Alan Smith: 'Arteta will be looking ahead to the summer transfer window'
- Former Arsenal legend Alan Smith believes the Gunners head coach Mikel Arteta benefited from the winter break as it allowed him to work with the team, on and off the pitch.
- However, ALan concedes Mikel is currently trapped by the players he has at his disposal.
- Which is why our ex-striker is sure the Spaniard will be anticipating the summer transfer window.
Despite improved performances and a chance to work on tactics and team spirit during the break, Alan Smith is convinced the Gunners' coach Mikel Arteta is eagerly awaiting the summer transfer window.
"Arteta, I’m sure, would have been pleased to get a bit of quality time with his players in Dubai, both on the training ground and off it, where these kinds of breaks can bring everyone together," he wrote in his Evening Standard column.
"It’s a great chance to hammer home what he wants from a tactical aspect and also a chance to nourish team spirit.
"But as any coach will confirm, you’re only as good as your players. That’s why Arteta will already be looking ahead to the summer when we will doubtless see some interesting transfer activity."
Right now Arsenal are sweating over the potential departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose contract will be up next summer. They are also probably weighing up what to do with Sokratis, Luiz, Mustafi and Ozil, all of whom have deals until 2021.
However, the Gunners will undoubtedly be also looking to strengthen in some positions. David Ornstein has identified centre-back, central midfield and playmaker positions as priority summer purchases. There are also reports Arteta wants all the business done before the Euros, to avoid price inflation after it.