Another season has ended and transfer silly season will be upon us. We threw around the question to our writers of who would be your ideal departing transfer from the Arsenal FC books. Where to and for how much do you need for this transfer to be acceptable.
Enjoy the answers below and let us know who you would sell, to what team, and for how much? I added in TransferMarkt’s quoted transfer prices for reference.
Vic Akers - Jack Wilshere. If there is one true flaw in Arsene Wenger's record as de facto Director of Football for the club, it is his inability to move players on at the right time. He has kept expensive squad players around for too long and not maximized their re-sale value. The latter is already true of Jack, who hasn't been an integral part of the Arsenal squad for ages. At this point, he can't be relied upon, certainly not at his current salary figure. Additionally, he has a year remaining on his contract and wants a raise. Selling Wilshere would be a clear sign the club is taking a more proactive, ruthless approach in the transfer window, would free up much-needed wage bill space, and would surely net a decent fee due to an English team taking a chance on a home-grown player with his talent. While it pains me to say it (I have an old Jack Wilshere kit in my closet), it's in their mutual best interests that Jack leave Arsenal in the summer. Something like West Ham and 25m. I'd rather him not go to a top 6 contender because, of course, he'd suddenly get healthy and realize his full potential. I think a lower club wanting to make a big splash signing is the perfect sucker, I mean buyer, for Jack.
Miran - The second move would be selling Jack Wilshere to whatever English club is offering 10m or more. That seems low but given his health and inconsistency, I can't imagine Arsenal demanding more.
Aidan - Because if we're going to re-sign Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez, and it's important to keep both, but especially the former, Arsenal are going to have to trim their wages elsewhere. Moving on Wilshere, who makes nearly 100k/week, and hasn't started 15 league games for Arsenal in 4 years, and got injured against after thoroughly mediocre season at Bournemouth, would contribute to that. The other margins of the side should also be moved on--Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs, David Ospina, Francis Coquelin and Gabriel--but Wilshere headlines this exodus as Arsenal prepare their squad for the Thursday-Sunday Europa League grind.
Decision - Jack Wilshere to West Ham United for 25m. TransferMarkt has Jack at 23m.
PDB - Theo Walcott. He's English, he's homegrown, and will thus command a premium that, frankly, would be better for Arsenal than having Theo always there, perpetually close to full health, but never quite getting there. I like Theo a lot, but over the seasons, I've seen his fragility and his inability to make a lasting impression on the squad. And as Vic said about Jack Wilshere, selling Theo would be another sign that the club is prioritizing progress over sentimentality, which is all I ever want Arsenal to do. I honestly have no strong opinion as to where he should go, or for how much - I'm certainly no transfer market guru, expert, or even one that cares all that much about dollar amounts and destinations. The only thing I ask is that he not go to Chelsea. Other than that, he can go somewhere and hopefully find more sustained success than he found at Arsenal.
Decision - Theo Walcott to Everton for 25m + 5m (English International Premium and Homegrown count). TransferMarkt has Theo at 22m.
Ted Harwood - Francis Coquelin. Probably for about 6-8m? To, oh, let's say, Watford. He's just simply not good enough at enough things to help Arsenal at this point.
Travis King - Francis Coquelin. To Minnesota United. For about $0.69. So I can go and point and laugh at him on a bi-weekly basis.
Jmcatee - I don't know that there's anybody that's really untouchable.
You've got the Alexis/Ozil duo which, if we're not going to be able to re-sign them, you might as well get something for them. You've got a whole crop of guys that are either getting on in age or haven't really hit their full potential that, given what Arsenal will likely need to do to get back to Champions League irrespective of who's managing the squad next season, aren't necessarily "must keeps." Fill in the names here at your leisure. And then you've got guys who just shouldn't have a place in the side. Coquelin, Ospina, Gibbs, etc.
The difficult part is that you can't just have a mass exodus in one season. We're likely facing a two-year turnover the scope of which we haven't had to deal with since 2011-12. I suppose you could argue everything hinges on the combined Alexis/Ozil situation, but given that we're no longer in the Champions League, perhaps the egg has been cracked on the pressure facing the club.
If I'm nailing down a single transfer? Coquelin. It's not just his quality individually. It's the opportunity costs and the residual effect his presence has. Selling him off would be an addition via subtraction just by not having him available as an option.
Decision - Francis Coquelin to Newcastle United (We’ll split the difference from MNUtd and Watford) to strengthen their new Premier League squad for 10m. TransferMarkt has Le Coq at 15m.
Miran - My picks would be unpopular, but here goes. The biggest move I'd make this summer would be sending Brother Mesut to PSG for at least 50m. I love the guy and he's the best facilitator in the game, but I don't like building around players who are incapable of playing more than one role, especially if that role is one which is suited to exactly one formation. PSG has the money and they need a star 10.
Decision - Mesut Özil to PSG for 50m. TransferMarkt has Özil at 50m.
Mchrisman - Olivier Giroud to any French side for 20m. Giroud is great off the bench and a likeable player for Arsenal. He has served us well, better than most would give him credit for. I do however believe, he is not the man to lead the front line for Arsenal. For 12m and 98 goals, Olivier has more than covered his fee from 2012. The rumor of 25m from Marseille is too enticing to pass up.
Decision - Olivier Giroud to Marseille/Lyon/Monaco for 20-25m. TransferMarkt has Olivier at 25m.
Miran - The third, but one I'm least firm in, is selling Danny Welbeck in the league for 15-20m. A likable guy like almost all the players on this team, but this club should do much better at the position and I have no faith in someone who's missed 79 games in just three years at club.
Decision - Danny Welbeck to Stoke City for 18m. TransferMarkt has Danny at 17m.
Mchrisman - I’ll take Alexis Sanchez to PSG for +55m. Before you kill me, here is why. I’m not convinced Alexis wants to be here (see contract re-sign, or lack thereof ). Selling Alexis to a non Premier League side should be the priority, if he is unwilling to re-up with Arsenal. Having 1 year left on his contract and scoring 29 goals while assisting 19 in last 50 games will command a big sum. One where Arsenal could almost double their investment on Alexis (32m). This is the smartest play to make on a player who isn’t committed to being at the Emirates and making sure you would only face in Champions League (won’t matter this season though, hello Europa League). Bon Voyage, Atom and Humber!
Decision - Alexis to PSG for 55m. TransferMarkt has Alexis at 55m.
Mchrisman - Yaya Sanogo to Napa Valley 1839 FC for one case of Napa’s finest red wine. Seriously, Yaya’s career at Arsenal is over, his contract is out, a straight swap with this NPSL side would be beneficial to both parties.
Decision - Yaya Sanogo to Napa Valley 1839 FC for free. TransferMarkt has Sanogo at 1m.