Belfast Telegraph

Unai Emery says more players could leave Arsenal

The European transfer window shuts on September 2.

Unai Emery signed six players during the summer (Nick Potts/PA)
Unai Emery signed six players during the summer (Nick Potts/PA)

By Mark Mann-Bryans, PA

Unai Emery is still open to selling players abroad this summer as Arsenal prepare to start the new Premier League season.

The Gunners made six signings during the transfer window including bringing in Kieran Tierney and David Luiz in a deadline day double swoop on Thursday.

Alex Iwobi left for Everton, Carl Jenkinson moved to Nottingham Forest and former captain Laurent Koscielny departed acrimoniously for Bordeaux in recent days.

But there could yet be more departures with Italian, German, French and Spanish teams able to add to their squads right up until September 2.

Shkodran Mustafi and Mohamed Elneny are two Arsenal players who have been heavily linked with moves away from the Emirates Stadium this summer and Emery admits more departures are likely.

“Yesterday we finished the transfer possibility and also we did progressively with some players to sign and also led to some players to leave,” he said.

“I am really delighted with our work. The club did everything to get the best players to help us and to make our squad stronger.

“As you can understand, we are changing players at the last moment and also with Laurent Koscielny, he was the first captain, and he left us five days ago.

“Also, we have had other players come in. Now we have the squad and we have finished the transfer market, but it’s still open in other countries.

“Unfortunately, we can achieve the last moment finishing yesterday with some players but now in the next 25 days we could lose some players.”

Arsenal start their campaign at Newcastle on Sunday, with the distinct possibility that none of their six new players will be in the starting line-up.

Tierney is nursing a groin problem and Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos took a heavy challenge to his ankle in last week’s friendly defeat to Barcelona.

Luiz and club-record signing Nicolas Pepe are fighting a fitness battle, while William Saliba will spend the season on loan at St Etienne having joined from the Ligue 1 outfit last month.

“We are going to start Sunday with players who I am very convinced can perform now at 100 per cent,” Emery added.

“For some, that’s impossible for them to achieve that performance for us because they arrived later or started training with us after injuries.”

Last season’s player of the year Alexandre Lacazette could also miss out as he continues his recovery from an ankle issue suffered in the Emirates Cup defeat to Lyon, while the likes of Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin and Konstantinos Mavropanos continue their respective rehabilitation.

Arsenal missed out on the top four by a single point and lost the Europa League final to Chelsea in Emery’s first season at the helm and, following their busy transfer window, the Spaniard is now keen to push on and secure a return to the Champions League.

“The Premier League is the best competition in the world,” he said. “We are going to work and be with a big challenge to compete in this competition to find the top four.

“We know it’s difficult, but really our ambition and our motivation is to do the best we possibly can in every competition.

“The Premier League is the most important competition and we are going to start on Sunday and it is going to give us the regularity and consistency in 38 matches.

“It’s the first way for us to achieve our targets and objectives to be in the top four, but we know it’s going to be difficult.”

PA

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