If there’s one thing Unai Emery should be this summer, it’s ruthless. Arsenal’s failure to reach the Champions League showed how Emery’s squad was not up to scratch despite supposedly having one of the kinder run-ins compared to their other top-four-chasing rivals.
But with another gruelling year of Europa League football to contend with, Arsenal’s team is in desperate need of an upgrade to get them into the upper reaches of European football once again.
Having little resources with which to achieve that has not got Emery’s rebuilding project at the Emirates Stadium off to the best of starts – but with rumours circulating that AC Milan could be after Lucas Torreira, the manager may be offered a route to overcome the club’s financial misery if he were to entertain selling the midfielder.
As one of Arsenal’s most promising performers last term, Torreira’s potential sale should not be taken lightly – but considering the lack of funds The Gunners have to play with in this transfer window, every player should have their price this summer.
If it means doubling the transfer kitty, sacrificing one player for the ability to reinvest across the squad would surely be worth the hit.
It’s not as if there won’t be players already for sale at Arsenal – reports have suggested that is the case despite the lack of movement in either direction so far.
However, in the case of the Uruguayan midfielder, Emery could justify his departure to build the spine the squad badly requires, despite only signing the 23-year-old less than a year ago.
The void Torreira would leave in the Arsenal midfield would place pressure on the shoulders of Matteo Guendouzi, who would likely be instructed to make the step up after his own debut season in English football.
Although, Emery could then enhance his efforts to bring in a right-back with Ainsley Maitland-Niles potentially moving into the midfield or attacking role as he is said to be aiming for in the long-term.
And with Arsenal suddenly having a £100m budget at their disposal – as they would’ve reportedly done had they qualified for the Champions League – the outlook ahead of the new season is instantly brighter.
Yes, they will have parted ways with a popular midfielder, but with the defence in dire need of reinforcements, these are the kinds of brutal decisions Emery will have to make in the face of the failures that he and the club endured in the previous campaign.
If they stand to double their money – or better – with a Torreira sale, Emery should be snapping ex-colleague Ivan Gazidis’ hand off for such a sum.
Keeping Torreira will obviously have its benefits as he continues to acclimatise to English football, but with few players in the squad commanding such a fee, Arsenal may be foolish not to take a chance if the opportunity to boost their bank balance arises.