Mikel Arteta hints at Arsenal FC squad overhaul by suggesting certain players have reached their limits

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 (PA)
(PA)

Mikel Arteta has dropped further hints about an overhaul of his Arsenal squad this summer by saying some players can “get to a certain level and you cannot push any further”.

Arsenal are on course to be playing no European football next season for the first time in 25 years after crashing out of the Europe League last week.

The Gunners are also sat ninth in the Premier League ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Chelsea and Arteta has hinted an overhaul of his squad is needed.

Asked if players had given their maximum this season, he said: “With the majority of them, yes.”

Pressed how he changes that, Arteta replied: “Finding a different way to do it, challenging them again, putting somebody next to them to try to push them again.

“Some of them can get to a certain level and you cannot push any further. If you want to evolve that, it’s not possible.”

Arsenal do still have an outside chance of sneaking into Europe this season if they are able to climb to seventh.

Spurs currently occupy that spot and are four points clear of Arsenal with three games to go.

Everton, in eighth, are three points ahead of Arsenal and have a game in hand on them and Spurs.

Finishing seventh guarantees that side a spot in the new UEFA Europa Conference League, the third tier of European football.

And Arteta said: “If we have any possibility to be in Europe, it is always ideal for our club.”

PA
PA

No European football could impact the amount of minutes Arsenal’s young players get, with the likes of Folarin Balogun and Miguel Azeez making their debuts in the Europa League this season.

“I think they will be in a different development phase next season with what they have achieved this season,” said Arteta, when addressing concerns about chances for young players.

“To use the same criteria with other younger players that might be here, we will have to find a way in other competitions to accommodate this playing time that they need.”

No European football would mean Arsenal do not need as big a squad, though, with Arteta keen to trim it down anyway.

“Well we already had a very large squad at the start of last season. And not a very balanced squad in certain positions as well,” he added.

“So obviously what we have been trying to do all this time is trim that down and put it in a way that is much more sustainable and makes more sense for the qualities and the positions that we need.”

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