first_imgShkodran Mustafi was at fault for Lyon’s winning goal against Arsenal (Picture: Getty)The sight of second half substitute Shkodran Mustafi committing the error which led to Moussa Dembele’s winning goal did little to calm the home crowd which had booed the German’s introduction.Asked to explain Arsenal’s ongoing defensive struggles, Emery said: We defended well in the first half. The second half we switched off.‘The focus and concentration maybe wasn’t there as much in the second half. We were winning and playing very well…but we lost. We’re going to work and watch to improve.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Advertisement Comment Arsenal are competing with Napoli over the £72million transfer of Nicolas Pepe (Picture: Getty)Unai Emery insists Arsenal are working to sign players ‘who will improve the squad’ amid speculation Nicolas Pepe is on the verge of completing a £72million transfer to the north London club.The Spaniard was reportedly working with a meagre £45million budget having failed to mastermind a return to the Champions League following last season’s capitulation during the run-in.After a meeting with the club’s owners in America last week, however, Emery appears to have been granted the funds required to significantly bolster his squad in what remains of the summer window.Dani Ceballos arrived on loan for the season from Real Madrid earlier this week, while Arsenal beat off late competition from Tottenham to sign highly-rated Saint-Etienne centre-half William Saliba.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityArsenal had failed with an opening bid of £40million for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha and turned their attentions to Pepe after failing to tempt the Eagles with an exchange deal which would have included the likes of Mohamed Elneny or Carl Jenksin.Napoli, too, maintain a strong interest in Pepe, but Arsenal are understood to be the Ivory Coast international’s preferred destination and only an agreement with his representatives needs to be finalised before confirmation of the deal, which is expected to be announced early next week.‘The club is thinking on how we can improve,’ said Emery after Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat against Lyon in the Emirates Cup.‘There are different players on the table. Pepe’s a very good player. We only want players who can really, really improve the squad. Reiss Nelson impressed after replacing Alexandre Lacazette against Lyon (Picture: Getty)‘We want the best players possible for the first game at Newcastle.’After Reiss Nelson and another summer signing, Gabriel Martinelli, impressed against the Ligue 1 side, Emery was pressed again on whether a new winger represented a key requirement.‘Again, we really want players who make the squad better than last year,’ he added.With Saliba heading back to France for another year to continue his development and club captain Laurent Koscielny effectively on strike, Arsenal appear to be in desperate need of defensive reinforcements.center_img Unai Emery provides Arsenal transfer update on Nicolas Pepe deal Metro Sport ReporterSunday 28 Jul 2019 5:59 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link4.2kShares Advertisementlast_img