Unai Emery says he’s not shut the door on recruiting further players this summer but admits after five incoming transfers his main focus in the short-term is trimming the squad.
Our new signings, coupled with those returning from loan moves, have swelled the first team squad to 31 and that doesn’t even count promising youngsters Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock or Takuma Asano who has already joined Hannover for the year.
While the new boss has been keen to cast an eye on all his options, it’s fair to assume that Chuba Akpom, Lucas Perez, Joel Campbell, The Jeff, Carl Jenkinson and one of our four keepers will be moved on before the transfer window closes (twice) in August.
Asked about his transfer policy for the rest of the summer, Emery said he’s very pleased with the players sent his way by Sven Mislintat and Raul Sanllehi.
“Normally, in my career the big clubs don’t close the [door] or the moment to sign a new player,” he told media ahead of Saturday’s pre-season friendly with Boreham Wood.
“Today, we are OK. Maybe we can bring in one if there’s a very good possibility for them to help us, but the club has done a great job of signing new players and I am happy.
He added: “We signed the players who we needed and only if one player is a big opportunity for us will we sign them.
“Normally, we are thinking about the young players, the possibility of them staying with us or going to play on loan at another team.
“We are also thinking about the players who were with us last year and whether we need them to stay with us.
“At the moment, I think the squad is complete. We will only sign another player if there is an opportunity to bring in that one player, or two players. We will only sign a player in the next month if he’s a big opportunity.”
He was also specifically asked about links with Steven N’Zonzi, a player with whom he worked at Sevilla and one that’s been tipped to move to the Emirates.
“I know him but we haven’t made a move for him,” replied Emery.
Given we’ve committed £72 million to four transfers this summer (and snapped up Stephan Lichtsteiner on a free), it’s fair to expect an attempt at balancing the books in the coming weeks.
The budget was initially leaked as £50 million. Can we get £20 million for our fringe players? It shouldn’t be impossible. It’s also worth bearing in mind that we’ve got to keep some powder dry for a substantial increase in Aaron Ramsey’s pay, assuming contract talks go well.