Football is in a strange place right not alongside the rest of the world.
Whilst Chelsea have just agreed a £53million deal to sign Timo Werner, Tottenham have taken a £175m Bank of England loan to ease coronavirus impact. Spurs fear losing more than £200m of revenue to June 2021.
Football clubs are leaking money daily.
Despite many doing deals with players to take a temporary reduction in wages, costs are still sky high.
Budgets run on a 12 month basis. At the end of each accountancy year (usually 31st May), most clubs have an extremely low cash balance. Then season ticket renewals come in which can add up to £60million over a 2 or 3 week period at the end of May & 1st week in June.
The problem clubs face is that the season ticket money that would normally have hit their accounts today is non-existent. And with it being highly unlikely that clubs will be able to issues renewals for 2020/21 any time soon, money is quickly running out.
This will all lead to a strained transfer market this summer.
Most clubs will not have the money to make big transfers; and would be reluctant to offer big wages having asked existing players to take temporary pay cuts.
They will have to sell to buy – but very few clubs will want to buy a player and offer them the equivalent wages.
Take Shkodran Mustafi.
Arsenal could offer him for sale on a free transfer, but how many clubs can afford his £90,000 a week salary in the current climate? Not many.
One big deal usually triggers another big deal and so on. If the big deals do not happen, money will not filter down from the big clubs to the smaller clubs. This will lead to a huge stagnation in the transfer market.
The answer is clubs will have to rely on their young players to supplement their senior stars, and having given a lot of young players a chance in recent seasons, Arsenal could be in pole position.
William Saliba – 19 years old
Last summer arsenal signed French teenager Saliba from Saint-Étienne for a reported £27million, and then left him on loan in France for a year. This allowed him to continue his development with regular first team football.
Whilst many fans are calling for the club to make a big money signing in defence – the likes of Dayot Upamecano – what is more realistic is that Saliba will come in and partner a senior centre back; One of David Luiz, Sokratis or Shkodran Mustafi. We are more likely make the “cheap” signing of Pablo Mari.
Daniel Ballard – 20 years old
This summer might be the year Arsenal decide to cash in on Rob Holding and Calum Chambers. Both players are now in their mid 20s (Holding 24, Chambers 25) and have not really progressed from their exciting beginnings.
Whilst Arsenal will look to move on older, higher paid defenders, Chambers and Holding are more sellable.
Northern Ireland defender Dan Ballard may well fill the gap left by them as 5th choice central defender.
Jordi Osei-Tutu – 21 years old
Slough born Osei-Tutu has performed well during his season long loan to Bundesliga 2 side VfL Bochum. This gives the club an option as to whether utilise him as back up for Hector Bellerin; or sign Cedric Soares on a free transfer.
The decision could come down to the wage demands Soares and the agent fee.
Thoughts: Arsenal need to sell rather than buy in defence. Sokratis and Mustafi need to somehow be moved on. And then we have the David Luiz contract situation. We need to go into next season with no more than 5 central defenders. These should be: Luiz, Saliba, Mari, Chambers / Holding, Ballard
Matteo Guendouzi – 21 years old
The situation for Guendouzi is an interesting one. He is clearly a talented lad, one which Arsenal would not want to lose, but he is also a huge sellable asset. Arsenal might decide to cash in on him to pursue a ready-made option like Thomas Partey. However the preference would surely be to move on either Granit Xhaka or Lucas Torreira to raise funds for the Atletico Madrid midfielder.
With 80 senior appearance for Arsenal, Guendouzi has quickly become a senior member of the squad.
Joe Willock – 20 years old
Next season will be a make or break one for London born midfielder.
Willock is in the mould of Arron Ramsey in that he is high energy in the middle of the park, and able to find space in the box to score goals.
His versatility means he can cover central midfield, attacking midfield and the wings if required.
Emile Smith Rowe – 19 years old
Mesut Ozil is unlikely to leave Arsenal this summer. His £18million a year wages will have a huge impact on what we can do this summer. The result will be instead of signing someone like Dani Ceballos to provide cover / competition for him, we will ask Emile Smith Rowe to step up.p.
The English youngster has been on the fringes of the first team squad since making his debut 2 years ago. Next season will be his time to step up and provide cover for Ozil.
Thoughts: Emile Smith Rowe will be given the chance to provide cover for Ozil next season, saving the clubs millions. The club might decide to cash in on Guendouzi to finance Thomas Partey.
Bukayo Saka – 18 years old
Our break through player this season, Saka is set to save the club millions.
Playing mainly at left back this season, the winger has scored 3 goals and created a further 9. He will surely finish this season playing on the left wing and become first choice next season.
Arsenal to rely on youngsters as finances tighten
Reiss Nelson – 20 years old
Backing up Saka and Nicolas Pepe will be Reiss Nelson.
Alongside Saka, Nelson’s presence means Arsenal will not have to go into the transfer market to buy a winger.
Thoughts: With Pepe, Saka and Nelson at the club, Arsenal are well set on the wings. Mikel Arteta will also be able to call on Aubameyang, Martinelli & Willock if the side is short.
Gabriel Martinelli – 18 years old
Signed a year ago, Brazilian Martinelli has scored 10 goals in 26 games. This gives Arsenal the option of cashing in on Alexandre Lacazette and not needing to buy a back up for him. Martinelli could easily be understudy to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Would Martinelli be ready to step up to replace Aubameyang if the club decided to cash in on both senior strikers? He would certainly give it a go.
Eddie Nketiah – 21 years old
Backing up Martinelli is Eddie Nketiah.
The English youngster spent the first half of last season on loan at Leeds before returning to the club and scoring 3 goals in 7 games. He could certainly do the job of 3rd choice striker behind Martinelli and Aubameyang. He might be called upon to be 2nd choice.
Folarin Balogun – 18 years old
Putting pressure on Nketiah is Folarin Balogun. The youngster has been scoring for fun in the Premier League 2, and is considered by many as the best striker to come through the academy since Kevin Campbell.
Thoughts: Arsenal should try and keep hold of Aubameyang as a senior striker, even if it means losing him on a free transfer next season. This would give Martinelli another year of development under his belt and Balogun the option for a season long loan before returning in 2021 to compete with Nketiah to provide back-up to the Brazilian.
Final thoughts: William Saliba, Dan Ballard, Matteo Guendouzi, Joe Willock, Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson, Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah & Folarin Balogun. 10 players aged 21 or under who will make up 30% of Arsenal’s squad in 2020/21 without costing the club a penny.