Van Dijk’s moved to Anfield arguably proved to be a catalyst for Liverpool’s recent success, and was followed soon after by the acquisitions of goalkeeper Alisson and midfielder Fabinho.
Arsenal spent big on Nicolas Pepe last summer, though the Ivorian has taken time to settle in England.
They do not have a wealth of funds for Arteta to spend to improve his squad this summer, and he admits the club will need to use their resources wisely to find their own solutions.
Asked if landing a defender similar to van Dijk was his aim, Arteta replied: “Yes as that is the way that I believe a team has to be built.
“They [Liverpool] were conceding goals, with some individual errors and some set pieces as well.
“And the moment they touched the spine of the team that changes dramatically. So that is a quick fix.
“You get one of the best defenders in the world with the best goalkeeper in the world with one of the best holding midfielders in the world and you change it pretty quickly.
“You can see what happened straight away at Manchester City when Aymeric Laporte came in.
“But we have to know that we have to do it our way with our resources. We have to find a way.”
Arsenal forked out £70m to land Pepe from Lille, but opted to save cash in defence by signing David Luiz for a cut-price £8m.
The figure for Luiz has risen since though, when taking into account agents fees and wages, while the player’s questionable performances on the pitch have left the club open to criticism.
Youngster William Saliba has already completed his £27m move from St Etienne though and is regarded as a huge prospect as The Gunners look to solve their defensive problems.
Arteta has admitted though that he is yet to decide on his transfer strategy for the upcoming window, and explained how the remaining games could shape his approach.
“What we need to do at the end of the season is see the direction we want to take, agree on the ambition, realise that where we are the demands are going to be huge and move from there,” he said.
“If you are not in the Champions League and you say: ‘Okay, I don’t invest because I don’t have the financial ability to do it’, but the other clubs invest, then the gap becomes bigger.
“If I do want to invest and risk, and then I don’t reach it, what happens? So at some stage you have to make a decision, whether I want to aim to make that gap closer and go for it, or I stay where I am.”
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