Belfast Telegraph

Arteta upbeat despite exits

Arsenal vice-captain Mikel Arteta insists the Gunners are in good shape, despite the loss of star striker Robin van Persie and midfield enforcer Alex Song.

The Spaniard believes the summer additions of Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla, who particularly impressed in midfield on his debut in the goalless draw with Sunderland on Saturday, mean the Gunners are already well stocked for the battles ahead.

"We are looking good. We looked really organised on Saturday, just maybe in the final third we didn't take the chances we should have done," Arteta said, quoted on the club's official website,

"It will take a while because there have been some new players coming in and we are building a new team.

"We have lost some important players too, so we will need some time.

"We know that our new players can make the difference as well.

"We will have to give them a chance to settle into a new place."

Arteta linked up well with Cazorla and Abou Diaby, back from an injury lay-off, in a midfield which was without its usual anchor.

The 30-year-old added: "I felt really comfortable when I played with Alex last year, he was a terrific player, but if he and the club decided that the best option was for him to leave we have to accept it.

"I think we are good enough to carry on without him."

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