The £95m from player sales Arsenal could make to boost summer transfer war chest
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So much promise, and yet so little silverware – Arsenal simultaneously exceeded all reasonable expectations and came to the end of the season disappointed at their failure to win the Premier League. Many of their young players were quite brilliant over the course of the campaign, but there is still plenty of work to be done in the transfer market to make sure that this season wasn’t a flash in the pan, and to try and win the title they came so close to getting their hands on.
Mikel Arteta and sporting director Edu have a lot of work to do this summer to make sure that the standards set before the run-in can be maintained next year – and hopefully even improved upon. That means new signings, and also means a bit of a clear-out.
Let’s take a look at a few of the players likely to leave the Emirates this summer, and see how much cash the rumour mill reckons will be added to the Arsenal coffers as they look to improve upon second place. We’ll ignore the more speculative or unlikely suggestions that have been spread around – such as the report that Paris Saint-Germain are keen on buying Martin Ødegaard, a transfer that Arteta is unlikely to countenance – and stick to players who seem to be stuck on the outside looking in when it comes to squad selection.
If everyone here gets a move, Arsenal could be looking at a cash injection of about £95m – enough to upgrade enough to challenge Manchester City again?
Granit Xhaka: £13m
This transfer seemed to be done and dusted, with Arsenal’s redoubtable Swiss midfielder all set to wrap up a move to Xabi Alonso’ Bayer Leverkusen having signed off with a brace against Wolverhampton Wanderers on the final day of the season.
£13m was the reported figure being forked out for the 30-year-old’s services, but things have been placed on hold for a little while with reports that Bayern Munich could make an eleventh-hour bid – and that the price could get driven up as a result, with some outlets even suggesting it could spiral as high as £30m. For now, we’ll stick to the lower figure, but a bidding war could be an unexpected boost to Arsenal’s transfer fund.
Kieran Tierney: £27m
The Scottish international has found himself out of favour this season, unable to get regular minutes at either left-back or in the centre of defence, and rumours have been swirling for some time that he would be making his way to a Premier League rival in the near future.
Newcastle United have been the club most heavily-linked with a swoop for the Scot, with Dan Burn having plugged the gap at left-back for most of the season, and most outlets agree that a fee will be in the region of £25-30m. We’ve picked a number that came up more than most, but of course the needle could move a little bit, especially if other suitors show up – and there have been some suggestions that Pep Guardiola was looking at bringing Tierney to Manchester City, or that Aston Villa could get themselves involved.
Folarin Balogun: £30m
The 21-year-old American-born forward never really nailed down a place at Arsenal as he came through the ranks, but a breakout season in France, where he bagged 22 goals in 39 games for Reims, means the youngster is suddenly in significant demand.
AC Milan, Inter Milan, Marseille, RB Leipzig and even West Ham United have all been linked with a transfer bid and Arsenal are likely to cash in to the tune of £30m, based on the estimates suggested by a series of reports in the European media. So impressive was his form last season that some might want him to be given a proper chance at the Emirates – but so sudden was his surge up the French goalscoring chance that it’s more likely that the Gunners cash their chips rather than gamble that he has what it takes to challenge Gabriel Jesus for his place.
Rob Holding: £10m
The back-up centre-back is another player likely to leave this summer, with newly-promoted Sheffield United linked with his signature. Leeds United had also been in the race, apparently, but their relegation to the Championship means it could be a one-horse race for the 27-year-old.
That may keep the price down, with Arsenal keen to move a player who made just 14 league appearances this summer on. £10m is the suggested fee, although they may have to settle for less if there aren’t too many suitors – and the working-over he received at the hands of Erling Haaland at the Etihad a few short weeks ago probably didn’t increase the number of clubs getting in touch with his agent. Should fetch enough to cover the costs of that hair transplant, at the very least.
Albert Sambi Lokonga: £15m
The 23-year-old Belgian midfielder arrived for a reported £17.2m fee in 2021 but has struggled to establish himself in the squad and spent the last few months on loan at Crystal Palace, where he didn’t make too much of an impression either. That means he’s up for sale this summer, with Burnley reported to be interested.
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Sambi Lokonga’s compatriot Vincent Kompany is keen to reunite with a young player who served under him at Anderlecht, and the Gunners aren’t likely to stand in his way – even if it means selling at a slight loss. There’s plenty of time for an evidently talented young man to come good, so this could be a move that suits all parties involved.
Total income from above transfers: £95m