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Mikel Arteta hopes Arsenal have learned lessons from having to pay players off

Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal need to avoid getting back into a position where they have to pay their unwanted players to leave and believes the new-look executive team can prevent such repeats.

Mesut Ozil is set to join Fenerbahce over the weekend after Arsenal agreed to pay up the majority of the six months remaining on a contract which made him the highest-paid player in the history of the club.

Defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos was also released from his deal earlier this week after both he and Ozil had been omitted from Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads this season.

The decision to pay up the remainder of the deals was taken to clear the decks at the Emirates Stadium, with the club unable to attract buyers due to the players’ respective wage packets.

Arteta is keen for such situations to be avoided in the future, with the Gunners having also lost Aaron Ramsey on a free to Juventus in 2019 and allowed Alexis Sanchez to join Manchester United in a swap deal as his contract was running down a year earlier.

“You don’t want to get into this position again, that’s for sure,” Arteta replied when asked if lessons had now been learned.

“Not for the player, not for the club – but it’s happening more and more at every club and this situation you can see in other clubs things happening like that.

“I think you have to have that communication open, obviously to prevent it as much as possible and if they happen, just make a decision and don’t try to delay a situation that is not working for much longer.”

The deals signed by Ozil and Sokratis came under the watch of a previous executive team.

Sokratis has also had his contract ended early
Sokratis has also had his contract ended early (Adam Davy/PA)

With the hierarchy shifting around over the past couple of years, Arsenal now appear more settled in the boardroom.

Chief executive Vinai Venkatesham, technical director Edu and incoming head of football operations Richard Garlick will be tasked with making sure such costly deals are a thing of the past.

Asked if a more stable executive team will help, Arteta replied: “Well this is what we are looking for.

“Obviously a lot of things happened institutionally at the club and with some of the big decision makers as well.

“We are trying to create a really strong team with different qualities that hopefully is going to give us more sustainability and success in our decisions.”

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