Mertesacker lauds Arsenal's 'proactive' transfer approach

By Sports Desk July 12, 2022

Per Mertesacker believes the signing of Gabriel Jesus is a statement of intent from Arsenal as the Gunners aim to return to the Champions League.

Jesus signed for Arsenal earlier in July, joining from Premier League champions Manchester City in a deal reportedly worth £45million.

With Erling Haaland's arrival at City, Jesus was deemed surplus to requirements and will instead lead the Gunners' attacking line as Mikel Arteta's team look to improve on last season's fifth-place finish.

Jesus has not been the only new arrival, with midfielder Fabio Vieira, winger Marquinhos and goalkeeper Matt Turner also joining.

Mertesacker, who manages Arsenal's academy, believes the club's transfer business has shown how determined they are to qualify for Europe's elite club competition.

He spoke to Sky Sports about the deal for Jesus, who scored twice in a 5-3 friendly win over Nurnberg on Friday.

"The way that we could convince him to come fairly early in the transfer window, not waiting too long, I think that we are proactive," Mertesacker said. "We are making our points clear to the players’ families and agents. We have got the right arguments and players are willing to come to us and bring us back to the Champions League and where we belong."

Two players returning to Arsenal's squad after spending parts of last season out on loan are Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Nelson helped Feyenoord reach the final of the Europa Conference League, where they lost to Roma, the Italian club where Maitland-Niles spent the back half of the campaign.

"To see them in the leagues of Europe, they went to Holland and Italy. Fantastic experience for them, hopefully they'll benefit from it," said Mertesacker of the returning loanees.

"Whether that's here with us or whether they need to go somewhere else, that's obviously the decision of [technical director] Edu and Mikel."

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