Arsenal set to sell an entire starting XI this summer – raising almost £150m

With Chelsea’s recent transfer spending, a lot has been written about how bloated their squad is. But they are not the only ones who will be looking to rid themselves of double figure senior players this summer.

As it stands, we have a 26-man senior squad – although not all of these need to be registered under Premier League rules. We also have 8 senior players out on loan taking us to a 34 man squad. And that is before any further academy promotions (we have a huge chunk of players that have recently turned 20).

We will need to sell (or loan) a dozen players this summer to bring Arteta’s “working” squad back down to around 25/26.

(Note: Before a smartarse says “34-12 is 22” you have to take into account 2 or 3 new signings and a couple of youth promotions that would take us back up to 26).

Kieran Tierney

I suspect Tierney will be Arsenal’s biggest name first team player to leave us in the summer.

The Scotsman has seen himself drop down in the pecking order at Arsenal with Oleksandr Zinchenko as first choice.

Tierney is not a bad player, but he does not fit Arteta’s system.

We play with our full backs tucked in, with Zinchenko and Ben White looking to add extra midfield options in attack. Tierney is more of a traditional full back who likes to get chalk on his boots, get round his winger and put crosses in.

I do think this is a valuable option for Arsenal when we are chasing a game. Someone that can come on and make the pitch a bit wider in attack. But the modern game is about having a “like for like” replacement in case of injury rather than a “different option”.

Earlier this season, we saw Takehiro Tomiyasu start ahead of Tierney when Zinchenko was out injured.

With Ben White’s form, I expect Tomiyasu to become “first replacement” at both left and right back. New signing Jakub Kiwor has also previously played left back, defensive midfield. You would have to think that experience would make him another option behind Zinchenko.

Throw in Brooke Norton-Cuffy and Lino Sousa, and the strength in depth is added to with the presence of the teenagers.

Tierney’s unsuitability is shown in his passing – this season he is our clubs worst passer with a pass accuracy of just 79.3%. He has never finished a Premier League season with an 80%+ pass accuracy.

As it stands, Zinchenko completes 89.2% of his passes, Ben White 86.3% and Tomiyasu 84.9%. Throw in Tierney’s injury record and it makes complete sense to cash in on him.

Tierney would have no shortage of interest from home and abroad. Could easily see the likes of Leicester City and West Ham entering a bidding war for him which would see a fee towards £30m.

Emile Smith Rowe

I love Emile Smith Rowe. He is a fantastic player. But he also has huge injury issues.

His latest injury has resulted in him playing just 111 Premier League minutes this season.

I have followed his career since his academy days. And even back then he had injury issues.

Last season was his first injury free one of his career and he showed what he can do. But this seasons groin injury is a repeat of an injury he has had a few times.

A groin injury wrecked his expected breakthrough season in 2018/19. He later also suffered a hamstring injury which saw his season end.

He has suffered muscle injuries in four of his five seasons since 2018. Injuries have led him to miss nearly a year of football.

Like Jack Wilshere, I feel he will never be injury free. And at 22, this summer might be a good time to cash in on him.

You would expect Arsenal to be able to get around £40m for him. And my concern is the next long term injury he suffers will see his value plummet.

Cash in this summer and replace him with someone who has a better injury record.

Nicolas Pepe

Whenever Arsenal’s record signing leaves, we will take a big loss on his transfer fee.

The Ivorian joined us for £72million in 2019, meaning that he will have just one year left on his contract this summer.

Due to the way the accounting works, any sale in excess of £15million would result in a “book profit” for the financial year:

2019/20 – £14.4m amortised
2020/21 – £14.4m
2021/22 – £14.4m
2022/23 – £14.4m

That means that come the 2023/24 financial year (and season), we will have just £14.4m left to account for. Any incoming transfer fee will be considerd a “profit” in the 2023/24 accounts.

He has played OK at Nice, so I would be surprised if did not get an offer in that region for him. Would not be surprised if we try and get around £20m for him, but then agree to pay half his £140,000 a week wages (with his new deal at a name club being £70,000).

That would make a deal be worth £16.36m net to Arsenal, and a small profit based on what is left to be amortised.

Cedric Soares

The Portuguese right back looks on his way to Fulham on loan (it might even be completed by the time we hit publish on this).

Initial reports are this deal will not contain an option to buy. But if he becomes a first team regular for the Cottagers, and they stay up (they will!), a permenant deal will probably be done in the summer. I would expect around £3m for him.

Nuno Tavares

Arsenal need to get better at selling players. And Nuno Tavares will show if we have improved in this region.

It has not really worked out for the raw Portuguese full-back in the 2-years since signing for us.

He is clearly a physical talent, and a very naturally gifted technically footballer. But he does not have the positional discipline to play in Arteta’s structured system.

Capable of brilliance one minute, and then found horrendously out of position the next, he has remained inconsistent whilst on loan at Marseille.

Whilst he is erratic, he has also established himself as Marseille’s first choice left back as they chase a top 3 finish in France. That will be enough to see them qualify for the Champions League.

Arsenal blocked an “option to buy” clause when he went out on loan. Signed for £7m, you would have to think a sale will be done for any offers over £15m.

Reiss Nelson

I feel for Reiss Nelson. He has not had it easy.

In 2017, it was predicted he would be the next superstar to come out of the academy. A loan deal to 1899 Hoffenheim could not have gone better and comparisons were being made between himself and childhood friend Jadon Sancho.

2019/20 was supposed to be a breakthrough season for him. And he was expected to make a huge impact in the Europa League. But then hamstring and ankle injuries began to take hold.

In his place, another academy graduate was given the chance – Bukayo Saka. And just like that, Nelson’s route to the first team was blocked by someone 2-years younger and more talented.

As Saka grew in importance, Nelson disappeared off the scene, playing just 70 minutes of Premier League football in 2020/21. A poor loan spell at Feynoord followed.

Now 23, and injured again, you have to feel his time at Arsenal is over, despite that goal against Bournemouth.

Nelson’s contract expires this summer. The clubs only hope of a fee will be compensation if he joins another English side. If he moves abroad, it will be a free transfer. £0m.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles

We triggered the one year extension in Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ contract last summer, prior to loaning him out to Southampton.

The hope would have been that a good loan spell would see his value rise, and we could then get a decent fee for him this summer. If anything, his stock has further fallen at Southampton.

It would have been 3-years since Arsenal pulled the plug on a £20m move to Wolves. And also 3-years since he won his 5 England caps. His fall off has been dramatic.

It is not just his fault, we have also messed him about.

Nlocking that Wolves move was a mistake all round – it would have generated Arsenal key funds and allowed AMN to get on with his career. He would play just 486 minutes of Premier League football in 2020/21 before being loaned out to WBA as they got relegated.

We then blocked a move to Leicester the next summer. He would play just 265 minutes before another January loan. This time to Roma.

In 2022, we tried to sell him but there were no takers and he ended up on loan with Southampton. He has started just 5 league games for the side proping up the table.

With a year left on his contract, I would not be surprised if we sell him for any offer in the summer. Even if it is under £5m.

Folarin Balogun

With 17 goals in 24 games in France for Reims, Balogun is showing that he is transitioning from talented youth product to senior staff. But it could be too late for him to have an impact at Arsenal.

Gabriel Jesus is the clubs first choice striker, and Eddie Nketiah is proving week in, week out that he is a suitable replacement.

At this point, some will argue “with Champions League football next year, we need more squad depth”. But I feel that depth is provided by both Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard – both of whom have played down the middle and could do the job as 3rd choice striker.

When you look beyond the goals of Balogun, he is a player that our Stad DNA system would probably reject.

For Reims, he has a pass accuracy of just 67.4%. That is way down on our worst passer of the ball Kieran Tierney (76.7%). Jesus (81.9%), Martinelli (82.3%), Saka (82.8%) and Nketiah (83.3%) are all vastly superior on the ball.

With just 1 assist this season, you have to question whether he has the all round play to be a striker at Arsenal.

4 of Balogun’s 17 goals have also come from the penalty spot and he sits 5th on the Ligue 1 top scorers list – below the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Wissam Ben Yedder.

He turns 22 in July, so he is probably at his peak transfer fee wise whilst he still has the “potential tag”. I would expect £30m with some sell on clauses and maybe even a buy back clause.

Pablo Mari

I refuse to accept Pablo Mari as a flop signing.

Gabriel Magalhães was always our main target to play left sided centre back, but was not available in January 2020 when we were desperate for extra defensive reinforcements.

Mari was probably the best deal we could do in terms of the attributes Arteta wanted, his experience level and cost.

He was signed with an obligation to buy, which covered the Gabriel deal which was not complete.

Covid and then injury did disrupt his Arsenal career, but cost just €7m

Monza have an obligation to buy if they do not get relegated (currently sit 13th), with the clause reported to be in the region of €7m (£6m).

Auston Trusty

The American was signed from Colorado Rapids in 2022 and immediately loaned to Birmingham City.

At the time, the feeling was we had signed him to “put him in the European shop window”. We paid just £1.5m for him.

He has been exceptional for a struggling Birmingham City this season. Probably their Player of the Season. And this will lead to plenty of interest from top-end Championship sides or those lesser Premier League teams. You could certainly see someone like Leeds United moving for him with their American links.

A case could be made that he returns to Arsenal as 4th choice centre back, but this would require Rob Holding leaving. The fact Trusty would take up a non-home grown playing spot makes this scenario unlikely.

I can see Arsenal trebeling their money on Trusty. Would not be surprised if he left us after a single year for £7.5m+.

Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson

Anyone need a keeper for 5-a-side on Thursday?



4 thoughts on “Arsenal set to sell an entire starting XI this summer – raising almost £150m

  1. Pingback: ≫ Arsenal listo para vender un XI inicial completo este verano, recaudando casi £ 150 millones

  2. Pingback: Can Arsenal promote XI, purchase 2, and have a stronger squad consequently? – Premier League Football

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