Arsenal 20-21: Artetenal and/or Kia Joorabchian Futebol Clube

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Jul 2, 2006
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Here are my best predictions on squad movement this summer:
I'm a bit more optimistic on the selling front. The market will continue to be slowed by Covid. But the good thing is that Arsenal are mainly trying to sell players with qualities that should make them more moveable - relatively young, relatively low wages, many of them English.

My best guess for outgoings (ignoring players who are on loan or having their contracts end):

Very Likely Gone

Lacazette - I think there is a very good chance he goes. He doesn't fit the young/low wages box, but he is a striker with a track record of scoring goals and who also has a reputation for working hard off the ball, doing well in two-striker systems, and being a good player in the boot room. He is going to be attractive to a club like Aletico or Roma at the right price (maybe £15-20m?)

Nketiah - He is about to turn 22, makes nothing, and is the all time leading goal scorer for England U21s. Surely some mid-to-lower table Premier League club will be willing to pay £10-20 for that package. I don't think he is in Arteta's plan at all so we will be motivated to sell.

Maitland-Niles - Another player not at all in Arteta's plans. We turned down something around £15-20m from Wolves for him last summer. His insistence on playing in midfield is a bit of a complicating factor in terms of potential buyers but he has acquitted himself pretty well at West Brom and Big Sam speaks highly of him, which may actually count for something among other potential PL buyers.

Guendouzi - Arteta doesn't want him back and there is no point in loaning him given its the last year of his deal. Its unclear to me how long he will be out with his broken foot, but most people seem to be assuming he'll be ready to play next season. I am confident we sell him but think we'll get a fairly bad deal (maybe £10-15m) given the totality of the circumstances

Torreira - He seems to have realized that going to Boca isn't going to happen. But he obviously wants to leave Arsenal permanently, probably back to Italy. I think it'll happen this year, there were a lot of links last summer and it only seemed to fall through because the player himself demanded to be loaned to Atleti. But he probably now realizes that he's not making it there and Atletico won't want to renew his loan anyway.

Kolasinac - Nobody wants him back at Arsenal but he is pretty worthless. I think he probably leaves for free. In the worst case, we subsidize a small part of his wages for a year to help seal a deal with some Bundesliga club.

Maybe Gone

Bellerin - He clearly wants to leave, we clearly would like to sell him, and there are clubs out there that could clearly use him. Is there a deal? I think it will depend on how picky he is about his next club.

Willock - He has driven his value up tremendously during his time at Newcastle and they are making no bones about wanting to buy him permanently. I have less of a read on what Arteta wants to do with him. I think a deal probably gets done but not until late in the summer.

Elneny - Going into the last year of his deal. My guess is that we keep him around, as Arteta seems to like having him as a squad option, and then either let him walk or offer him a short extension. If we sold him the return would pretty tiny so there may just not be any point.

Mavropanos - Another loan seems most likely but rumors are that we would prefer a permanent sale if Stuttgart can cough up a nominal fee in the £6-8m range.

Unlikely But Still Possible

Aubameyang - I don't think either side is actually happy with the marriage at this point. He looks miserable all the time when playing and he doesn't have the all around game that Arteta clearly wants from his striker. If a big club (Barca? PSG?) was willing to take on his wages and pay us like £20m, I think nobody involved says no. But I'm skeptical that club is out there.

Nelson - Much more likely that we loan him somewhere, but it's possible that some team will make a bid and we just decide to move on. It wasn't that long ago that he was seen as the jewel of our youth system and one of the brightest English prospects in his age group.

Willian - Save us Inter Miami, you're our only hope.

Cedric - Completely in the doghouse for whatever reason. If we sign a real backup LB like Bertrand a new RB, as seems possible, there just isn't a role for him anymore. I think we would let him leave for free if any club wanted to take him but that's a big if.

In total, I see somewhere in the neighborhood of £60-90m coming back from the "very likely gone" category and another £0-60m from the "maybe gone" category. It could really be a big summer in terms of turning over the squad. We have this backlog of younger players that have some real value but haven't been the right fits and this is the time to get rid of that inventory as much as possible.
 
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mikeford

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Aug 6, 2006
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Toronto, ON
I don't think theres any way Lacazette goes. They have no replacement for him and replacing him is going to cost more than just extending his contract.
 

shaggydog2000

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Apr 5, 2007
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I don't think theres any way Lacazette goes. They have no replacement for him and replacing him is going to cost more than just extending his contract.
Auba and Martinelli can play as central strikers. They won't play the position the same way but if they're bringing in another #10 type they won't have to as much.
 

mikeford

woolwich!
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Aug 6, 2006
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Toronto, ON
Auba and Martinelli can play as central strikers. They won't play the position the same way but if they're bringing in another #10 type they won't have to as much.
Neither of those guys really play as a #9 which seems to be what Arteta wants out of the CF position so while those 2 dudes are capable of playing striker I don't really think they are capable of playing striker for Mikel Arteta.
 
I'd totally blanked on the fact that Arsenal could only qualify for the new Europa Conference League today - couldn't even get into the Europa League. So I think I've come to the conclusion that one year with no European distraction might be a good thing, and certainly a novelty we've not had since before Arsene Wenger first became the manager.
 

mikeford

woolwich!
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Aug 6, 2006
26,458
Toronto, ON
I'd totally blanked on the fact that Arsenal could only qualify for the new Europa Conference League today - couldn't even get into the Europa League. So I think I've come to the conclusion that one year with no European distraction might be a good thing, and certainly a novelty we've not had since before Arsene Wenger first became the manager.
I think it's way better that we not be traveling to Kosovo or something in August to play a bogus play-in game for this fake 3rd rate competition.

Arsenal will make more money by selling someone who isn't in their plans at all like Mavropanos or Torreria than they would make from winning this competition.

Whatever playing time you think would be beneficial for younger, inexperienced players is negated by the fact that the 1st team coaching staff would have to dedicated time and resources to planning for these matches. You can play the entire u23 squad for the match but you still have to send your real coaching staff.

Feels like a way better scenario to just play those younger kids in the league cup and maybe FA Cup if you draw poor opposition and focus 100% on the Premier League.

Arsenal finished 6 points outside the Champions League. Thats TWO loss results going the other way. That is not a lot.
 
You can play the entire u23 squad for the match but you still have to send your real coaching staff.
Do you have to? FWIW, I kinda think a smart club that finds itself in the Europa or Conference League in the future may decide to hire a second-team manager to focus on preparing for and managing in cup and European matches while the main manager focuses on the league (and allocates players to the second-team squad, etc.).