at PSG], the club and he decided to sign for Chelsea. He's a big opportunity for us, he decided to join Arsenal. He wants to do something important with us.

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"He has experience, quality in build-up, he is a good defender and he is coming here to help us with his capacity and quality."

Arsenal broke its club-record to bring in Nicolas Pepe from Lille. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

 

Pepe, Lacazette not fit to start against Newcastle

"We played progressively in pre-season, including some players later," said Emery. "We are going to start on Sunday with the players I am very, very convinced are 100 per cent [fit].

"For some players it's impossible to achieve that performance for us because they arrived later, they're starting training with us after one injury. Lacazette, for example, he started training with us yesterday [Thursday].

"For Sunday, I don't know now [whether Lacazette will be fit], tomorrow [Saturday] we will check.

"The same with Pepe, he is working and training with us for a week. Progressively I want them to feel good with their partners, with their coaches, with us."