Edu had made Mikel Arteta u-turn at Arsenal after Josh Kroenke outlined clear demands

The Spaniard has overseen back-to-back eighth-placed finishes in the Premier League, meaning the Gunners are without European football this season for the first time in 25 years.

It is a far cry from what was expected of Arteta’s side when he was appointed, with Arsenal chief Josh Kroenke claiming back in December 2019 that he expects the Gunners to get back to the footballing pinnacle.

“He knows our expectations and those of our fans around the world are high and we are confident he can play a lead role in taking the club back to the levels we all demand,” Kroenke said at the time in an ambitious message.

However, the club have evidently changed their tune in recent times, with technical director Edu admitting last week in something of a u-turn that he isn’t necessarily even targeting a top-six finish.

“I don’t want to go for top four or top six or top eight or top 10. I’m just really looking forward to seeing this squad play together.

“Why are a few clubs around the Premier League just signing one or two players? It’s because they already have the foundation. They already have the team prepared. I’m sorry, but the reality is we don’t. Now you have to create. That is the reality.