According to some parts of the media, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil are to be sacrificed in the summer to facilitate a spending spree and the arrival of 4 players.
Let’s just hold on a minute and look at the consequences or likelihood of this story being accurate. Firstly, if both did leave, it would free up a potential £530,000 per week, that’s a combined saving of £27,560,000 million in a year, so it makes perfect sense.
Arsenal are keen to offload Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil as they try to reduce their huge wage bill. [Mirror] pic.twitter.com/d68baHBJuO
— AFTV (@AFTVMedia) March 28, 2019
However, Ozil has had an indifferent season due to absence, injury and the odd benching. So, who is going to make an offer on a player that is considered good enough against weaker opposition but not the top six ?
Of late, there has been less tension between Ozil and the coach, with the German taking to the field more frequently but it won’t be enough to attract a big bid for a 30 year old. It may be that Ozil’s move is on Emery’s wish list but surely even he isn’t optimistic about completing a deal in the summer, which will help facilitate new additions.
Who’s stupid enough to pay £350,000 a week. Oh yeah, Arsenal but probably no one else. If Emery is also considering the departure of Mkhitaryan, then we are in theory, about to lose two experienced internationals, one a World Cup winner in form of Ozil. So who is coming in at a modest price, with the right level of experience and ability ? The answer to that, is without parting with substantial sums, no one.
Emery would be attempting to rebuild the midfield after the departures of Ozil and Ramsey by acquiring unproven players that are probably not used to the premiership or Emery’s tactical demands. That would put Arsenal at a distinct disadvantage before the season starts, in the feint hope that those new additions could live with the pace of the English game and form an understanding with their team mates.
Ornstein: "They have got an ageing squad in certain areas: Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Aubameyang. They need to bring in a goalkeeper for Cech, who’ll be retiring at the end of the season. But until they get that technical director in place, many of those rumours [won’t happen]" #Arsenal pic.twitter.com/1d9z6imqla
— Gurjit (@GurjitAFC) March 27, 2019
I’m sure Emery and Arsenal’s plan is to improve on this years performance by making a few key additions and then in subsequent transfer windows, make further purchases but that may take another two transfer windows, by which time the pair will be out of contract. Obviously, Emery would prefer some income from a sale and Mkhitaryan presents the most realistic chance of that but what a shame that might be because we have only recently started to see his worth as a player.
On the other hand, apart from bids emanating from China and the MLS, Ozil is going nowhere fast. Ozil has already been at Madrid and Barcelona don’t have need of him. None of the top premiership clubs need a player of his type and as much as I try, I can’t find one club, other than Arsenal, where Ozil would fit in.
We have to also consider that Arsenal’s current plight and limited funds, will make them appear more of a risk than a tempting opportunity to prospective employees. The club may line up targets, only to see them go elsewhere as has happened recently.
It’s a balancing act and also unfamiliar territory for the North London club, which has been almost Scrooge like before the arrival of Ozil. Realistically, Arsenal have more chance of selling Granit Xhaka who is contracted until 2023 and Shkodran Mustafi who’s contract ends on 2021. This could generate anywhere between £60 and £70 million.
“Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s Arsenal future is in doubt, with the club keen to offload him as well as Mesut Özil to reduce their wage bill, as Unai Emery believes Mkhitaryan’s salary could be better spent elsewhere to reshape the squad.
?? “`SOCCER WORLD TOP WHISPER“` pic.twitter.com/E9JV8ktxoB
— Eye Sports News? (@eyesportsnews) March 28, 2019
Apart from selling Ozil, there are a host of peripheral players that include Chambers, Jenkinson and Elneny which could raise £20m on a good day. Emery is astute enough to know that the house won’t withstand the hurricane if you take a wall out and remove the foundations. That may be giving both players in this story too much credit but they could well be key to next season, before eventually making way for homegrown talent.