According to reports from The Independent, Arsenal manager Unai Emery is willing to sell players in order to fund a move for Barcelona midfielder Andre Gomes, who is valued by the La Liga giants at £30million.
It seems like another astute addition for the Gunners that would appear to suit Emery’s system, but the resulting question is who Arsenal should cash-in on to free up the funds needed to make the deal happen.
While Emery could generate the cash by sending a number of players on the fringes of Arsenal’s first team squad that don’t have much value, that process could prove complicated and arduous – by which time Gomes may have been snapped up by someone else.
Selling one player for roughly the same value, £30million, makes far more sense and the more senior elements of Arsenal’s squad need refreshing anyway after two disappointing seasons. With that in mind, Football FanCast outline five suggested solutions in the form of players Arsenal should consider selling…
He’s often suffered from a lack of protection but Mustafi’s not exactly uprooted trees during his two years in north London and was tellingly left out of Germany’s World Cup squad. Some of the centre-back’s last-ditch defending has been fantastic, but the rest certainly hasn’t and he’s one of many Arsenal players who so frequently seem unprepared to really take responsibility – whether that’s in terms of organising, leadership or simply pride in performance.
Overall, it’s been something of a failed venture for Arsenal, one that now appears based on preceding reputation more than anything else, and with Calum Chambers signing a new deal and Sokratis arriving from Dortmund, Emery already appears to be rebuilding Arsenal’s defence around different personalities.
There’s been talk of Emery rebuilding the Arsenal team around Ramsey, who has proved he can provide a consistent supply of goals and assists from midfield when fit. The obvious counter-argument to that though, is how often the Welshman’s injured – he missed eleven games last season and has managed more than 30 Premier League appearances in a single campaign since the end of the 2012/13 season.
Add to the equation Ramsey’s contract situation, yet to sign a new deal with his current terms expiring next summer, and perhaps the time is right for Arsenal to begrudgingly part company. Transfermarkt value him at £40.5million and that’s the kind of money the north Londoners would expect to receive – giving them enough to afford Gomes and some spare.
Lacazette’s first season at the Emirates Stadium wasn’t exactly a resounding success, and the January arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund suggests neither Arsene Wenger nor transfer overseer Sven Mislintat were hugely convinced by the Frenchman’s performances – which weren’t enough to earn him a place in Didier Deschamps’ World Cup squad.
Arsenal could quite conceivably sell Lacazette for the same amount they bought him for from Lyon, just shy of £47million, and that would free up not only funds for Gomes but also other areas of the squad. While there’s an obvious bonus to having two top-class forwards at the club, there’s also not much sense in letting such a valuable player wallow on the bench.
Gomes and Xhaka aren’t exactly like-for-likes but they’ll likely be taking up a similar role in Arsenal’s midfield and with Lucas Torreira also potentially joining this summer, the Switzerland international’s relevance under Emery has to be questioned.
A better player than he’s appeared at times during an underwhelming Arsenal spell, but not a hugely convincing one either – especially in the role Wenger designated him, sweeping up in front of the back four. There certainly won’t be too many tears if Xhaka were to leave this summer but in a setup that better accommodates his qualities, Xhaka could still be an important player for the north Londoners.
Probably the biggest question Emery faces during his early days at the Emirates Stadium – whether he continues to shape the team around Mesut Ozil’s qualities, acknowledging his drawbacks in the process, or decides to create a new talisman by moving the German international on.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is already at the club and has the potential to become the epicentre of the team, while Ramsey – as previously mentioned – could take on that responsibility as well.
Valued at £45million by Transfermarkt, selling Ozil should leave Arsenal capable of signing Gomes with something to spare – that could prove to be crucially important considering how tight money is at the club this summer.
There is a potential obstacle, however; how many clubs would actually want to buy Ozil at this point in his career, and how many of them can afford not just his transfer fee but also his wages?
So, Arsenal fans, which player would you sell to fund a move for Gomes? Let us know by voting below…