Whilst Arsenal will be happy with the purchase of Thomas Partey on deadline day, there was certainly some disappointment that the club were not able to shift some of the so called ‘deadwood’ this summer.
The Gunners have a chunky, overpaid squad and Covid-19 hit the market at the wrong time for such a scenario. The club have had to loan the likes of Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi, when the preference would have been to sell to generate funds for more top class arrivals like Partey, who fit the vision of manager Mikel Arteta.
A bloated wage bill has meant Arsenal are restricted in what they can do in terms of incomings, but next summer that could all change, when a host of first team players contracts expire. The notable players on this list are Mesut Ozil, Sokratis, David Luiz and Skhodran Mustafi. With Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba looking to be the next generation in defence for Arsenal and Calum Chambers and Rob Holding homegrown options, the club are unlikely to want to extend the contracts of either of the three central defenders.
I think it’s also safe to say that Ozil will not be extending his contract. If all four were to go, it would free up in excess of £600,000 per week in wages, that’s enough to sign two world class players.
At the moment there is no indication Arsenal are offering any of the players new deals, so we can assume they would be set to leave upon the expiry of their current deals.
Next summer the market may also recover somewhat from the impact of Covid-19 and potentially allow the likes of Sead Kolasinac to find new clubs.
Arsenal need to look for quality not quantity and the three summer arrivals of Willian, Gabriel and Partey hint towards such an approach.
With so much weekly wage freed up and potential Champions Legaue revenues too, if the Gunners win the Europa League or finish in the top four, Arsenal could make some serious moves in the market next summer.