• Coach stresses need to maintain energy and enthusiasm
  • Arteta thankful for support from friends after Brighton defeat

Mikel Arteta is steeling himself for a “crucial summer” in the development of his Arsenal side as they aim to bridge the gap from title chasers to winners, with significant transfer activity expected and difficult calls likely during the next stage of their evolution.

Arsenal can remain in the hunt for first place with a win at Nottingham Forest on Saturday, although they know Manchester City would settle the issue by beating Chelsea on Sunday. Assuming there is to be no unlikely twist Arteta must reflect on a season in which his squad could not sustain a push that has run City close. Granit Xhaka’s likely move to Bayer Leverkusen will signal a revamp of Arsenal’s midfield, with Declan Rice favoured to come in, and Arteta knows the club cannot afford missteps before August.

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