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Unai Emery explains why he doesn’t need to buy Arsenal’s Virgil Van Dijk

Unai Emery insists he doesn’t want to spend big money to restore Arsenal to the forefront of European football as he has other plans on that matter.

The Arsenal boss arrived at the Emirates Stadium last season and decided to build a side capable of competing at the top of the Premier League.

However, now the Spaniard admits that he doesn’t need to spend big money to restore Arsenal as it’s better to trust the academy to produce his own Virgil van Dijk rather than buying them.

Formal budgets have not yet been set but even if his side qualify for the Champions League he is unlikely to have much more than £70million at his disposal before player sales.

Asked whether he could envisage making a signing of the scale that Liverpool invested in Van Dijk, Emery said: “In the past we have many greats working in the club, like watching the player, finding the player and signing young players and playing players from the academy. I have a big respect for our work, for our players in the academy to develop with a big performance in the future.

“And after we can also achieve some players looking for in other teams for come here and give us this performance, for example in Liverpool. We can share both situations.

“With our players in the academy developing and playing with us in the future and some players can come here, signing and also spending money to help us.

“We can do both now. We are in the right way with the club, the owner and [head of football] Raul [Sanllehi] to find that.”

Arsenal are 16 points off second-placed Liverpool and were hammered by Klopp’s side when they met at Anfield but Emery still has big dreams.

“I am here to progress my career,” he said. “Arsenal have targets, collectively and individually. I earned titles in Paris [Saint-Germain] and Sevilla and here, we need to have the same objective, to win titles in the present and in the future.

“Now to win the Premier League is difficult but we need to be consistent and create a team with the possibility to win that. I enjoy the development of the players also, the young players to be consistent in his career.

“I want to score lots of goals. I want to be stronger defensively with this team.

“Each moment for me with the club and the team is a moment is a big challenge for progress and I am here for that, titles, to be with the best teams in the world for the Champions League, have the best players in the world.

“We have very good players and also [we must] develop with them to achieve best individual target. This has been my goal in the past and also will be in the future.

“Above all I want to develop with the players here and give them this progress and achieve a big team, a great team like we are but also to fight against the teams with more money than us, maybe Manchester City, maybe Real Madrid.”

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