Arsenal Head Coach Emery calls squad 'complete' ahead of first match

With the new season fast approaching, the Spaniard is wasting no time making is mark.

Arsenal Head Coach Emery calls squad 'complete' ahead of first match
Photo: Stuart MacFarlane

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has hinted the club won’t be adding anymore players to the squad, unless a ‘big opportunity’ is presented. 

Business done early

In just two weeks in charge, Emery has welcomed five new faces to the club; Stephan LichtsteinerSokratis PapastathopoulosBernd Leno, Lucas Torriera and Matteo Guendouzi

“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.”  

One player Emery is keen to hold onto during this window is Aaron Ramsey, whose contract ends at the end of the upcoming season. 

“I’m very happy with him. For me, every day, every training session, he has the ambition I want. He’s working with a quality, the type of ability that I want. I want to work with him.” 

When asked about his contract situation, the Spaniard said: “This is one question for the player and for the club. In my opinion, I’ve said to Ivan, Raul and Sven that I think he’s an important player for me."

Preparation continues as new season nears

The Gunners are now in full swing with their pre-season preparation, with their first fixture on Saturday against Boreham Wood, and Emery is pleased with the effort he has seen from the squad so far. 

“They are working very hard. They are working with the ambition that I want. I think the quality is high here, and I think together we will work with this quality and the details in the tactics. 

“They will go with my ideas and work with my ideas every day, and this will help them to do these things on the pitch.” 

When asked about who would feature in his first game in charge, Emery said: “The main players for Saturday are the young players and the players who have been working with us.  

“Then the other players who finished in the World Cup, they are coming for the next weeks and will go into their work with the players who are here.” 

Big decisions to be made

Captain and number one goalkeeper are two positions available this season after the departure of Per Mertesacker and the arrival of German keeper Leno. 

Speaking about appointing a captain, Emery said: “My idea is to know every player and to know, also, the personality of the players. And then, I think my first idea is to have five captains in the team. 

“I need to know more and also, firstly, Koscielny is the first captain now and for me, I have to respect that.” 

On the goalkeepers he said: “I want to work with Petr Cech, with Bernd Leno, with Emiliano Martinez, with Matt Macey, with Ospina. It’s clear that we have [a lot] of goalkeepers but we want to work in the future with three goalkeepers in the first team. 

“Now, I want to look, I want to work every day with all the goalkeepers and them I am going to decide for [who is No.1]."