Mikel Arteta reveals plans to sign Arsenal’s own Virgil van Dijk

Brighton & Hove Albion v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Van Dijk transformed Liverpool’s defence (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta admitted Arsenal need to sign their own Virgil van Dijk if they are to solve their defensive problems.

Liverpool transformed themselves into Premier League winners with some shrewd business in the transfer market, most crucially when they signed Van Dijk from Southampton and Alisson from Roma.

The duo cost a combined £142million and instantly had a remarkable effect on Liverpool’s defensive issues.

Arteta was asked if he needed to make a Van Dijk-esque signing for Arsenal and replied: ‘Yes as that is the way that I believe a team has to be built.

‘They were conceding goals, with some individual errors and some set pieces as well.

‘And the moment they touched the spine of the team that changes dramatically. So that is a quick fix.

‘You get one of the best defenders in the world with the best goalkeeper in the world with one of the best holding midfielders in the world and you change it pretty quickly.

‘You can see what happened straight away at Manchester City when Aymeric Laporte came in.

‘But we have to know that we have to do it our way with our resources. We have to find a way.’

Arteta has been unable to put his stamp on the Arsenal squad due to financial issues and was restricted to loan signings in January.

Arsenal made Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares’ loan deals permanent this summer, but Arteta is yet to make a marquee signing.

The former Manchester City No.2 revealed Arsenal were prepared to wait for the right players to become available.

‘At the end of the day everything that has to come through our door has to be top, top quality,’ the Arsenal coach explained.

‘That is the demands of this football club and it cannot be any different. If we have to wait for the right player in order to do that, let’s wait.

Arteta’s defenders have struggled for consistency (Picture: Getty)

‘But everything that comes through our door has to be something that significantly increases the level of the team.

‘It is a good mixture [of players from relegated and big clubs] because as well they bought players from Monaco, they bought players from Italy.

‘You need players that have the experience in the Premier League and they’ve done it here, so in terms of adaption the process it is much quicker.

‘But as well they bought players with European experience, playing in big national teams with big responsibilities – and, don’t forget, for a big amount of money as well.’

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