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Why it is going to be an incredibly tough summer for Arsenal.

By Sir Hardly Anyone

Two stories are circulating.   One is that Arsenal are going to have a major turnaround of players in the summer transfer window.  Indeed this is one of the lead stories of the moment. 

The other is that the battle over SuperLeague is not over and that Uefa will be challenged in the courts as being anti-competitive.   We’ve done a lot of SuperLeague of late so let’s now go back to transfers.

Football.London has six men who are on the way

  1. Alexandre Lacazette,
  2. Eddie Nketiah,
  3. Matteo Guendouzi, 
  4. Ainsley Maitland-Niles,
  5. Lucas Torreira
  6. Hector Bellerin 

The media have been talking up the sale of Joe Willock, although they now seem to have changed their mind and think that he is staying.

90min have a list of men departing as
  1. Runar Alex Runarsson
  2. Rob Holding
  3. Dinos Mavropanos
  4. Sead Kolasinac
  5. Mohamed Elneny
  6. Dani Ceballos
  7. Hector Bellerin
  8. Joe Willock
  9. Willian
  10. Reiss Nelson
  11. Eddie Nketiah
  12. Alexandre Lacazette 

But I wonder if anyone has really thought about what would happen if all 12 do leave.   For that would be an awful lot of new players to integrate into the team all at once – and we’d have to be careful in terms of making sure we got the right number of Englishmen.

Here’s our squad – the third column reflects what will happen to them, according to the all-seeing eyes of the media commentators.   The final column gives those who are left a number in the 25.  The under 21s don’t get a number at this stage, although they are clearly part of the squad.

English? Player Out? After
Bernd Leno   1
Héctor Bellerín (vice-captain) Going HG  
Kieran Tierney   2
Gabriel   3
England ENG Bukayo Saka   U21 HG
Dani Ceballos (on loan from Real Madrid) Return  
Alexandre Lacazette (3rd captain) Going
Martin Ødegaard (on loan from Real Madrid)   4
Willian   5
Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson Going  
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (captain)  
England ENG Rob Holding Going HG  
Cédric Soares   7
Thomas Partey   8
Nicolas Pépé   9
England ENG Calum Chambers   10 HG
Pablo Marí   11
David Luiz   12
England ENG Reiss Nelson Going
Mohamed Elneny Going  
England ENG Eddie Nketiah Going  
England ENG Emile Smith Rowe 13 HG
Mathew Ryan (on loan from Brighton) Return  
Granit Xhaka (4th captain)   14
Gabriel Martinelli   15 
England ENG  Folarin Balogun (under 21)
  U21 HG
  William Saliba U21
Each squad must contain no more than 17 players who do not fulfil the “Home Grown Player” (HG) criteria.

Arsenal thus have 15 players who are over 21 of whom two are home grown.  So in this scenario we would be able to sign ten players but only four of whom who are of non-home-grown origins.  The remaining six would have to be home grown.

The question is: could we find six home grown players we would like to sign for our first team? If not would it not be worthwhile keeping Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding?  That would take us to 17 players of whom four are Home Grown. 

We would then have vacancies for eight players, of whom four must be home grown assuming of course that we manage to keep Martin Ødegaard.

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Either way the list below is our squad

English? Player After
Bernd Leno 1
Kieran Tierney 2
Gabriel 3
England ENG Bukayo Saka U21 HG
Martin Ødegaard (on loan from Real Mad) 4
Willian 5
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (captain) 6
Cédric Soares 7
Thomas Partey 8
Nicolas Pépé 9
England ENG Calum Chambers 10 HG
Pablo Marí 11
David Luiz 12
England ENG Emile Smith Rowe 13 HG
Granit Xhaka (4th captain) 14
Gabriel Martinelli 15 
England ENG  Folarin Balogun (under 21)
U21 HG
  William Saliba U21

Which raises the question of how do we integrate eight new players at once into the squad?   And since by common consent of the bloggers and journalists we need these new players because the rest of not good enough, how are we going to afford all these players when we are going to be getting low prices for our not-good-enough players?

So our income will be small but we will need to be buying eight new players, four of whom come with the premium cost of being English, and all of whom will cost more than we will get from our players.

It’s going to be a tough summer.

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1 comment to Why it is going to be an incredibly tough summer for Arsenal.

  • Ben

    A big job for sure but maybe not quite as big as the numbers make out.

    Let’s look at who might go and barely be missed:
    Kolasinac – not part of the squad, no impact
    Mavropanos – not part of the squad, no impact
    Torreira – not part of the squad, no impact
    Guendouzi – not part of the squad, no impact
    Nelson – barely plays, very little impact, no need to replace
    Nketiah – barely plays, little impact, Balogun will cover his role

    All of these players could be sold, without being replaced and have very little effect on the squad.

    Let’s look at who might go and might need to be replaced:
    Elneny – rarely plays and AMN could fill his role without integration concerns. If AMN is sold, another player will be needed
    Ceballos – Willock could be asked to fill his role without integration concerns. If Willock is sold, another player will be needed
    Luiz – Saliba could be asked to fill his role with some integration concerns. If Saliba is sold, another player will be needed
    Ryan – if he goes, he will need to be replaced
    Odegaard – if he goes, he will need to be replaced
    Lacazette – if he goes, he will need to be replaced
    Bellerin – if he goes, he will need to be replaced
    They will also need to buy a back-up left-back to cover Tierney

    That could mean as many as 8 new players, 3-4 of them being obvious starters. That is a very big job for integration.
    Not all of these players will go though and I expect a maximum of 5-6 new players, with 2-3 of them being obvious starters. That’s a far more manageable task and likely one a manager would relish.

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