Arsenal’s January window is already taking shape.
Arsenal head into the New Year with a squad that resembles an overflowing Christmas stocking, except that it’s full of presents they don’t want or older version of those they already have.
Finding suitors will require a combination of smooth operating and a helping hand, although the ball has already started moving in that department.
Sead Kolasinac is set to become the first departee of the winter window, as a six-month loan move to former club Schalke 04 is all-but wrapped up. Arsenal will share his wages with the German side, as well as the Bosnian taking a wage cut, meaning Ainsley Maitland-Niles looks set to be the backup left-back for the rest of the campaign.
That departure will kick-start what is hoped to be a flurry of movement both in and out of north London, as in order to bring bodies in Arsenal have to free up space in their bloated squad.
Seeing deals get wrapped up before the window even opens is encouraging signs that more will follow, with up to six among those who could leave. As per football.london, this is who.
It will be a memorable day when Shkodran Mustafi leaves Arsenal. No ill wishes or anything of the sort, mind you.
Mustafi is dreadful and has been dreadful for a painfully long time. He’s just one of many who need to leave, but he would be seen as the Pied Piper of Hamelin, leading the way for other equally ineffective squad members to tag along.
The German rejected a contract offer back in October – one that sparked fury from Arsenal fans – but was offered in order to raise a larger price for him further down the line. His representatives have since held talks with Barcelona.
It’s Mustafi’s desire to leave Arsenal and he prefers a January move, although as of yet the only notable suitors are La Blaugrana. Other clubs may be circling, and whether it would be a loan move or permanent deal isn’t known.
Arsenal would be willing to subsidise some of his wages for a temporary departure just to ease the wage bill and make space within the squad before he leaves permanently in the summer.