We’ve suspected for some time that Arsenal have been forced to adapt their finances to fit their circumstances, which include a lack of Champions League football, an early Europa League exit and the possible failure to get a top-four slot this season.
As a result, there will be a number of players leaving to provide additional funds for the summer and they are likely to include Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Matteo Guendouzi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, and Alexandre Lacazette. Before you literally jump out of your seat in fury and begin throwing cushions around the room, let’s look at the logic and the likely sums that may help Mikel Arteta rebuild his current lacklustre side.
Maitland-Niles simply hasn’t carved out a regular slot in the side, especially in his preferred position of midfield. Occasionally as a replacement for Hector Bellerin, he has shown promise with a few decent performances but something isn’t right, whether it’s a question of confidence or ability, I’m not sure.
As a result, MN has slipped down the list of academy prospects having been leapfrogged by Saka, Willock, and Nelson. It’s therefore logical to expect Arsenal to cash in as they did with Alex Iwobi to Everton. Who saw that last-minute Arsenal-Everton deal coming? Maitland-Niles’ valuation is around £16.20m and there are several Everton like clubs in the Premier League that would be interested.
Matteo Guendouzi burst onto the scene in 2018 after he was picked up for the bargain price of £7.20m and he is now thought to be worth a staggering £45m. So, why is he for sale?
It’s thought that his attitude has been deemed questionable and recent spats before the Everton game with Arteta and the coaching staff may have rubber-stamped his departure. When Arteta arrived, he said that certain things were ‘non-negotiable’, one of those things was conduct and it’s doubtful that Arteta or Guendouzi will alter to accommodate the other.
Although Arteta has used the French youngster since it’s not clear if the incidents have altered his opinion on the midfielder’s Arsenal career but if the Gunners made it known that he was available, a number of clubs would become involved in a bidding war.
Sokratis has limitations but has always played with heart. However, that won’t be enough when William Saliba arrives in the summer. Arteta will need a more accomplished, younger and athletic performer to partner the Frenchman and it could mean a parting of the ways for up to £16.20m. As Arsenal continue to upgrade at the back, it was always obvious that there would be casualties and that the Greek defender was a candidate to leave at the end of this campaign.
Finally, Alexandre Lacazette is the biggest name to be included in the list of departures. Having endured a relatively poor season in the shadow of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, if one had to go, it would be the Frenchman, either by his own choice or at the insistence of the club.
The two strikers haven’t really worked as a unit and have only occasionally complimented each other. The fact that Aubameyang is outperforming his partner may convince Arteta to ship out Lacazette at the earliest opportunity given that Arsenal have a Champions League level wage bill on an Europa League budget.
Arsenal will be adequately reimbursed for their trouble to the tune of £63m and that would certainly assist with the rebuilding of the North London club.
Possible amount raised: £140.4m
Who knows what will transpire in the summer but Arsenal are likely to look at their existing assets before releasing funds for new players to bolster their quest for Champions League football and not Europa League.