Arsenal must make smart decisions in the close-season transfer window so it can once again compete for the Premier League next season, manager Mikel Arteta said on Friday.
Arsenal topped the table for much of this season but collapsed in the last two months as Manchester City won the title with three games to spare after an incredible run.
While Arteta had a capable first-choice line-up, long-term injuries to key players -- such as William Saliba -- exposed their lack of squad depth.
“We have to nail everything we do (in the transfer market). Seek for excellence in everything we touch and participate,” Arteta told reporters ahead of Sunday’s home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
“We are looking for people who can have a big impact at the club. The competition will be even harder next season. This season was the hardest in my 22 years.
“In order to do that, we have a promising plan to reflect, take a step back, make sure this is the right one, and go again with more determination and hunger in our tummies to go again.”
Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka, who scored 14 goals and registered 11 assists in all competitions for the North London club this season, signed a contract extension until 2027 on Tuesday.
Arteta described Saka as a “crucial player” for them. “He represents our club in the best possible way,” he said. “He is part of the plan. At the moment, we are in a strong position to be able to do that.
“We decided he was obviously one of the key players at the club and wanted to secure his future. We are able to do that. He’s extremely happy, and so are we.”
Arteta added that Arsenal is looking to end the season in style against Wolves, saying: “(We must) provide a great performance and victory in front of our people to show our gratitude.
“We have received a lot of incredible energy, which they’ve given us throughout the season. Now is the time to start to build for next season. We have to wrap up (this season) in the best possible way. It has been some journey, full of emotions.”
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