Alexis saga and Lemar failure, but Gazidis says Arsenal ended transfer window stronger

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The Gunners chief executive remains upbeat despite the cloud hanging over Emirates Stadium, with focus now switching back to matters on the field

Arsenal “improved the quality and depth” of their squad to end the summer transfer window stronger, says chief executive Ivan Gazidis.

The Gunners endured another frustrating summer on the recruitment front, with a £90 million deadline day move for Monaco’s Thomas Lemar coming to nothing.

That means Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette are the only additions at Emirates Stadium, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s £35m switch to Liverpool among the more high-profile departures.

Arsenal 14/1 to win the Prem

Alexis Sanchez’s expiring contract also saw him generate plenty of exit talk, as Manchester City stood poised to complete a £60m deal, but he eventually stayed put and must now focus on events in north London until at least January.

The late drama came on the back of a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Liverpool heading into the international break, but Gazidis – in an email sent out to club employees – claims: “At the end of the window, reviewing all activity, we have once again improved the quality and depth of our squad.”

In the message, sent out on Friday, Gazidis conceded that an “unacceptable” performance at Anfield had cast a different light on Arsenal’s dealings.

Acknowledging that there had been a “lot of noise around the transfer window”, he added: “Everything is coloured by results...a positive performance at Liverpool would have coloured this transfer window very differently.

“We have had a poor start to the season but have the quality to turn it around and turn around performances and compete for the title. It is time to get back to what it is all about, the football.

“The manager and players know that the performance at Anfield was not good enough and they will be focused to put that right after the international break.”

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Gazidis – like Arsene Wenger, who maintains that all of his players will continue to give 100 per cent – believes that retaining the services of Sanchez and fellow contract rebel Mesut Ozil should actually be viewed as a positive.

He said the stance is: “A clear statement of our ambitions and should help refute suggestions we are just about the money. That is simply nonsense.”

Arsenal will get the chance to start righting a few wrongs when they return to domestic action with a home date against Bournemouth on Saturday.

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