Tuesday 17 October 2017

Who will Arsenal sell this month after Arsene Wenger admits his squad is too big?

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during a training session at Emirates Stadium on August 3, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during a training session at Emirates Stadium on August 3, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Charlie Eccleshare

The Community Shield had not even kicked-off on Sunday, and already Arsenal were being mocked.

The squad lists on the back of the matchday programme showed a laughably long stream of Arsenal players compared to a much more compact number for their opponents Chelsea.

The lists were slightly misleading as a few of the Arsenal players are youngsters who will not feature much for the first team, but nonetheless it underlined how bloated Arsene Wenger's squad has become.

The manager has been wary of selling fringe players in the last couple for years, but even he admitted after the match that he needs to trim his squad. "To be honest, the number is too high,” Wenger said.

“We will let some players go. Too much competition for places is detrimental, but not enough competition for places is detrimental as well."

So, who do we expect to see heading for the Emirates exit door before the end of the month?

Lucas Perez

Wenger admitted last week that Arsenal will listen to offers for the Spanish forward, who joined last summer for £17m.

Perez showed flashes of quality in his debut season, but found first-team opportunities extremely limited and grew increasingly frustrated by his lack of minutes.

Wenger said on Friday: "At some stage, too much competition is not competition anymore. You cannot give the chance to everybody, so if he finds a satisfying solution at least for a short time, he will do it."

Rafael Benitez revealed on the weekend that he is interested in signing the player for Newcastle, but their preference is for a loan rather than the £13m Arsenal want for a permanent deal.

Sevilla and former club Deportivo La Coruna are also believed to be interested.

Jack Wilshere

As he enters the final year of his contract, Wilshere faces an uncertain future at Arsenal, with Wenger admitting last week that the midfielder could be allowed to leave this summer.

"That decision is not completely made,” said Wenger, when asked if Wilshere will stay. “I want him to have a chance to play somewhere as well. We have to decide that a bit later. I wanted first him to come back, he is coming out of a fracture. It is the first week he is back in full training and we have to sit down together and see where we go from there."

Wilshere's immense talent is not in doubt, but a constant stream of injuries have hampered his development and restricted his playing time.

Sampdoria and West Ham have shown interest in Wilshere this summer, but he is keen to stay and prove himself at the club he has been at since the age of nine.

Kieran Gibbs

The signing of Sead Kolasinac means that Gibbs is now Arsenal's third-choice left wing-back, and Wenger is happy for him to talk to other clubs.

Gibbs, who has been at Arsenal since 2004, is reluctant to leave - especially as he is unlikely to find a club that will match his £60,000-a-week wages.

West Brom were interested but have pulled out of the deal, leaving Watford as frontrunners to sign the defender.

Calum Chambers

Much was expected of Chambers when he joined from Southampton three years ago for £16m, but he has not kicked on since then, and his lack of pace has been exposed.

After spending last season on loan at Middlesbrough, Chambers, 22, is expected to leave Arsenal this summer, with Crystal Palace the most likely destination.

Arsenal turned down a £16m bid from Palace last month and are holding out for £25m, but a bid of more than £20m could be enough to persuade them to sell.

Mathieu Debuchy

"Is he still at Arsenal?" fans were asking last year. Twelve months on, the question is still being asked, and the answer remains yes.

Having lost his place to Hector Bellerin a few months after signing, Debuchy, 32, has barely played for the first team and spent part of the 2015-16 campaign on loan at Bordeaux. He returned to the Emirates last season, but only played one match and was substituted with an injury after only 16 minutes.

Arsenal are desperate to offload the Frenchman, but his age and dreadful recent injury record make him an unappealing signing, and finding a club to match his £70,000-a-week wages has made loan deals difficult. 

Debuchy was close to a move to Nice last month but his wage demands were too high, raising the possibility that a 27-time French international could spend the season playing for Arsenal's reserves.

Carl Jenkinson

Another "forgotten man" at the Emirates, Jenkinson finds himself behind Bellerin, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and now 17-year-old Reiss Nelson in the right wing-back pecking order.

After spending two seasons on loan at West Ham between 2014 and 2016, Jenkinson was heading for the Emirates exit door, but a serious knee ligament injury suffered last year put the brakes on a move.

Jenkinson, 25, was back playing for Arsenal last year but he only managed five appearances, and did not play after November.

Swansea are reportedly weighing up a bid for the right-back, and there is also surprising interest from Serie A, but any move will hinge on Jenkinson accepting a pay cut from the £45,000-a-week he earns at Arsenal.

Gabriel

Valencia manager Marcelino has admitted he is interested in signing Gabriel, prompting speculation that the defender could be about to leave the club.

In reality, any such move is unlikely as Gabriel remains an important part of the Arsenal squad, and he is only just back in training after suffering a knee injury at the back end of last season.

Arsenal's switch to a 3-4-3 should also mean more game time for the centre-back this season.

Chuba Akpom

Time appears to be running out for the 21-year-old, who has already been sent out on loan five times in his fledgling career and has made just one Arsenal start.

A permanent move could be on the cards in the next few weeks, with Leeds believed to be interested.

Telegraph.co.uk

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