In the next months, Arsenal will have to make a number of important roster decisions, none more so than in the striking department. Mikel Arteta and Edu must make some difficult decisions due to a combination of contractual and age-related reasons.
The futures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Folarin Balogun, and Eddie Nketiah at Arsenal remain uncertain, and little is known about who will stay or whether sales or loan agreements will take place beyond the summer window.
Lacazette, in particular, is confronted with new questions. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, there has been speculation that the Frenchman may go sooner than expected.
Arsenal would have to invest sooner rather than later.
It’s no secret that a striker is one of Arsenal’s top targets in the next summer transfer window. However, if Lacazette leaves before the conclusion of his contract, the club’s plans may be accelerated.
There has been an effort to sign homegrown players, and Ollie Watkins and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have been mentioned as possible targets. The price increase is the issue with the winter timeframe.
Because clubs have little time to locate replacements and the inconvenient nature of losing key members of their squads, the buying side must raise the incentive to sell by increasing the price. Lacazette’s January sale, on the other hand, may be able to offset this higher expense.
Balogun and Nketiah to stay
Nketiah’s contract expires this summer, and while January could have been a good time to get some money for the player’s transfer, Arsenal would be too lean to permit another departure if the 30-year-old left.
Any loan proposals for Balogun will be rejected as a result of this. The teenage striker agreed to a new deal in the hopes of receiving more senior opportunities, but they have been few and far between so far. Balogun would have had more opportunities to get senior experience if he had taken out a loan, but his services would be required in north London, ruling out a temporary placement.
Martin Odegaard’s route to the first team
Mikel Arteta lately discovered his new preferred system. Lacazette has re-entered the first team at the cost of Martin Odegaard, thanks to a 4-4-2 interpretation.
The Norwegian had been playing in the number 10 position on a regular basis, but the French forward has been moved to the position to provide the Gunners with more firepower. This change has had a significant influence, as it played a key role in the team’s recent league victories over Aston Villa and Leicester City.
With Lacazette out of the picture, Odegaard’s return to the club would be considerably easier, and he’d be able to resume his prior role as a creative midfielder. Arteta used the 22-year-old to win the north London derby, but the momentum built up in the latest method would be disrupted.
If an offer for Lacazette comes in, Arteta and Edu will have a difficult decision to make, but logic suggests swallowing the bullet and keeping him until the summer before reevaluating the team with more investment possibilities.