34 Arsenal first team players transfer fate revealed as Balogun and Tierney decisions to be made

With the Premier League title race now officially over, Arsenal can turn their attention to their summer plans. The Gunners are expected to be incredibly active yet again after Mikel Arteta admitted there is plenty of work to be done in order to prepare them for the Champions League.

“No,” the Spaniard told football.london when asked about satisfaction on transfers, after he was rewarded with a contract extension until 2026 with the option to extend by a year last week. “At the level that we want no. We didn’t have the capacity to do that as well with the Europa League so it’s part of that evolution. We have made a lot of good steps and strong steps in that journey and we have to continue. That never ends. We want to be better and the rest will be better, then the margins will be higher and we have to start to live with those standards and improve and be smarter.

“That doesn’t mean only signing players. It’s to improve our own players. There are players that we haven’t had the best out of them this season. There are a few players where they haven’t had the minutes or the performances and we have to seek as well for those players to give us a different edge. It’s not only about signing players. It’s about resources and staff and improving certain things that can be done better or more efficiently or smarter.”

Arteta has also stated that this summer will be crucial for the project he’s overseeing at the Emirates. With that in mind football.london takes a look at what’s in store for the current Gunners squad this summer.


As it stands Arsenal have got five first-team goalkeepers on their books. Aaron Ramsdale is, of course, the number one after another impressive season that was Pablo Mari will leave for £6million after Monza secured their Serie A status for next season. Matt Turner is the back up and has done enough to inspire confidence during limited opportunities. He’s also managed to hold on to the number one spot for the USMNT so should be happy enough to stick around at Arsenal.


Beyond him, Arthur Okonkwo has enjoyed two superb loan spells at Crewe Alexandra and Sturm Graz this season. The latter in particular has been formative for the Hale Ender who won the OFB Cup. He’ll have one year left on his deal this summer, but Arsenal will surely want to hold on to him given the promise he’s shown.

The same goes for Karl Hein who responded well to a tough first-team debut against Brighton in the Carabao Cup to do well during the midseason training camp in Dubai. The Estonian international had plenty of loan interest in January, and allowing him to head out next season may be a smart move given that he has two years left to run on his current contract.

Runar Alex Runarsson meanwhile has no future at the club and will surely leave permanently this summer. He has one year left and despite a decent loan spell with Alanyaspor, it will be tough for Edu to get a fee for him. A free transfer could be on the cards, but it’s hard to see another contract termination given the Iceland international’s relatively low wages.


Oleksandr Zinchenko is at Arsenal for the long-term. The Ukrainian has revolutionised Arsenal’s left back position in his debut season. The Ukrainian has been so good in fact that Arteta has shown an unwillingness to pivot away from the inversion he offers when he is absent.

This has been to the detriment of Kieran Tierney who has been overlooked on several occasions. The most recent of these was during Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest. There’s no doubt that Tierney is a superb player, but with Arteta wanting to evolve away from him, it seems he could leave this summer. Newcastle are understood to be interested.

If the Scot is to leave, he will need replacing. Arsenal do have Nuno Tavares on their books, but with just two years left on his contract, Arsenal will be open to moving the Portuguese full back on. football.london understands that his preference is to stay in England after a mostly positive loan spell at Marseille.

The option of shifting Takehiro Tomiyasu over to left back has been discussed by those at the club. This though is likely to depend on the Japan international’s injury, with his current return date unlikely to be before the start of next season. Cedric has also played there in the past, but the Portugal international seems likely to leave this summer after with just one year remaining on his contract. At right back, Arsenal will look to offer Ben White a new deal soon as a reward for his impressive form since arriving from Brighton last season.

Moving into the middle, Arteta has publicly stated his confidence that a deal will be agreed on several occasions. The Spaniard was replaced in the squad by Jakub Kiwior, who along with Gabriel appears to have answered any questions Arsenal have over the left centre back spot for the foreseeable future. This could mean that Arsenal look to cash in on Auston Trusty. The American has impressed at Birmingham City this season where he won their player of the season award. He wants to stay in the Premier League, and with three years remaining on his deal now feels like a good time to cash in.

At right-sided centre back it’s a little different. William Saliba has just one year left on his contract, and although Arteta has publicly stated his confidence that a deal will be agreed on several occasions, nothing has been concluded yet. Rob Holding will also enter the final 12 months of his deal this summer, but Arsenal have the option to extend by a year. The Gunners would be willing to listen to offers for the 27-year-old this summer though as they seek to bolster that part of the squad.


At the base of midfield, both Jorginho and Mohamed Elneny are the wrong side of 30, but with just one year remaining on their respective deals they’re likely to stay as squad players for next season. Thomas Partey has two years remaining on his deal, but there have been no suggestions that he will leave despite rumours linking Arsenal to Moises Caicedo.

Granit Xhaka however, will be leaving to join Bayer Leverkusen with an announcement expected soon. There is also an expectation that Albert Sambi Lokonga could move on too. The Belgian still has three years remaining on his contract though, so he could be sent out for another loan after showing some promising signs with Crystal Palace. Charlie Patino is set to follow them out of the exit door, although Arsenal are keen to insert a buyback clause into any move away, football.london understands. Ainsley Maitland-Niles will leave on a free meanwhile after Arsenal decided not to take up an option to extend his deal by a further 12 months.

With all those exits, the midfield is expected to be the position where there is the most upheaval this summer. Declan Rice and Ilkay Gundogan have been heavily linked. As has Mason Mount.

Should Arsenal act upon their interest in the Chelsea man then they would have to make a decision on one of their advanced midfielders you feel. Martin Odegaard is the club captain and someone whose contract the club want to extend, so he’ll be staying. Beyond him in the squad there is Fabio Vieira and Emile Smith Rowe.

The former has had a mixed debut season, while the latter has barely had a look in since returning from injury. Arteta has always spoken glowingly about Vieira, and with four years remaining on his contract it’s hard to see him leaving.

When it comes to Smith Rowe however, Arteta has been nowhere near as glowing. It’s understood that there haven’t been any direct conversations between the pair on his lack of game time recently, but Smith Rowe is thought to be fit and available. He has stated in the past that he wants to become an Arsenal legend and would like to stay, but is understandably disappointed at the lack of chances he’s been given this year. With three years to run on his contract, Arsenal have the stronger hand in any decisions over an exit, but they may have some thinking to do if a decent offer comes in.


The forward line is probably the most settled part of the Arsenal squad right now. On the left, Gabriel Martinelli recently extended his contract, while Leandro Trossard only joined in January.

Up front Gabriel Jesus has had a good first season after arriving from Manchester City. Eddie Nketiah meanwhile has shown himself to be a viable option since signing a five-year contract extension last summer. His fellow Hale Ender Folarin Balogun has become the first American to score 20 goals in one of Europe’s big five leagues this season, but is still likely to be behind Nketiah in the pecking order. Balogun, quite fairly, wants to be first choice somewhere next season, and with just two years remaining on his deal now is the time for Arsenal to cash in.

There have been suggestions that Arsenal could do with a different option up top in the mould of a Dominic Calvert-Lewin or Dusan Vlahovic. With the amount the Gunners have to do this summer, it’s hard to see that being a priority.

On the right meanwhile, it’s a matter of time before Bukayo Saka signs a new contract. Behind him, the most obvious back up for much of this season has been Reiss Nelson. The 23-year-old has had some superb moments this season, but could still leave on a free in the summer. As things stand he’s yet to make a decision on his future, despite being offered three contract extensions by Arsenal thus far.

Regardless of what decision he makes, Nicolas Pepe will leave the club. Arsenal want to generate a fee for him while they can before his contract expires in the summer, but plans have been made to terminate his deal if needs be. Marquinhos could be set for another season on loan to get some more regular minutes after a mixed spell at Norwich in the second half of this season.

No comments:

Post a Comment