Arsenal chief urges ‘positivity’ after ‘exciting’ transfer window

Will Ford
Arsenal Ben White
Arsenal Ben White

Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham claims the club’s work this summer illustrates that they are moving in the right direction.

The Gunners spent over £150m on new additions this summer – more than any other Premier League club.

Ben White (£50m), Martin Odegaard (£34m), Aaron Ramsdale (£30m), Takehiro Tomiyasu (£19.8m), Albert Sambi Lokonga (£15m) and Nuno Tavares (£8m) were all added to Mikel Arteta’s ranks.

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Despite admitting there is a lot of work still to be done to get Arsenal back challenging for the biggest honours, Venkatesham says their strategy of signing young players this summer is a sensible one.

“Of course, I write this update against the backdrop of a hugely disappointing start to the season. I know how tough this is for all of you, both as supporters and employees, with criticism coming from all angles,” he said in a note to club staff.

“At times like this it is critical we stick together and stay positive. We have a very important run of games coming up after the international break and I’m confident we can and will come out fighting.

“Our approach for this window was framed by fully recognising that we are not where we want to be on the pitch – finishing eighth last season, with no European football for the first time in many years.

“This is well below the standards each of us all have, and of course that our fans rightly demand of us, which is to be competing for the biggest trophies in the game.

“While we would love to jump from where we are to where we want to be in an instant, we need to be realistic that the gap is too large to do that. As such, our activity this window has been focused on youth.

“Our strategy is to fill our squad with some of Europe’s most exciting young talent, with players from both our academy and further afield, that can grow and develop together under Mikel to take us where we want to get to.

“While this will not be overnight, we can make positive progress, and it gives us the best route to future success in a sustainable way.”