Arsenal will once again back Mikel Arteta with a heavy-spending summer as the Spaniard continues his bid to catch the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the Premier League. The Gunners have been one of the most in-form teams in the country in recent weeks, ensuring they are favourites to finish fourth and qualify for the Champions League.
However, Arsenal might need to recoup some funds if they are set to spend anything like their £150million outlay from last summer. Express Sport picks out four stars who could leave.
German goalkeeper Leno might have thought his long-term future was assured just a few months ago. The former Bayer Leverkusen man was Arteta’s No. 1 for three years.
However, the summer arrival and impressive form of Aaron Ramsdale has put Leno’s Arsenal career in doubt. The excellent Ramsdale is now considered first choice by Arteta.
A competent goalkeeper in his own right, Leno will surely not settle for a place on the bench. The 30-year-old could seek a summer exit and already has reported interest from Newcastle and abroad.
Ivory Coast star Pepe is the victim of Bukayo Saka’s rise. Saka has been one of the best players in the Premier League this season and has kept Pepe out of the Arsenal team.
Pepe prefers to play on the right wing and cut inside on his left foot, exactly what Saka has done so well in recent months. The latter has formed an excellent partnership with Alexandre Lacazette, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli.
It leaves Pepe in a quandary this summer. He could seek a departure if he is not guaranteed game time.
That would be a disappointment for Arsenal, who paid around £70million for the 26-year-old in 2019. They are unlikely to recoup much of that fee.
Youngster Balogun has impressed at Middlesbrough since sealing a January loan. However, he will return to Arsenal in the summer with Arteta redesigning his forward line.
Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are both likely to leave in the summer, which, coupled with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s departure, means Arteta is set to lose the three first-team strikers with whom he started the campaign.
Balogun will go back to the Emirates Stadium and likely find himself behind at least a couple of new striker additions. The 20-year-old, who has scored once in 11 Championship appearances, could kickstart his career elsewhere.
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