Arsenal chief defends summer: ‘We can’t compete’

Date published: Thursday 28th July 2016 9:09

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has again defended the club’s summer transfer window business.

The Gunners have signed three players so far – Granit Xhaka, Takuma Asano and Rob Holding – but have faced criticism over their reluctance to strengthen in perceived key areas.

A first-choice striker has long been the desire for many Arsenal fans, while Per Mertesacker’s recent injury leaves the club short in central defence.

Gazidis defended the club’s business last week, and has done so again after recent backlash.

“We don’t sign players in response to public pressure,” he said. “We sign players because we believe they will progress us as a club. We’re really disciplined about that. We have to be. We don’t have the financial resources of some of the other clubs.

“If we went out and just tried to compete only on the basis of spending more than others in transfer windows, that wouldn’t be a successful strategy for us. We have to be very disciplined about staying true to our values, staying true to the foundations of the club and making sure that we make smart decisions.

“Looking ahead in this transfer window, we’re going to retain that discipline. We will certainly add players if we think and our manager thinks they add value to our squad. We’re actively in the market, as is every other club. We won’t do it if we don’t see the value that’s added to our squad.

“That’s the reason why our squad has developed over the last few years. That’s the reason it is stronger today than it was five years ago. I think anybody paying attention to what we’ve actually done with our squad will recognize that philosophy and that approach has given us a squad that is capable of competing to win the Premier League and we’re very hopeful about the direction of travel.”

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