Mikel Arteta has admitted that Arsenal tried to strengthen their squad on deadline day, but did want to panic buy and repeat mistakes of the past.
The Gunners made three offers to sign Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz on the final day of the window, but were rebuffed with their attempts to sign the Brazilian for £25m, even though he has less than a year remaining on his contract at Villa Park.
Nevertheless, Arteta did manage to bring in Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fabio Vieira, Marquinhos and Matt Turner over the course of the window, which allowed him to address a number of problem areas in his squad.
“Yesterday we could have done something if it was the right player, the right deal, and something we could afford,” the Spaniard admitted in his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s game with Manchester United.
“Sometimes you have to react to something that happens, we would have done that, it was a real possibility yesterday. We tried but then we kept the discipline to say it had to be the right player for the team and the club.”
When asked if he was disappointed at not signing Luiz or another central midfielder, he continued: “We have done a lot of things and still have a lot to do in this squad, you see the amount of departures compared to the players we have recruited. The club has done a phenomenal job and put everything on the table to bring the profile of players we want.
“We did the business pretty early, but unfortunately in the last 72 hours Thomas [Partey] got injured in the same place as last time and then Mo [Elneny] has a long-term injury and we had to react in the market. We tried and at the end of the day we have to bring in the players we feel are right for the team and the club, but we didn’t manage to do that.”
Arteta’s Arsenal head to United with their confidence sky high. The Gunners have won their opening five Premier League games and sit top of the table, two points clear of defending champions Manchester City.