Arsenal are preparing for a huge summer transfer window as they look to close the gap on Manchester City in next season's race for the Premier League title. The Gunners made strides over the past two markets to bring themselves to the next level, setting the pace in the first half of the campaign.
That fell away in the second half as they ended up short of the total set by Pep Guardiola, showing there's still plenty left to improve upon at the Emirates Stadium. For many though, the season may represent a celebration of being competitive once again, but next time around there's the weight of expectation.
Further additions could see them close that gap, with Mikel Arteta explaining how he will sell the project to those that may join. He said ahead of the clash with Wolves on Sunday: "Explain who we are, how we do things, what we want from them, how we're going to fit them in in our culture and our club. Then trying to do the right things as a club. Buying the right profile for the right amounts of money and at the end getting the players and staff that are going to make our car faster and more reliable to have a great season."
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One of those linked with a switch is West Ham captain Declan Rice, who could be drafted in to improve the midfield ranks, with his contract entering the final 12 months. football.london understands that Rice is a top priority for Arsenal this summer, while the Mirror claims that the Gunners have had a breakthrough in the fact that the 24-year-old prefers a move to the Emirates Stadium over others.
That in itself shows the turnaround Arteta has managed at Arsenal in the three-and-a-half-years that he's been in charge at the club. Not so much as just over one-year ago did the Spaniard struggle to convince Dusan Vlahovic to join the Gunners, instead opting for Juventus, has he managed to make the Emirates Stadium one of the most attractive propositions in European football.
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"It doesn't need much convincing," Arteta said of trying to land transfer targets in 2020. "And if they do, it's not a good starting point. If I have to convince a player to stay or join us. To Arsenal? It holds me back a little bit." It shows the deep-rooted philosophy the manager holds in regard to the standards of the football club.
While it has taken a few years to turn it around, players are picking Arsenal once again because... it's Arsenal. Rice is just the latest example of this, if recent reports are to be believed, and that pulling power can allow the side to reach the next level and win trophies and titles once again.
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