The Gunners boss is still hoping to land one of his preferred targets before Monday’s deadline
Mikel Arteta says he enjoys the drama of the transfer window as it allows him to dream about players he could bring in.
The Spaniard is currently overseeing his first summer window as Arsenal boss and has brought in three players so far, with Brazilian duo Gabriel and Willian arriving, as well as goalkeeper Alex Runnarsson.
But Arteta wants to make further additions before Monday’s transfer deadline, with Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar and Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey on his wishlist.
Whether Arsenal can close either of those deals remains to be seen, with Arteta having stated that the club is now at the “crucial moment” when it comes to adding to the squad.
But despite all the uncertainty that the impending deadline can bring, the Gunners boss admits working throughout the summer to try and build a squad is actually a lot of fun.
“I think it’s very exciting because at the end it’s the tools that you have to be able to do your job in the best possible way,” he said.
“You can dream about players that you can bring and how you can develop them and change certain positions to fit into what you want to do. It’s a big part of the industry.
“These walls, the stadium and the training ground are great, but at the end of the day it’s about the people and staff that we have and the players that we have to manage the daily basics. I enjoy it.”
As well as trying to bring players in this summer, Arsenal have also been working hard to get some out.
Several have been told they are free to leave north London, although so far the only departure of real note saw Emiliano Martinez sold to Aston Villa for £20 million ($26m).
Players such as Lucas Torreira, Sokratis, Mesut Ozil, Matteo Guendouzi and Shkodran Mustafi all remain despite being available for transfer, although Torreira is now close to joining Atletico Madrid on loan.
But with so many players who have been told they can leave still at the club, Arteta says it has been difficult to ensure they don’t become distracted.
“It’s been tricky,” he admits. “Obviously a very strange pre-season with the circumstances and the window is still open almost a month after the start of the competition.
“But we knew that before and I am lucky because the way that the players are conducting themselves has been really good.
“We try to explain to them the situation that we could not manage it in a different way, that they have to be a little bit flexible with that, and we try to communicate to the players the intentions we have as a club. And so far we’ve been OK.”
Arteta joined Arsenal as a player on deadline day in 2012 and at a time during the final stages of the window it looked like his transfer from Everton would not go ahead.
Having lived through that experience, Arteta understands what this period can be like for a player.
“I do [understand] because I’ve been in that position,” he said. “You can try to be very focussed but then you leave the training ground and you get a phone call from the agent, a phone call from another manager, or a call from another owner, your head is spinning.
“You have a family, you’re thinking about moving to a different country, different city. All this is part of your daily life.
“But I just ask them, ‘When you guys are here, try to be committed, focussed and represent the club as well as possible.’
“But what will happen sometimes is just not in our hands.”