Transfer market depression, benchmarks, and selling better

Later today Mikel Arteta will hold a press conference, ostensibly about Saturday’s Community Shield with Liverpool. There might be a few questions about team news:

“Who’s fit?”

“Well, nobody yet, we’ve only just returned to training after a ridiculously hectic end to last season which was completed after a three month lockdown.”

There will probably be some stuff about hopes for the season, what he wants to achieve, and some spurious comparisons with Liverpool and how they’ve built under Jurgen Klopp. But I imagine the focus will be on what his plans are for this transfer window, how he’s going to balance his squad and, getting into the nitty-gritty, who is coming and going.

Already, he’s shown a Wenger-esque ability to deflect questions about transfers and individual names, and I don’t expect him for one second to give us a list of players we’re after or willing to sell. It just doesn’t work like that. However, maybe we’ll get some kind of outline about the work he feels we need to do as a club between now and the close of the window on October 6th.

It’s clear there are challenges.

– How far can you make a limited budget stretch?

– What…