Arteta coy over Ramsdale contract, Xhaka future as Arsenal get ready for ‘complicated’ Brighton
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has waxed lyrical about Martin Odegaard and Jakub Kiwior while refusing the comment on the futures of Aaron Ramsdale and Granit Xhaka.
The Gunners host Brighton in the Premier League on Sunday, shortly after title rivals Manchester City face Everton at Goodison Park.
Arteta’s side will have to win all three of their remaining top-flight encounters if they are to stand any chance of beating the Cityzens to the title.
The Spanish manager confirmed that William Saliba will not return for the game against the Seagulls.
“We have another session tomorrow before the Brighton game,” Arteta explained. “We’re trying to get players back before that day.
“With William it’s for sure he’s not gonna be fit for this game and we’re doubting him for next game.”
Arteta denied that Oleksandr Zinchenko is out for the rest of the season after it was reported by The Athletic’s David Ornstein.
Asked if he has emphasised to his squad players that they must be ready for the title run-in, Arteta said: “We discussed that six months ago. To win a championship you’ll need all your players.
“You’ll need to be able to deal with injuries, bad decisions and personal problems. The squad has to be able to absorb those problems.”
The Arsenal boss is clearly a big fan of Roberto De Zerbi and the work he has done at Brighton this season.
He said: “They are a really complicated side. The way they are playing and what Roberto and the coaching staff has done is remarkable.”
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Asked if the Gunners could break their transfer record this summer, Arteta replied: “I think the conversation has to be Brighton and the games that we have. We want to be fully focused on that.”
It has been reported this week that goalkeeper Ramsdale will sign a new long-term contract, but Arteta remained coy on the subject.
“The moment there is something to announce we’ll do that,” he said. “It’s not the moment to talk about that.
“Obviously where we are with each individual is probably different. The clarity is there, we have communicated what the intentions are.”
Arteta was equally as reluctant to discuss Xhaka’s future amidst rumours he will join Bayer Leverkusen this summer.
“As you can understand I’m not gonna be replying to certain stories with Granit,” he said.
Odegaard was instrumental in Arsenal’s 2-0 win against Newcastle United last week and Arteta was high in praise of his captain during his pre-match press conference.
“Great,” he said. “That’s the demands that he puts on himself. It’s an area where he had huge margins to improve.
“He’s making great steps to become a game winner. Then you need really good teammates around you which he has.
“In his own way. He has this character which everybody respects and admires. He has a unique one because it’s his own one. We’re really happy that he represents the club in the way that he does.”
On that win against the Magpies, Arteta added: “The feeling of the last game is the most recent one. It was special because they are top side. We managed to go there, play our own way and win. After what happened last year the meaning was a bit more.”
Another player who has come into the side and performed well is Polish defender Kiwior, who has replaced Rob Holding in the starting XI.
“He’s been really impressive,” Arteta said. “Really composed really calm.
“Two different opponents and he’s dealt with the situation in a good way.”
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