Arsenal are struggling to sell players this transfer window. Everyone is. As hard hitting and worrying as it may be, it shouldn’t have been expected to play out any differently than it has this summer.
The slow burning nature of the window so far has caused concern among supporters, who have every reason to be nervous of what the team might look like on August 13 when Arsenal take on Brentford in the Premier League’s curtain raiser.
Ben White will be a Gooner by then but may not be ready to start matches, while the rest of the team will look as is it was last season with the exception of three potential absentees in Gabriel, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli. So yes, there are some twitchy bums.
All of the #EduOut contingent who are understandably not overawed by what the technical director has achieved since taking the job are already preparing their strongly-worded emails and 280 character social media posts.
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Patience, however, is a virtue and there is undoubted mitigation for those in charge of overseeing the sales of a desperately mediocre band of footballers on wages far above what they should be earning who aren’t wanted at a club that has finished in eighth in consecutive seasons.
Even that one sentence is enough to explain why sales have been hard to come by. Or not at all, in this case.
Throw in the additional hindrance of the majority of those on the transfer list not due to stay in England where the money is, and it becomes even clearer.
European clubs can’t afford to meet the wages Premier League footballers are on, nor can they match the valuations placed upon them by the selling clubs. It’s why loan deals with options/obligations are all the rage.
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl said it himself to Radio Solent Sport: “The market is slow. Everyone wants players but nobody has money. Everyone wants the most money for their players when they want to sell, that keeps everything on hold.”
It all means Arsenal are even more likely to have to accept cut-price deals for those they’re looking to ship. Like they already have. There will need to be some internal preparation for the sums the club may or may not receive.
1. Sead Kolasinac
Contract expiry: 2022
Normal valuation: £3.5m
Realistic fee: Contract cancellation
Sead Kolasinac is still an Arsenal player, albeit not for much longer. The club won’t go beyond August 31 with him on the books.
He may be re-homed at some point before the window slam shuts. That is the hope, anyway. Whoever is foolish enough to part with a transfer fee this summer will not be parting with what he would normally have been worth if all was swell in the market and with finances.
How much would that be? For someone who got relegated with Schalke 04 off the back of some atrocious form with Arsenal to the point where he was nowhere near the starting lineup, likely not a lot. £3.5m? Maybe? Given he has one year left on his deal and has just turned 28, that might be fair.
Arsenal won’t get that, though. No chance.
More than likely is that there are clubs having a look at him but would rather wait until a seemingly inevitable contract cancellation so they needn’t fork out a fee or pay his wages for a few needless extra weeks.