Arsenal are facing all too familiar problems again, just that this time they start very early in the season and there’s really little to celebrate at the moment, while the future looks bleak too. While the club has invested well in new players, it has struggled to move on players no longer needed at the club.
Fans in one forum joked that the club has too many deadwood players they can light a bonfire. Well, it is hard to argue against that, looking at the mishmash at the team in the name of the playing unit.
First team players like Sead Kolasinac, Mo Elneny, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, Alex Runarsson, Hector Bellerin, Lucas Torreira and Willian Borges have had almost zero impact in the Gunners’ cause in the last campaign. There’s little sign that things will change this time, and the clear difficulty in finding buyers is the saddest part.
The pressure of having spent the most in the transfer window and getting little returns is also set to kick in after a poor start to the season. There’s however a ray of hope with a few teams showing interest in some of these fringe players.
With the team out of European football for the season, it is expected they will use this as a transitional window with all of their big six opponents having to contend with congested fixtures. However, the start to the season points to something else and Wincomparator’s football odds aren’t likely to be kind on Arsenal in the few opening weeks of the season.
News filtering in indicates that Brazilian side Corinthians are interested in Willian, while Torreira, who has publicly asked to be released, is said to be edging towards a move to Fiorentina in Italy after spending last season on loan at Atletico Madrid in Spain.
Eddie Nketiah rejected a new deal at Arsenal earlier and Crystal Palace are reported to be interested in getting him. Arsenal want a figure of around £20m to sign off his exit but reports have it that Palace are offering £10m.
All these players are bit part players and going to the final years of their contracts and there’s really no viable reason why Arsenal would want to hold on to them. For Nketiah, a move on the Bossman seems in the pipeline should a move to Palace fail to materialize. It will be baffling if Arsenal do not jump at the amount on offer.
For the financial structure to balance well, the Gunners need to balance well between the expenditure on incoming players and earnings from outgoing players. With Willian, a free transfer should be negotiated to cut on the wage bill, as is the case with Torreira.
While the Gunners have spent heavily, they’ve only sold for a fraction of what they’ve dished out. The only decent sum coming from Newcastle United’s £25m payout for Joe Willock.
When the transfer window is shut at the end of August, Arsenal will look back and try to make sense of their dealings in the market. For now, it doesn’t look like the business has been perfect, seeing that at the end of last season there was a clear problem in attack, and so far no striker has been acquired.
It will add salt to injury that Alex Lacazette’s future isn’t sorted yet, and there are reports Atletico Madrid want him. Should he leave, Arsenal will have an off-form Pierre Emerick Aubameyang as the only senior forward. It all looks like a calamity in waiting.
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