Free-scoring Arsenal will still chase striker in summer – Arteta

Mikel Arteta has said Arsenal‘s free-scoring form will not impact their summer transfer plans, with the club still expected to pursue a new striker.

Arsenal have won all seven Premier League games in 2024 by an aggregate score of 31-3, becoming the first team in English football history to win three consecutive away games by five or more goals.

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Arsenal thrashed Sheffield United 6-0 at Bramall Lane on Monday and have a chance to close the gap on at least one of the top two when they face Brentford on Saturday, 24 hours before Liverpool host Manchester City at Anfield.

The north London club are widely expected to sign a centre-forward this summer, and Arteta said the recent goal rush has not changed their strategy which he revealed dated back to the beginning of the current campaign.

“The plans that we have for the summer are very clear,” Arteta told a news conference on Thursday. “They were done almost at the start of the season understanding what we can have, the contract situations with some players, and how we can improve certain areas of the team. This situation doesn’t change that.”

Arsenal were heavily linked with a move for Ivan Toney ahead of the January window but Brentford valued the 27-year-old at around £80 million ($102m) and ultimately received no bids.

Sources have told ESPN that while Toney remains on their radar, the Gunners have cooled their interest in the England international as they consider other options with Sporting Lisbon’s Viktor Gyökeres and Brighton’s Evan Ferguson among the possible alternatives.

Asked whether he could rule out a summer move for Toney, Arteta replied: “I don’t talk about any other player. If not, I’ll have to rule out every other player in the market because we’re linked with a lot of players.”

Aaron Ramsdale will make a rare appearance for Arsenal in goal with David Raya ineligible to face his parent club after joining the Gunners on an initial loan with an option to make the move permanent for £27m.

Ramsdale has featured just six times since Raya made the switch across London, the last of which came in January’s FA Cup third-round home defeat to Liverpool.

“He’s fully prepared,” Arteta said. He’s training every day. He’s desperate to play like the rest of the boys that haven’t had that many opportunities. Saturday will be a great opportunity for him.

“He’s been brilliant. He’s been really supportive and pushing in training every day like I expected. It’s a joy to have two top goalkeepers in the team.

“One of the toughest things is dealing with the players that don’t have the game time they deserve. Not only Aaron, but there are many of those. We have an unbelievable group of players.

“We try to be straight, explain things, be close to them and give them support. Then when they have the opportunity, they want to contribute to the team in the best possible way. That’s what Aaron will want to do on Saturday.”