My verdict on the TWELVE Arsenal players that could follow Xhaka out the door

It has come as a massive surprise to Arsenal fans that there are multiple rumours about Granit Xhaka being in talks regarding a move back to the Bundesliga in the summer, although with the continuous rumours regarding Caicedo, Declan Rice and numerous other midfielders coming in, it looks pretty obvious that Arteta will be upgrading his midfield in this upcoming summer window.

Strangely enough, the Arsenal expert Charlie Watts gave a list of the players that could be leaving in his opinion, and so it is worth looking at which other players Watts named alongside Xhaka in his article in Goal, and you can read my opinion on each of them…..

Let’s start with the obvious ones…..

Ainsley Maitland-Niles
On-loan at Southampton now and is out of contract. With the Saints going down, he will be hoping another EPL team give him a chance, but the fact is that he never really was good enough for Arsenal.

Pablo Mari
Was on-loan at Monza, but his move is confirmed as permanent this summer.

Reiss Nelson
Our Academy graduate is now 23 and he has hardly been given any game time at all since coming up to the senior side. He made many statements saying that he had Arsenal DNA and wanted to stay at Arsenal for life, but, for whatever reason, he looks like he has refused Arteta’s offer to stay as a backup, and wants to see if he can actually have a career somewhere else. Personally I am not surprised. I consider him on the same level as Joe Willock and he should have the chance of playing regular football elsewhere.

Nicolas Pepe
Will still have another year on his contract and only scored 6 in 19 games for Lille on loan. Will have trouble getting anyone to match his wages, so we will probably have to pay him off. A VERY expensive error by Arsenal.

Cedric Soares
On-loan at Fulham, but still has one-year on his contract. Another one hard to move on because of wages, but I doubt he will be back. I actually think we could have used him towards the end of this season…

Folarin Balogun
I would love him to be an option next season but it depends on Arteta’s opinion. He obviously thrived on regular football and will not be happy sitting on the bench. I think he will be cashed in this summer, unless the recently-declared USA international could be a huge PR win for the Gunners (and Kroenke) when USA host the World Cup. Unless we are offered silly money I think he will stay, whether he wants to or not…

Sambi Lokonga
We paid Anderlecht £18 million for him and he had a mediocre experience at Crystal Palace. Hopefully we can get our money back, but that is debatable.

Nuno Tavares
Had a very good first half of the season but it doesn’t look like Marseille will be keeping him. We need a left-back, but I think Arteta will take what he can get for him to add to our kitty.

Charlie Patino
I would like Charlie to develop further, but after a great season at Blackpool I think he wants to play, which he certainly won’t do at Arsenal. We MUST include a buy-back clause if sold I think.

Emile Smith Rowe
I can only see him leaving if he is now fed up with waiting for his chances under Arteta. Hope he stays, but could get Arteta a nice payday.

Kieran Tierney
I think most Arsenal
fans don’t want to see him go, but that will have to be decided between him and Arteta. Again, he could give us a nice payday, but for me he is still needed next season.

Auston Trusty
Was bought as a favour for Kroenke, I think, but has surprised everyone by being named Player Of The Year at Birmingham. I think we’ll make a nice little profit on moving him on in the summer.

Rob Holding
Recently demoted to 4th choice centre-back and I think his time has come to an end at Arsenal. Cash in for what we can get.

If we could move ALL of these on, it surely would give a big boost to Arteta’s transfer kitty, but could all these really leave this summer?

It could be a VERY busy summer!

Tags Arsenal transfers Charlie Watts outgoing


  1. Trusty 15m pounds
    Holding 10m
    Xhaka 13m
    Tierney 35m
    Tavares 25m
    Pepe, whatever we can get

    I really don’t want to see Balogun and ESR sold

  2. Wasn’t Zinchenko considered as a back up to Xhaka? Why not put him in that spot and definitely keep Tierney?

    1. You want Zini to play box to box? I think you are ignoring the defensive duties of that position.

  3. That’s a lot of fat to cut, but there is a very urgent need to address the mentality of the squad.

    Tierney is a solid old time left back but he’s not the gaffer type of player so I can understand he being on the list.

    Somewhere there is a great player in Smith Rowe, But he will need a coach like Unai Emery to bring him back to life, so he too is understandable listed.

    Xhaka is leaning to new chapter which is understandable,

    But this would be a bold step which could significantly reduce the wage bill in a positive direction.

    1. With regard to your comments regarding Tierney who is a conventional LB, what happens if Arteta persists with the Zinchenko experiment next season?A tactic that has been blown apart by the mighty Southampton and Bournemouth among others?

      1. Grandad
        Zinchenko has been exposed and weak at times but I think our whole left side is weak at times
        I think Gabriel at times leaves us exposed on the left. Gets caught out and positional play is questionable at times.
        Don’t get me wrong compared to seasons ago where our cb were shambolic, Gabriel still has a lot to learn and hopefully will get better
        GM doesn’t always track back where as on the right we had saliba to cover white and saka does track back.
        We have come a long ways since the bad old days of our back 4
        I also feel much more comfortable when we play out from the back and stopped covering my eyes when we tried in the past

      2. Grandad Zinchenko is not a left back and is only an accident waiting to happen.

        We have reap remarkable success earlier in the season with the inverted left back Marshall by the Ukrainian, as the season progresses Zinchenko limitations exposed.

        It is for that reason a balance left back that offers both what Tinenry and Zinchenko does eg Ferland Mendy at real Madrid is needed.

        The gaffer depends heavily on Zinchenko to resist the press from opposition team, but well organized team that are well drill makes a mockery of it and by extension puts Magalhaes under severe pressure.

        It is for this reason Tierney might be sold and the funds reinvest in a balance left back to the gaffer liking.

      3. 👍👍 Grandad and Alanball08, selling Tierney would be a mistake. Zinchenko’s defensive shortcomings have been brutally exposed.

  4. What about Nketiah? I cant think of any youngster in the history of Arsenal that’s been given more chances! Not far off of 150 1st team games already and simply not good enough.

    We can’t afford to have Jesus and Eddie both in the squad…both run a lot and work hard while not being able to hold up the ball and both far from prolific.

    Cant carry passengers but does that new contract with wages that are too high stop any potential sale?

  5. I hope we first bring in players before shipping out players, don’t want to be waiting we need to get them in early

  6. Somefans will, naively, way ovr estimate thr sort of figure wecanobtain for MOST of these listed players. Indeed, ONE already HAS. The fantasy thinking that we can get £25 mill for TAVARES IS FANCIFUL IN THE EXTREME.

    SO ARE OTHER HYPED VALUATIONS Tierney alone will POSSIBLY fetch clozse to the figure listed. Even Holding wont fetch £10 mill and the assumed eventual prive for XHAKA will also less than he imagines. As wil Trusty too. I doubt we wilget a penny for Pepe given the wages he is on . More likely to take a massive loss to get him gone. Which , BTW, will be worth doing. .

    We should sue the shady SANLLEHI FOR £72 MILL ,TOTALLY WASTED. I am amazed he is still at large and not inside, for fraud.

    1. Agree to some extent.
      Tavares will fetch not more than £12m.

      Holding will certainly get us up to £10m. He’s English

      Trusty £10m

      Xhaka already has €15m on the table for us

      Pepe I cannot say

      Tierney should not be sold. But if he is, at least £35m

      1. dgr8xt, if we can’t get upward of 20m for Travarez then Edu should not be business in football administration with kind of season he is having with OM.

        Do you remember we paid 35m for Viera, a reserve player for Porto.

  7. I have absolutely zero faith in Edu’s selling skills… so apart from probably breaking even with the sale of Tierney (which I think is nuts coz we got him for a steal), we most likely gonna get half of whatever we hoping to get for all the players mentioned above!!!

    AMN – £0
    Pablo Mari – £6M (correct me if I’m wrong)
    Nic Pepe – £10M if we lucky
    Cedric Sores – £2M
    Floarin Bologan – £25M
    Sambi Lokonga – £9M if we lucky
    Nuno Taveres – £3.5M if we lucky
    Charlie Patino – £5M
    ESR – £20M
    Kieran Tierney – £25M 🤬
    Austin Trusty – £4M
    Rob Holding – We’d probably have to pay someone to take him!
    Unfortunately we’ve turned into a club that use to sell off mediocre players for a kings random to giving them away for next to nothing 🙁

    Great article by the way @ Admin Pat!

  8. The summer transfer window for next season”s summer campaign will soon be open.
    And when it does open, us Arsenal will see what the club will do in respect of new top quality players signings to strengthened their team. So that us can win titles next season. And hopefully, Arsenal will have a very successfully summer transfer window in terms of the incomings and outgoings.
    In the meantime, let us Arsenal focus 100% on our next Epl away match to Nottingham Forest at the City Ground next Sunday. The Ground that looks to be a bogey Ground Stadium to the Gunners in their recent past seasons visit to the Ground in both the League and FA Cups where Arsenal had been knocked out.
    This has made it imperative for the Gunners not to falter in the game against Forest. But take control of the game from minute 1 of it to the end to beat Forest and beat them to garner all the 3 points in the match and garner them unfailingly.
    OT and meanwhile, do us Gooners think Real Madrid should re-appoint Zinedine Zidane again to takeover from Carlos Ancelotti who guided the Blancos to a miserably exit of this season’s Ucl competition tonight at the Etihad at the hands on the cruel Citizens?

  9. We are atleast short by 2 to 3 players this season and the number would have been atelast 4 had we remained alive in FA Cup and Europa till the end. Next season we need to play in 4 competitions. Now from the list I could see we plan to sell 5 extra first teamers(Xhaka,ESR,holding,Reiss,KT). So in total we might need to buy atleast 8 or 9 in this summer to complete the first team. Am I right or missing anything?
    My question here is
    1. Will we sell 5 first team players
    2. If yes, how can we buy 8 to 9 players.
    3. If these many players leave will we be in a position to finish in top 4 due to team bonding and chemistry?

    1. 5 players minimum for upgrade:
      Strong, fast, physical CF clinical in front of goal.
      2 x midfielders (1 x box to box, 1x DM)
      2 x CB’s

  10. Except Tierney,(ESR – skilled player bUt too fragile for the EPL) none of the above would make it to a top 8 side, maybe to a team like Palace or the Bees to be honest, and with so much of deadwood, we MANAGED to come second! That is the brilliance of the one and ONLY Mikel. Give him a team of 24 professional players and watch him reach for the stars.

    1. Why would he need 24 top players to succeed. Certainly, no team in the world has that, not even City. If a team has 17 top outfield players and the rest are talents who are not there yet but fighting to get in, it is enough in my opinion.

      1. Correction : We need 24 professionals having good attitude, skill and fitness, not necessary all the 24 players should be 100M signings. Guys like Giroud or Ramsey to come off the bench and score crucial goals when we needed them most, not the likes of Laca or Ozil floating around doing nothing worthwhile for 90 + minutes.

  11. Let us get Cancelo,Vlahovic,Mitoma,Rice and Caicedo


    Tomiyasu White Saliba Cancelo

    Caicedo Zinchenko

    B.Saka M.Ødeegard K.Mitoma

    Gabriel Jesus

    Out El Neny,Nketiah,Xhaka,Rob Holding & ESR

  12. Why would we want to sell ESR ??? He was really great before his groin injury. ( Yes one injury only and not injury prone ) At one stage he provided better performances than Saka. Can play in multiple positions and could at some stage could play as an attacking midfielder.

  13. So you would drop Martinelli our leading scorer with 15 goals? Jesus has underperformed and should be benched for a new striker.

    Jesus can be a plan B striker or play on the wings as a sub.

    Pep knew this about Jesus that he isn’t a striker to lead the attack. Hopefully Arteta will see that next year.

  14. Durand, I agree about Jesus being a good squad member and therefore not automatic starter. However, would he accept that ? Got a feeling Arteta managed to recruit him by assuring him a regular place. Ofcourse nobody should be guaranteed that. We need a killer striker (CF) whose soul purpose in life is to put the ball in the net having taken up good positions in the first place. Henry always used to tell Pires “I’ll see you in the box”, and generally there he was to receive the right pass at the right time. Jesus just constantly struggles to do that. I like the guy but we need so much better.

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