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Mikel Arteta: Arsenal head coach says club cannot afford to ‘stand still’ in transfer market

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Mikel Arteta says he will not allow Arsenal to “stand still” in the transfer market, following Chelsea’s decision to move for RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner.

Chelsea have already been busy in the transfer market after completing a £33.3m deal with Ajax for attacking midfielder Hakim Ziyech, while Germany international Werner also looks set for a move to Stamford Bridge after a deal in principle was agreed to sign him.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have warned that their budget could be restricted if they fail to secure a place in next season’s Champions League, but Arteta says the club cannot afford to “stand still” or they risk falling further behind their rivals.

Asked if Chelsea’s move for Werner makes him worried about Arsenal’s ability to spend heavily this summer, head coach Arteta replied: “Well let’s see, we’re trying to put a plan together to improve what we have.

“We haven’t been able to do or achieve the results we wanted in the last three years. There’s a reason behind it and if we stand still obviously that gap will get bigger and bigger. I haven’t come here to accept or to do that.

“The challenge for all of us is first of all to improve the players that we have and find the ways to improve the squad in the right positions in order to give us the best possible chance and tools that we need to compete at that level which is getting higher and higher every year.”

David Luiz produced a catalogue of errors in a torrid 25-minute cameo appearance as 10-man Arsenal slipped to a 3-0 defeat at Manchester City on the Premier League’s return.

Brought on as a substitute in the 24th minute following an injury to Pablo Mari, the Brazilian’s error led to Raheem Sterling’s opener (45+2) before he was sent off for hauling down Riyad Mahrez inside the penalty area four minutes into the second half.

Kevin De Bruyne made no mistake from the spot (51) before substitute Phil Foden (90+1) rounded off the scoring to condemn Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta to a heavy defeat on his return to the Etihad Stadium.

Arsenal’s first league defeat in 2020 is a heavy blow to their chances of mounting a late push for Champions League qualification, leaving them eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with nine games remaining.

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PICTURES: Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell join Chelsea training

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Chelsea returned to training today (Wednesday) at Cobham, and there were two new faces joining the rest of the squad, Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell. The two summer arrivals had yet to train with the squad since signing, dealing with quarantine (presumably) and heel injury issues, respectively.

It’s unclear if either will be fit and ready for this weekend’s match against Liverpool, but it’s still nice to see them in training with the rest of the group! (Those who played on Monday apparently had a lighter session, but were all out there nonetheless.)

There’s no word on how close Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic may be. Ziyech is probably still a couple weeks out with his knee problem, at least, but Pulisic was supposed to be close before suffering a potential setback with his hamstring late last week. Neither were pictured in training, and one would assume their presence would get emphasized had they been there.

Pointing the way Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Pointing the way Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

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