Mikel Arteta says Arsenal 'cannot' sell best players
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Last Updated: 02/07/20 9:19pm
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has warned that the club "cannot" be a team that sells its best players in order to make new signings.
Club captain and top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been linked with a move away from the Emirates this summer, with just a year remaining on his current contract.
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Arteta accepts that all football clubs are facing an element of financial uncertainty amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but with Premier League rivals Chelsea having signed Hakim Ziyech from Ajax and Timo Werner from RB Leipzig, the Spaniard appears wary of losing ground.
"We don't know how the market is going to be," Arteta said on Thursday. "Obviously we are putting different plans together to see what we are going to be able to do.
"At the moment the uncertainty is still big, as well the way we are going to finish the season is going to dictate things financially as well. So we have to be a bit patient and see what happens.
"We've seen different things. The way that Chelsea is dealing with the market is different to the rest at the moment, but Bayern Munich as well, they've been really aggressive.
"But if you ask me, we cannot be a team that has to sell his player to try and bring in and improve his squad - that's for sure."
'Aubameyang can do what Van Persie did for Arsenal'
In the last decade Arsenal have sold several top players to Premier League rivals, while Aaron Ramsey left on a free transfer to join Juventus last summer.
Before the more recent departures of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool and Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United, the club lost then-captain and talismanic striker Robin van Persie to United in 2012.
Arteta played alongside Van Persie at Arsenal and believes Aubameyang, who has scored 19 Premier League goals this season, is of similar importance to the side now as the Dutchman was under Arsene Wenger.
"When we played with Robin he used to be the difference for us every week," Arteta said.
"I always say that he's probably the striker I have enjoyed most playing with because of his intelligence, the overall quality to play in any position and area of the field, and as well the quality of his finishing and movement.
"But now we have the luck of having Auba - a player that can do that in any moment of the game and we have to feed him and put him in the right position as much as possible in the games to help us win as many."
'Unstoppable' Traore's form no surprise
Arsenal have won back-to-back Premier League games to reignite their hopes of European qualification, but face a stiff challenge as they travel to in-form Wolves on Saturday.
Sixth-placed Wolves hold a six-point lead over Arsenal going into the game, and with just six matches each remaining this season, the Gunners will likely need a victory to have a realistic chance of tracking down Nuno Espirito Santo's side.
Wigner Adama Traore has played a key role in Wolves winning all three of their games since the restart, and Arteta is aware of the threat the Spaniard could pose on Saturday.
"I always saw an incredible potential that the moment he could develop or evolve in certain areas of his game, he would be unstoppable to play against at times," Arteta said.
"When he gets the service in the right moments and he gets isolated, he's a player that's so difficult defend.
"He's showing that and he's doing it in a constant way right now, something that for a very talented forward player is not easy to do."