‘We can only start judging him more next season’ – David Seaman urges Arsenal fans to be patient with Mikel Arteta

David Seaman looks on prior to Arsenal's Premier League clash with Sheffield United
David Seaman has called for big-money signings at Arsenal this summer (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal legend David Seaman has called for patience with Mikel Arteta and insists the Spaniard can only be properly judged next term if he’s given the funds needed to strengthen in the summer transfer window.

Arteta took over the reins from Unai Emery back in December 2019 and became the first Arsenal manager to win major silverware in his first season at the helm as he steered the club to their 14th FA Cup.

But the 39-year-old has come under intense scrutiny across what’s been a gruelling Premier League campaign, with the north London outfit languishing down in ninth place in the table.

The Gunners’ hopes of securing Champions League football rest on them winning this year’s Europa League and the pressure will be on next week when they travel to Arteta’s homeland for the first leg of their semi-final with Villarreal.

Mikel Arteta looks on during Arsenal's Premier League clash with Fulham
Arteta’s side are languishing down in ninth in the Premier League (Picture: Getty)

The match will be set against the backdrop of the failed European Super League debacle which has overshadowed football in recent days, with Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke widely condemned for his involvement in the proposed breakaway competition.

Asked about fans’ plans to protest against Kroenke’s leadership at the Emirates prior to the side’s clash with Everton, Seaman told talkSPORT: ‘The fans do that regularly when they want owners out and things like that but Arsenal as a business is really good.

‘Obviously on the field it’s not as good as it should be so it’s going to be an interesting summer for Arsenal because they need players, they need some finances and then we’ll see if we get any money to spend on players.

‘If we don’t it’s going to be the same old, same old. The league doesn’t lie and we are mid-table and that’s not good enough.’

Mikel Arteta looks on in Arsenal training
The Gunners must win the Europa League to secure Champions League football (Picture: Getty)

The former Arsenal and England goalkeeper believes ‘serious questions’ should be asked if Kroenke fails to give Arteta the investment he needs to bolster his options for next season.

‘Before this Super League episode he’s [Kroenke] not really done a great deal wrong so Arsenal as a business is run really well,’ he added.

‘There’s definitely question marks there now but if he goes then what happens? Do they go down the line or [Alisher] Usmanov or do they get a new owner in where you don’t know what you’re going to get?

‘It’s a big statement to say “get him out” but we’ll see what happens in the summer. Will Arteta get finances? If he doesn’t then there’s going to be some serious questions asked.’

On the significance of Arsenal’s thumping 5-1 aggregate win over Slavia Prague, Seaman went on: ‘It was huge because where we are in the league, there’s no chance of us qualifying for anything through our league position.

‘This is the only way that we’re going to get European football next year. There’s still some quality teams left in there so it’s going to be difficult.

‘But it was a massive game for him. I think we can only start judging him more next season because then he’ll have got his players in hopefully, it’s his side and we can judge him.

‘He’s had a lot of players from Emery and even a few from Arsene Wenger in there so I’m looking forward to the summer but only if there’s transfer activity.’

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