Arsenal set for busy week of sales

This could be the week we start to see Arsenal make big moves in the transfer market.

So far, the business Arsenal have done has been quietly efficient.

Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari have both had their loan deals made permanent, whilst Willian was also recruited on a free – 3 experienced campaigners.

The club also re-loaned Dani Ceballos and signed Gabriel Magalhaes.

On first impressions, Willian has added some busyness and creativity in the final 3rd, whilst Gabriel put in a commanding performance at centre back.

But Arsenal need to sell.

We still have 18 non-home grown players in the first team squad – and 32 players in it.

This means Arsenal need to sell before they buy, both to bring down the non-home grown quota and to reduce the squad size generally.

Emiliano Martinez will be the first out of the door. His transfer to Aston Villa is all but done (and will probably be completed by the time we hit publish!).

Martinez does not solve the squad problems however, before:

  • He will need to be replaced and;
  • He is home grown

Arsenal have been linked with both David Raya of Brentford and Runar Alex Runarsson from Dijon. Interestingly both keepers have previously worked with Inaki Cana; Arsenal’s goalkeeping coach.

Raya would be the preference as he is home grown having joined Blackburn at 17. Having a non-home grown 2nd choice goalkeeper feels like a waste of a slot, especially as we already have one too many.

This week should also be the week when Lucas Torreira and Sokratis make their moves to Italy.

The 3 players (Torreira, Martinez & Sokratis) should raise close to £50million between them. By the time Arsenal use some of the money to buy a new keeper, it should leave the club with at least £40million cash surplus to make moves.

Sokratis and Torreira leaving will also give Arsenal 1 non-home grown slot – although this could get taken up by Runarsson if he joins.

If we do see a home grown keeper join, expect Arsenal to quickly reinvest those funds into a new midfielder – my gut says Houssem Aouar rather than Thomas Partey.

Further signings will then depend on further departures.

Talk about Edouard from Celtic intensified over the weekend, but you can only see him coming in if Alex Lacazette is sold.

Likewise Thomas Partey.

With Matteo Guendouzi back in first team training, there is a school of thought that he will return to Mikel Arteta’s plans.

He has a friendship with Aouar which could be good for both players, and he would play a similar role to Partey on the right side of a midfield 3 – given the role to drive the ball forward at his feet.

With Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos, Guendouzi, Aouar (potentially), Elneny and Joe Willock, it makes most sense that Partey would replace Matteo.

The 3 likely out this week will not be the only ones to leave Arsenal.

That will still leave Arsenal with a 30 man first team squad once we have signed a replacement goal keeper.

The club will still expect to move on Sead Kolasinac, Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers. That would drop us down to a 27 man squad, and also get us within the non-home grown player limit. 27 is a number Arteta could cope with.

It is going to be a busy week…



11 thoughts on “Arsenal set for busy week of sales

  1. Dammy

    Great analysis as always.

    I am a little foggy on this though:

    “Sokratis and Torreira leaving will also give Arsenal 1 non-home grown slot – although this could get taken up by Runarsson if he joins”

    Both are non-homegrown (NHG) so shouldn’t that free up 2 slots?

    Personally I’d have Raya (HG) over Runar (NHG), to free up both slots but also because he’s done phenomenally well at Brentford last season and is ready to step up imo to Cup duties and PL back up.

    He’ll prob cost 7x more than Runar (£10m vs £1.4m), but a decent back up is critical as Martinez (HG) showed last season. It’ll impact income and how this is spent, but that’s the way of football. Martinez’s old club have a 10 year sell on clause about to yield £0.5m. Not a bad punt.

    You seem pretty confident about Sokratis (NHG), who is a) injured b) wanted by Napoli but only as a replacement for Koulibaly whose move to City appears off since City bid £85m for Atletico’s Gimenez, and c) Napoli also didn’t want to pay cash for Sokratis hoping Arsenal would do a Mkhitaryan and tear up the contract so he can go on a free.

    He is one of 3 CB’s out of contract next summer, so with his injury, may not get a move until late in the window or January.

    If Torreira (NHG) and Martinez (HG) leave and provide a £42m transfer kitty, then £10m on Raya (HG) seems a sensible investment. Like Torreira (NHG), he will have a resale value. This to me says there is only one more NHG slot. While I think the team needs an out and out DM like Partey (NHG), I don’t think he will be a long-term investment at 27. We might get a couple of great seasons (if he adapts quickly to the PL) from him with little possibility of sell on or fee recoupment. He would probably run the contract down like Mustafi (NHG) who was signed at the same age for £40m (plus add ons) and has to be considered a flop or misfit.

    I believe we need creativity in the middle of the park, which is why I think we signed Willian. In Arteta’s preferred 433 or 4231, he could play the number 10 role. Against Fulham on Saturday, he was frequently inside while Bellerin was on the line. I am not convinced we need Aouar, but understand he would be a sensible investment that provides Arteta with a different option. To play a 433 or 4231 however, you need a disciplined DM like Kante. Partey fits that bill, and in a perfect market we would sign both. Since we probably cannot, it makes sense to reinvest the transfer proceeds of Martinez and Torreira on Aouar this summer.

    Next summer, 4 NHG players (including Sokratis if he doesn’t leave this window) are off the books freeing up £34m in wages, thanks for the memories M10. We should be able identify, target, and recruit a proper DM by January and conclude a deal early in the summer.


    1. keenosafc Post author

      The problem is we already have 1 NHG player too many (we have 18, can only have 17). So selling Sokratis and Torreira reduces us to 16 – so just the one spot available


  2. allezkev

    Arsenal, if I’m correct, currently have 18 ‘foreign’ players for the 17 spots available, so if we complete on the Icelandic goalkeeper it’ll mean that we have to move on 4 players from that group to open up two spots for Partey and Aouar?

    Martinelli and Saliba are U21’s



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