Arteta: Arsenal are building a new team
Mikel Arteta has insisted Arsenal are in good shape, despite the loss of Robin van Persie and Alex Song. The Cameroon midfielder followed the Netherlands striker out of the Emirates Stadium this week when he signed a five-year deal with Barcelona in what is understood to be a £15m deal.
Arsenal are expected to bring in some reinforcements ahead of the transfer deadline - a loan move for Turkish international Nuri Sahin is on the agenda if terms with Real Madrid can be agreed, while the club are also said to still be monitoring long-term target Yann M'Vila at Rennes, who are holding out for a £17m fee.
Arteta was appointed vice-captain to new skipper Thomas Vermaelen following Van Persie's £24m switch to Manchester United, who lost 1-0 at Everton last night with the Dutchman starting on the bench. The Spaniard believes the summer additions of Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla, who particularly impressed in midfield on his debut in the goalless draw with Sunderland, mean the Gunners are already well stocked for the battles ahead.
Arteta told Arsenal's official website: "We are looking good. We looked really organised on Saturday, just maybe in the final third we didn't take the chances we should have done. It will take a while because there have been some new players coming in and we are building a new team. We have lost some important players too, so we will need some time.
"We know that our new players can make the difference as well. We will have to give them a chance to settle into a new place."
Arteta linked up well with Cazorla and Abou Diaby, back from an injury lay-off, in a midfield which was without its usual anchor. The 30-year-old added: "I felt really comfortable when I played with Alex last year, he was a terrific player, but if he and the club decided that the best option was for him to leave, we have to accept it. I think we are good enough to carry on without him."
M'Vila set to replace Song?
Rennes director Pierre Dreossi expects M'Vila's future to be resolved one way or another very soon. Speaking to Radio Monte Carlo, he said: "I think that it can be settled by the end of this week or the start of next. But it is complicated because some clubs are not agreed within their clubs about the deal, and there are clubs where Yann does not want to go."
Arshavin, Bendtner and Chamakh futures in doubt
As well as targeting fresh faces, Arsenal are also expected to resolve the futures of several fringe players in the final days of the summer transfer window. Strikers Marouane Chamakh and Nicklas Bendtner are now both surplus to requirements, so are likely to move on, probably outside the Premier League.
Russia captain Andrey Arshavin, meanwhile, featured as a second-half substitute against Sunderland. However, the attacking midfielder continues to be linked with a permanent switch back to former club Zenit, where he had a loan spell last season.