Arsenal trio urged to leave in ‘advantageous’ Arteta sales as Edu can get £40m for benchwarmer

Jason Soutar
Arsenal forwards Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah celebrate a goal together
Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah celebrate a goal together

Alan Smith thinks three Arsenal players will be looking to move on this summer after struggling for minutes in Mikel Arteta’s side in 2023/24.

Arsenal fell just short of Manchester City in the Premier League title race and were knocked out in the last eight of the Champions League by Bayern Munich.

It is another huge summer for Arteta and director of football Edu Gaspar, who are reportedly targeting a new defensive midfielder and striker in the transfer market.

To get their top targets, they might have to sell two or three players and there are a couple of out-of-favour youth academy graduates who can be sold for pure profit.

Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson struggled for playing time last season and have both been linked with an exit this summer.

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It was reported earlier this month that the Gunners value Nelson at ‘£20million including add-ons’ amid interest from Crystal Palace, Fulham, Nottingham Forest and West Ham.

Meanwhile, a report from 90min in May claimed that Nketiah could be sold for ‘between £30-35m’.

Both sales make sense for Arsenal and if a club meets their asking price, you can expect to see them move on.

Ramsdale ‘good enough’ to start in Premier League and should leave Arsenal

The same can be said for second-choice goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and former Arsenal striker Smith believes the England international “is good enough to occupy the number one spot in the Premier League for somebody”.

Smith adds that the Gunners should be looking to take advantage of the pure profit aspect when it comes to Nelson and Nketiah, similar to Chelsea, who are open to offloading Conor Gallagher and Trevoh Chalobah.

“I think there are several players at Arsenal that must move on for the good of their careers,” Smith said.

“Ramsdale does not want to be sitting on the bench all season again, does he? He’s said as much in a recent interview. Ramsdale is good enough to occupy the number one spot in the Premier League for somebody, whether it’s a top four club is another matter.

“Eddie Nketiah used to get 20 minutes quite regularly the season before this one, but since [Kai] Havertz has come in, that’s not happening anymore. It’s a shame for him because I do like him. He’s come through the ranks and he’s a good finisher but with so little game time I’m sure now he’ll want to start really getting his career going.

“Reiss Nelson is in a very similar situation. He needs to be playing regularly now.

“From Arsenal’s point of view, it is an advantage (to sell home grown players) because these youth team players can command good fees that, as we know with the financial regulations, are regarded as pure profit because they come through the academy.

“Chelsea are trying to do that to offset all of their incomings. Conor Gallagher and Trevoh Chalobah are the players that they are rumoured to be open to moving on.

“Selling them, Gallagher in particular, would have a much bigger impact on Chelsea than it would if Arsenal sold Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah.

“From a financial point of view, Arsenal have spent a lot of money over the last few windows, and they would need to sell in order to invest as heavily as they want to.”

Arsenal legend: Eddie Nketiah is worth £40m

Arsenal have been criticised over the years for struggling to get sufficient fees for their back-up players but he can see his former side getting as much as £40m for Nketiah.

“I don’t know who the Arsenal fans are thinking of in regards to being critical of the amount of money the club generates from player sales,” he added.

“Reiss Nelson, maybe in the current market he’s £20million. The market’s mad, isn’t it? £15 or £20 million is what is being mooted.

“With Nketiah, I think Arsenal could expect a little bit more, because he’s got a bit more experience and has a phenomenal record at international youth level for England. Any player that’s got a good habit of putting the ball in the net is always going to command a bigger fee; so Arsenal could be looking at £30 or £40 million for him.

“Arsenal will be hoping to get the best price, which is half the battle, especially if other clubs know that you’re looking to sell, but the money coming in will allow them up to spend elsewhere.”

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