Arsenal manager Unai Emery has been told by owners of the North London club to do everything possible to bring the Premier League title back to the Emirates for the first time since 2004.
Josh Kroenke is said to be delighted with the transfer business carried out by Arsenal, with reports of a limited budget having been laughed off by a club that adopted a “proactive” and “aggressive” mindset.
It was suggested heading into the latest window that the Gunners would have little funding with which to bolster their ranks.
Such claims proved to be wide of the mark, with £72 million ($87m) club-record signing Nicolas Pepe drafted in alongside the likes of David Luiz, Kieran Tierney and Dani Ceballos.
Kroenke, a board member at Emirates Stadium and the son of Arsenal owner Stan, told BBC Sport of the money claims in north London: “I joked with a few of our colleagues back in the States about this topic and as much as I want to win the conversations in July, I really want to win the matches come May and June.
“So I think it’s important to have that type of conversation – but whether we’re going to be lauded for our efforts or perceived in a negative light, we want to be doing what we think is right for the club and I think we had a very strong summer.
“We addressed certain areas on the pitch for this season and in the years ahead. We had certain age profiles that we were after.
“Without Champions League football we weren’t exactly sure, but I encouraged our football operations department to be aggressive and when Arsenal Football Club knocks on a player’s door it’s a different knock.
“This summer, even though we weren’t in a position of strength coming out of Baku, I think there were a few people caught off guard that Arsenal Football Club still has the aura that it does. We’re excited to keep pushing that now and into the future.”
Kroenke is adamant that a flurry of activity at Arsenal was not driven by supporter unrest, adding: “I would say that if you’re reacting and doing club-record signings based on public opinion, you’re not going to go very far as a club.
“We weren’t reactive this summer, we were actually proactive.
“The transfer market is an evolving, living, breathing thing. There are certain moments in time; sometimes those moments are sooner, sometimes those moments are later in the window. We identified a few key targets, worked on those deals and over time we were able to execute them.
“I hope that our fans are just as excited as I am about the upcoming season, because I think we’ve got some talented new players in, at an age profile where they’re going to grow and improve on the pitch over the next eight to 10 months or so and well into the future. It’s an exciting time to be an Arsenal supporter.”
With the Gunners considered to have recruited successfully over the summer, and taken six points from their opening two games in 2019-20, expectation around the club is rising once more.
The top priority at this stage is to secure a return to Champions League football but Kroenke admits the club are aiming a lot higher than that, saying: “Challenging for the Premier League title is always our goal, that’s what we talk about constantly.
“Based on the strength of our league, which is the greatest in the world, if you’re competing for the Premier League title, you’re competing elsewhere for other silverware as well – whether that’s the Premier League title, whether that’s the FA Cup, whether that’s European silverware… we want to go for it all.
“But we know it’s not a process that’s going to be easy and we know it’s going to require a lot of work – our work has already started and I’m thrilled to be with the group that we are, pursuing the goals that we are.”