Orlando City 1 – 3 Arsenal – Match Report

After guiding his team to a 3-1 win over Orlando City, Mikel Arteta faced the US media and discussed a wide range of topics, possible signings, his options up front, the future of William Saliba and his goals for the season.

Read on for a full transcript…

on Oleksandr Zinchenko…

Yes, as you have seen, he is here. There are still a few formalities for everything to be completed but we are really happy to have it. I know the player very well, he is an exceptional footballer and he is someone who will also bring another competitive advantage to this dressing room.

on his versatility to be able to play in midfield and as a left-back…

Both, he can play in both. He was a natural No.10 early in his career and we converted him into a left-back who can do a lot of things we want in the way we play. That versatility is something that’s going to be important for the team because we have players in that position who are more specific full-backs, so I’m really happy.

if there are other signings to come…

I do not know. That’s what we have today. We have a great squad, so we also have to make decisions about which players we’re not going to use consistently and be fair and upfront with them and that’s a process that’s also going to start very soon.

on outings…

We must. We have a great team and now we have to shake things up.

on versatility in new recruits…

It’s one of the things and how we can adapt structures, formations and rotations within the team and play with the same players in a different way. Being more unpredictable is obviously important and that’s why we signed these players.

on the impact of the five-substitute rule…

It will be much more unpredictable trying to figure out what the opponent is going to do and there will be changes, so what you plan for at the start doesn’t mean it will happen at the end.

on Sambi Lokonga…

We’re trying. Where it fits comfortably and can grow in the best possible way. He is really comfortable playing in this position and we want to try to see what he can bring to this position as well. It’s true that we are now missing Emile and another Fabio so this post has turned around a bit and he did well.

on the future of Lucas Torreira…

Lucas Torreira is our player.

on Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah being used as a strike partnership…

We want to build those relationships and they haven’t played many minutes together yet, like Martin and Gabi, for example. We have to start doing that, obviously we do it in training, but putting it into practice in matches is important and we see that they end up with good timing and that’s important because they are two players with a big threat goal.

on what a pre-season tour gives us…

Well, first of all obviously the club exhibition. We are a huge club and you can see in every city where we are present, the reaction and the support we receive. It’s really important for our brand, for our fans to be next to them and the United States is a huge market, we have a big fan base and we have to promote that and make them feel that we are ready coming here and then these practices and tours give you a different level of competition against opponents that you don’t really know they’re in the middle of the season so physically they’re in better condition than you and then playing in this heat , I think it provides a good adaptation for when we have to go back to the UK.

on William Saliba’s contract…

We always have a plan and when we have to execute it is another story and football is a really fun game and we are really happy to have him and you can see how he has adapted, how he has matured and it plays well and we are delighted to have it.

on our goals for the coming season…

Our goal at this club is to win competitions, it can’t be otherwise and the way we build the team is to achieve that. Today, we are still in pre-season, the window is not closed, the squad is not closed and we are going to set our objective internally, but they will not be at the end of the season, it will be much shorter because it’s still too far and a lot of things could happen.

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