This is one of the biggest summer transfer windows that Arsenal have faced in their rich and colourful history.
The Gunners, who have discovered that they will face Premier League newcomers Brentford on the opening day of the 2021/22 campaign in two months time, face the challenge of completing a squad overhaul in a bid to avoid a repeat of their 2020/21 failings.
Arsenal finished eighth in the Premier League last term, meaning they missed out on a place in Europe for the first time in 25 years.
With that in mind, manager Mikel Arteta knows just how big a challenge lies ahead of him in his efforts to turn the club back into a more formidable and competitive force.
As reported by football.london last month, the Gunners have aspirations to add five new players to the first-team squad this summer, with a number of positions in need of strengthening, including the central attacking-midfield berth.
Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard, who spent the second half of last season on loan at the Emirates Stadium, is Arteta’s top target to bolster that particular part of the team, but a report by The Athletic has claimed that Odegaard is poised to remain in the Spanish capital this summer, potentially ending Arsenal’s hopes of re-signing him.
Alternatively, the Gunners could turn to Leicester City star James Maddison, with Arteta understood to be a big fan of the former Norwich City player and keeping a close eye on him.
But if the Gunners are to stand any chance of luring Maddison to the Emirates Stadium then they are going to have to seriously cut their cloth to fund a move. That is because Leicester batted away an offer of £70million for his services from an unnamed club last summer, meaning they are highly likely to want a big fee for his services.
With the coronavirus pandemic having stopped the Emirates Stadium’s turnstiles from turning over the past 16 months or so, funds are in short supply, meaning players will have to be sold before new faces can come in. Fortunately, Arteta has no shortage of players within his squad that are no longer part of his plans and are available to leave.
As previously reported by football.london, Arsenal are ready to reduce the size of the squad this summer by listening to offers for Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Eddie Nketiah. The Gunners will also consider letting go of Hector Bellerin if the right offer presents itself.
Using data provided by transfermarkt – a website that calculates players’ current values – Maitland-Niles is currently worth £14.4million, Torreira £18million, Guendouzi is also valued at £18million and Nketiah, like Maitland-Niles, is valued at £14.4million. Those four would offer Arsenal an immediate cash injection, if they were to be sold for the exact price of their respective values, of £64.8million.
In addition to those four, Bellerin, should a presentable offer be put to him and Arsenal, could bring in over £20million, with his value currently standing at £22.2million.
If the Spaniard was to be sold, that would take the Gunners’ windfall earned to £87million.
The money that Arsenal can raise through player sales this summer, however, does not end there.
Midfielder Granit Xhaka’s impending switch to Italian giants AS Roma is yet to be finalised and completed, meaning the Gunners will bring in a further £17million, with a deal having been agreed between the two clubs.
The summer window is officially open, and it’s going to be tough to keep up with the comings and goings in and out of the Emirates.
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If Xhaka’s move to Roma goes through and the five aforementioned names join him in leaving the Emirates Stadium this summer, the Gunners could earn £104million by selling those players, even though others could still follow.
If all of that comes into fruition, Arsenal could find themselves in a strong position to launch a big-money move for Maddison this summer, with the Foxes star valued at somewhere between £60million and £70million.