A few transfer windows ago the Arsenal fan base was fairly unified in the consensus that the club needed to shed a lot of players, and their wages, from the roster. And strictly looking at that specific goal you have to admit the club has been successful. Over the past few transfer windows before this one, the club removed David Luiz, Willian, Sead Kolasinac, Joe Willock, Emiliano Martínez, Shkodran Mustafi, Mesut Ozil, and Sokratis Papastathopoulos - plus numerous senior player outbound loans. And if rumors are to be believed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s wages will soon be gone as well.
Now of course that doesn’t consider the fact that rarely has the club made any money off those exits. Only Willock and Martinez brought in funds. Arsenal desperately need to be better at selling for value, but at a minimum at least they are continuing this massive squad overhaul. This January we’ve seen a number of players exit again, including loans, as the club hedges its bets for the summer. The gamble is that the remaining squad (and U23s as needed) can help Arsenal reach the top four, or at least improve on last season’s 8th place finish.
That will allow the club to spend big in the summer once more. Last summer Arsenal brought in Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Martin Odegaard, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Nuno Tavares, & Albert Sambi Lokonga. All 23 or younger. All have contributed this season. Another summer in that vein (focused on the forward and midfield positions) and Arsenal should be a legitimate top-four contender once again.
- Auston Trusty - CB - Colorado Rapids (MLS) - Full Transfer (but will join in the summer)
- Lino Sousa - LB - West Bromwich Albion (Championship) - Full Transfer (Will join the U18s/U23s)
- Calum Chambers - RB/CB - Aston Villa (Premier League) - Full Transfer
- Ainsley Maitland-Niles - AS Roma (Serie A) - Loan (for the rest of the 21/22 season)
- Pablo Mari - CB - Udinese (Serie A) - Loan (for the rest of the 21/22 season)
- Sead Kolasinac - LB - Contract has been terminated
- Folarin Balogun - FW - Middlesbrough (Championship) - Loan (for the rest of the 21/22 season)
- Deyan Iliev - GK - Contract has been terminated
- Tyreece John-Jules - FW/Winger - Sheffield Wednesday (League One) - Loan (for the rest of the 21/22 season)
- Karl Hein - GK - Reading (Championship) - Loan (for the rest of the 21/22 season)
- Tim Akinola - DM - Dundee United (Scottish Premiership) - Loan (for the rest of the 21/22 season)
- Jordi Osei-Tutu - LB - Rotherham (League One) - Loan (for the rest of the 21/22 season) (has also played as RB and Wingback)
- Nikolaj Moller - FW - FC Den Dosch (Eerste Divisie) - Loan (for the rest of the 21/22 season)
- Ryan Alebiosu - RB - Crewe Alexandra (League One) - Loan (for the rest of the 21/22 season)
- Brooke Norton-Cuffy - RB - Lincoln City (League One) - Loan (for the rest of the 21/22 season)
- Harry Clarke - CB - Hibernian (Scottish Premiership) - Loan (for the rest of the 21/22 season)
- Amani Richards - FW - Leicester City (Premier League) - Full Transfer
Remaining rumored moves
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - FW - Rumors indicate that Arsenal are terminating his contract which will then allow him to sign for free with Barcelona. The club have yet to officially announce this.
- Matt Turner - GK - New England Revolution (MLS) - Rumored verbal agreement to bring the USMNT keeper to Arsenal in the summer.
The depth chart is light for the remainder of the season as Arsenal focuses on the future. In theory, they should be able to invest heavily and make decisions on what role loanees such as Saliba, Mavropanos, Balogun, etc might play in next year’s team. This wasn’t the complete package, but they have checked one box, while also getting the maximum playing time across the entire squad (senior team, loanees, and U23s). Whether the gamble pays off we will find out come May when the final league table is set and in August as the summer transfer window closes.