Mikel Arteta will continue to show faith in youth at Arsenal, but the Gunners boss admits the time has come to get greater pedigree in his ranks by making “top-quality” signings during the summer transfer window.
The north London outfit are in danger of missing out on Champions League qualification once again in 2021-22 as they enter the final round of Premier League fixtures fifth in the table, but continental competition of some kind will be on the agenda for next season.
Greater depth will be required at Emirates Stadium in order to deal with a bigger workload and the hope is funds will be made available to allow marquee additions to be made to a squad that has leant heavily on youth.
Will Arsenal spend big in the summer transfer window?
Arteta is giving nothing away when it comes to budgets but concedes proven reinforcements are required, saying of his plans for the next window: “It is all about the balance.
“Now we have cleared the deck and now we have a squad balance that is much more like what we want and much more affordable than what we had before.
“Now we have to start to add the top-quality pieces that they are not necessarily at 18, 19 or 20-years-old.
“We will do what it takes to get better in every department. Not only the age group but in terms of the quality, in terms of the leadership, in terms of the goal threat of this team, in terms of the physicality of the team that we need to improve as well so there are a lot of areas.”
Will Arsenal be stronger in 2022-23?
The Gunners will be disappointed if they miss out on a top-four finish again this term, having already spent five years outside the Champions League party, but positive steps are being made in the right direction.
Arteta expects his side to be stronger in 2022-23 regardless of any business carried out from this point, with Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli set to be a year older and wiser.
He said: “They are not going to be kids for the rest of their lives, next season they will be more mature than they are this season and you have to start somewhere with those kids.
“What we cannot say is we want to use academy players and do that but then the moment where something goes a little bit wrong then we are not going to do anything with them.
“I am so grateful for what they have done, what they have brought to the team and to the club, especially in this moment. We are going to stick with them and give them exactly what they need because they deserve that.”