Arsenal’s transfer deadline day plans prove FA Cup’s underlying importance to Mikel Arteta dream

Firmly into the final week of the summer transfer window, Mikel Arteta and Arsenal will have a busy few days upon them despite the Spaniard’s attempts to deflect from the subject at Anfield.

After claiming other Premier League clubs would be “really busy”, when asked about the Gunners’ business, he held his cards close to his chest, saying “I don’t know for us how it’s going to happen”.

With five days remaining before the deadline [October 5], the most promising piece of potential incoming business is regarding Houssem Aouar. Despite pressure being mounted on Arsenal by Lyon’s club president Jean-Michel Aulas, who claims any player not sold by Friday won’t be leaving, after having their initial bid rejected, revealed on Saturday that a second bid worth an initial £36.4million with a further £9.1million in add-ons was being worked on by Arsenal.

Interest remains in Thomas Partey, however, with the moving parts of Lucas Torreira’s potential departure a contributing factor, the Gunners landing Aouar appears more likely. In either case, although both would add much-needed quality to the starting XI, Arteta will face the challenge of more competition for those already in the squad.

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Competition shouldn’t be taken with any real negative connotations as it is what could prove vital in driving this Arsenal side back to Champions League football. Arteta and technical director, Edu have already proven they won’t hide from this with the signing of Willian which has created more competition for places on the right wing in particular.

While less game time for Nicolas Pepe and Reiss Nelson is a consequence to take in the short-term, the way in which the pair respond could bear long-term benefits for the side as a whole. This has already been evident in Pepe’s cameos off the bench this season as well as Nelson’s strong start at…