Arsenal chiefs facing £20m transfer blunder leaving Edu with work to do
Gunners player ratings: Man City 5-0 Arsenal
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Arsenal’s season has got off to the worst possible start as Mikel Arteta’s side sit bottom of the Premier League and, although matters at present couldn’t be much worse, the club faces an alarming problem to deal with. The Gunners topped the Premier League spending charts this summer as their £150million spree resulted in six new first-team signings.
One of which was England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who arrived from Championship outfit Sheffield United.
The 23-year-old joined the club for a fee that could rise to £30m and the move has raised some eyebrows. But the reasons behind The Gunners’ desperation to secure the shot stopper are now becoming clear.
Since Edu became the club’s first-ever technical director in 2019, Arsenal’s recruitment hasn’t been questionable. Additionally, their dealings with their current squad members has been also been poor.
The Brazilian has his work cut out again ahead of next summer to avoid another costly error.
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Current no.1 Bernd Leno has entered the final year of his contract at the Emirates and, if they fail to tie him down to a new deal, the German can leave the club for free next summer.
Arsenal have already made one goalkeeper blunder over the last 12 months when they let Emi Martinez join Aston Villa for £20m.
The Argentine quickly became transformed into one of the Premier League’s star performers and enjoyed a fantastic season at Villa Park.
According to Transfermarkt, Leno has a market value of £20m and these are valuable funds that Arsenal could miss out on once more if he runs his contract down. What’s more, his fellow stars could join him in leaving for nothing.
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Despite the £150m injection this summer, only £25m was recouped in player sales as Joe Willock joined Newcastle United. Meanwhile, the club decided not to cash in on Alexandre Lacazette or Eddie Nketiah.
They could yet keep Mohamed Elneny and Sead Kolasinac after talks with unnamed Turkish sides appeared to break down, with the transfer window still open in Turkey.
Lacazette, Nketiah, Elneny, Kolasinac, Chambers and Leno are all out of contract next summer, and using Transfermarkt’s metrics, are valued at a combined £85m.
That is a sizeable sum that could have been raised this summer had the club had decided to move on the stars.
Of course, Edu and Arsenal may be confident that their stars could yet sign new contracts. But with the club currently bottom of the Premier League, they are playing a risky game which could further damage the state of the club’s finances.
Poor contract dealings in the past have already seen Aaron Ramsey and Henrikh Mkhitaryan walk away from the Emirates for free, and if Arteta doesn’t rapidly turn around the Gunners’ fortunes, those players may well follow their lead in seeking success elsewhere.
Edu has a big job ahead if him to tie down the stars to further deals as selling in January isn’t even a realistic option, given that the players are free to negotiate pre-contract agreements from January 1.
Arsenal have endured their worst start to a top-flight season in the club’s 118-year history, which is also during their first season in 26 years without European football.
The size of the club may always be an attractive proposition for any big-name player, but Arsenal have been left in a dire state. In addition to losing millions in current assets, bringing in top quality talent may prove difficult if the club fail to qualify for Europe for a second successive season.
Edu and Arteta have a big task on their hands and must work closely together in order to turn their fortunes around as was initially planned when the Brazilian joined the club.
Arteta has reportedly been given until October’s international break to improve Arsenal’s results or he could face the humiliation of being the first Premier League managed to be sacked.
These off-field distractions, coupled with their dismal form on the pitch, are unlikely to make the Spaniard’s job any easier in the coming weeks.
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