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Arsenal Ready to Sell Two Players Despite Them Being Key Players in the Past

Hector Bellerin, Arsenal, Ainsley Maitland-Niles

According to reports, Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who are currently on loan, are set to leave Arsenal permanently at the end of the season. Both the players have a contract with the North London club that expires at the end of the 2022-23 season.

The Gunners are marching towards a top-four finish this season. They are in a strong position to finish fourth in the Premier League and play in the Champions League next season. However, there is still a lot of room for improvement in various departments of the squad.

The priority signings for Arteta in the summer transfer window are a striker and a central midfielder. However, to sign new players, Arsenal need to get rid of extra players to free up space in the squad as well as lighten their wage bill.

According to Football London, Arsenal have decided to let go of Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Although the two players play in the position of requirements, they do not make the cut for Mikel Arteta’s squad. Moreover, their transfers could help the Gunners in generating funds for future signings.

Arsenal Hector Bellerin Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Image obtained via Just Arsenal

Why Arsenal Does Not Want To Keep Hector Bellerin And Ainsley Maitland-Niles?

Last summer, Arsenal loaned out Hector Bellerin to Real Betis for a season-long loan. He has had a good spell at the La Liga club so far and is likely to join them permanently after the loan spell ends. Moreover, Arteta does not see the Spanish full-back in his plans for the future. The right-back spot at the Emirates has competition in the form of Takehiro Tomiyasu and Cedric Soares.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles sealed a loan move to AS Roma in the January transfer window. His loan spell will expire at the end of the season. He had a good start under Jose Mourinho but has failed to keep up the form. He has had really poor displays lately and Roma are unlikely to make his loan move permanent.

Although Hector Bellerin and Maitland-Niles had played key roles for Arsenal in the past, they have very little to prove their case and have been deemed surplus to requirements. The Gunners will have too many players in the same role if they stay at the club.

Although AMN can operate in the midfield, the manager seems unimpressed with his displays and attitude. Meanwhile, right-back is not much of a priority for the Gunners at the moment, signing a striker certainly is. Tomiyasu has made the right-back role his own, with Soares serving as a capable cover in his absence.

Moreover, moving these two players will make room in the squad for signing more players and also reduce their wage bill. The Gunners can utilise the funds obtained from the transfers to focus on the new signings, helping them improve their squad depth as well as the overall quality of the squad.

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal, Hector Bellerin, Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Image obtained via Sky Sports

What Should Be Arsenal’s Priority Signings In The Summer?

Striker: Arsenal currently have Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah as the only centre-forwards in the squad. However, both of them have contracts expiring at the end of the season. Therefore, Arsenal are actively looking to sign two new strikers in the summer. Several names have been linked such as Chelsea loanee Armando Broja, Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak as well as Dominic Calvert-Lewin from Everton.

Midfielder: Granit Xhaka has had a mixed season and the Gunners need a player who can deliver consistent high-class performances alongside Thomas Partey. The prime candidates are Wolves’ Ruben Neves, Douglas Luiz of Aston Villa and Youri Tielemans from Leicester City.

Why The Summer Transfer Window Will Be Crucial For Arsenal?

There is a lot of gap between a ‘top-four team’ and a ‘title-winning team’. The Gunners are currently a ‘top-four team’. Although being more or less consistent this season, there have been a few poor performances. Arsenal have a high chance of returning to the Champions League next season and therefore, require more quality to compete at the higher level.

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They need to win games against the bigger clubs while also competing for cups. To do that, they need better quality in the squad, they need depth to compete in all competitions at the same time. Perfect and measured signings in the summer would allow Arsenal to push for trophies.

Currently, the Gunners are out of all knock-out competitions and have only one focus ahead of themselves, finishing in the top-four of the Premier League at the end of the season. This will certainly help them acquire a Champions League spot for next season.

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