Arsenal

Mikel Arteta press conference: Aubameyang's Chelsea move; FFP investigation reports; Pepe's departure

Sean Walsh
Arsenal have had a fast start to the season
Arsenal have had a fast start to the season / Dan Mullan/GettyImages
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Mikel Arteta has spoken to the media ahead of Arsenal's home match against Fulham on Saturday.

The Gunners are currently top of the Premier League table and are the only side left in the division with a perfect record.

Arteta was asked about a range of topics at his press conference on Friday afternoon. Here's the best of what he had to say.


Transfers

Former Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is close to signing for Chelsea, what are your thoughts?

"It’s his future, and we wish him the best whatever he decides."

Nicolas Pepe has departed for Nice on loan, do you think his club-record £72m weighed him down while at Arsenal?

"I don’t know. I think Nico tried to deal with that the best possible way. Obviously he’s not responsible for the price that a club pays for him. He tried everything, his attitude and the way he is is just phenomenal. You just have to meet the person and you will love him for the way he is. In terms of the decision we have to make on the pitch and what we have to select, we have made other decisions and obviously that has had an impact in terms of the chances he’s had to show his quality."

Will Arsenal sign someone this window to replace Pepe?

"If we can implement the plan that we have, we will try to do that. In the plan, that [Pepe’s loan move] was something that could happen - now it’s a reality and we’ve been preparing the last two months in order to achieve what we want. Whether that’s possible or not, we will see.

"At the start of the window, we signed players before getting other players out. Now we’ve done something different. We’ve let a player go and will maybe be able to recruit somebody. But it’s not a guarantee because the player is still not here. What I guarantee is the day that window closes, for me this is the best team in the world and I will try to get the best out of them."

What have you made of the summer transfer window?

"You look at the players that are coming, the amount of money spent, the level that the squads already have and what they are adding, it’s something I haven’t experienced in this league. You saw yesterday a few of the transfers that happened and what is still going to happen in the last week or so, I think is going to be really powerful."


Financial Fair Play reports

Arsenal are reportedly being monitored by UEFA over potential FFP breaches, what's the latest from the club?

"We are compliant and we have heard nothing [from UEFA] so I don’t know where that has come from. I think the club has been very disciplined all the time and has a very clear vision on how we want to do things, the limitations we have and how we have to deal with things so in that sense nothing changes [in terms of transfers in this window]."


Champions League & Europa League

What are Arsenal's ambitions for this season's Europa League?

"We have to go for every competition that we are present in, and try to win it. We’ll go step by step and see what the draw brings and start to prepare for the competition in the best possible way."

Are Arsenal now better equipped to play twice a week?

"It’s a completely unprecedented season, not only because we are going to be playing a lot of weeks with two or three games, but especially because we have the World Cup coming up. We don’t know how that’s going to affect us, so we have to look at the overall picture. The preparation and the organisation is being done in regards to that.

"Obviously there are a few things that we cannot control - injuries and suspensions as we’ve had in the past. But we have to maintain the level of performance we are at right now and the demand will be to do it every three days, which is what you are hoping for when you are at this club."

Would this season be a failure if Arsenal don't qualify for the Champions League?

"I think it’s a question for all the Premier League teams who are buying six, seven or eight players in their starting XI. You ask that question ‘what is failure?’. We have to perform week in, week out. We have started well and we have to focus on the next match."


Fulham

What do you expect from Fulham?

"A really tough match. They’ve been on an incredible run - last year in the Championship they did extremely well, and they haven’t lost a game yet in the Premier League and they’ve played against three very difficult opponents, so credit to them. I think it will be a difficult game."

What have you made of Aleksandar Mitrovic?

"As you could see last season when he scored 43 goals in the league, and he’s already scored three goals this season, so in terms of the efficiency that he has in these areas, he’s one of the main threats of Fulham."


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