Mikel Arteta has seen several major signings arrive at Arsenal and may now need to get several players off the club’s books as they assess their squad at the Emirates
The Gunners are packed with resources after adding the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Vieira this summer, with Oleksandr Zinchenko set to join them imminently. That would take their spending to £100million as they prepare to fight on four fronts, having secured a return to European football. In the meantime, Arteta has turned his attention to trimming the squad.
Opening up on Arsenal’s transfer plans, Arteta said: “We have a large squad, so we have to make some decisions as well on the players that we’re not going to be using consistently and be fair and straight with them and that’s a process that is going to start very soon as well.”
On any potential outgoings, he added: “We have to. We have a big squad and now we have to make things happen.” The Gunners need to balance the books whilst also ensuring they can keep all members of their squad happy.
With that in mind, we take a look at those who may depart the Emirates this summer.
The club spent a record £72million to sign the Ivorian back in 2019 but he’s never truly delivered at the Emirates. While Pepe came up with goals and assists aplenty with Lille in Ligue 1, he has only shown his best form in brief glimpses in North London. Arsenal are getting to the stage where they need to cut their losses.
Pepe is far from a guaranteed starter and, with the make-up of the current squad, it looks unlikely he will get many opportunities. There would no doubt still be a market for the winger, although the Gunners would have to accept a huge loss.
Nicolas Pepe has been unable to justify his huge fee ( Image: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
He was previously linked with the exit door before staying put. That said, Maitland-Niles has been unable to improve like many expected and questions remain over where his best position is. The 24-year-old has spent time away on loan at West Brom and then Roma.
Those periods away have done little to prove he has what it takes to become an Arsenal regular but, given his age, the Gunners could still generate plenty of funds by selling him.
The Spaniard has made it clear he wants out of North London, with some reports suggesting he was prepared to miss out the remaining wages of his contract in order to achieve his departure. Bellerin spent last season out at Real Betis and was keen to remain at the LaLiga outfit. It is understood the Spanish side are offloading players to raise funds to sign Bellerin permanently, with less than 12 months remaining on the right-back’s contract.
The Arsenal academy product is full of potential that is yet to be unlocked and the Gunners may decide to cash in, such is their depth in attack. With Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli ahead of him in the pecking order, Nelson has been forced to head out on loan.
Last term, he was at Feyenoord and with opportunities set to be at a premium this season, the winger is still young enough to command a hefty fee.
Reiss Nelson headed to Feyenoord last term in search of minutes
A highly-rated forward, last season he was sent out to Middlesbrough to get first-team experience and scored three times in 20 outings. Balogun previously excelled in Arsenal’s youth ranks and the club will be keen to see how he develops, so a permanent exit looks unlikely.
Another loan spell may well be on the cards, though, after Gabriel Jesus arrived as the club’s new No 9 and Eddie Nketiah penned a new deal.
He spent part of last season away at Udinese in order to find some minutes, having been overlooked at the Emirates. Arteta’s back four has been further bolstered by the return of William Saliba, meaning Mari has slipped further down the pecking order.
The 28-year-old has never been able to establish himself with the Gunners and the two parties may well cut ties.
Aaron Ramsdale is ahead of Bernd Leno in the pecking order
The goalkeeper was less than impressed when he was usurped by new signing Aaron Ramsdale last season. He made those views clear but the young English shot-stopper has not looked back and is now, without doubt, the club’s No 1.
Leno, therefore, will have to go elsewhere if he wants to be first choice again and no doubt there would be buyers if Arsenal decide to offload him. ‘Keeper Matt Turner has arrived this summer, which means it would be a shock to see the German remain at the Emirates.
“Lucas Torreira is our player,” Arteta declared recently. However, the player may well want out and it remains to be seen where he sits in the pecking order.
Arsenal have an establish pair in midfield as well as several back-up options. It means Torreira, who has spent the last two seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid and Fiorentina, may struggle for minutes and seek an exit.