Arsenal’s cashflow problems this summer have restricted their ability to buy in the transfer window, and judging by the little activity they have managed to complete so far, their proficiency in finding targets deemed good enough to add to the squad is clearly being hampered by the limitations brought upon themselves by failing to reach the Champions League.
Increasing the sum of the lowly funds at their disposal could be solved by a big-money sale, though with their most valuable assets providing 50 goals between them last season, you could understand if Unai Emery felt the best course of action was to make do without selling one of Arsenal’s strikers.
However, there is one alternative Emery should be interested in exploring that would do less harm to the squad dynamic.
He may be an important part of Emery’s plans given his role as captain at times last season – but considering the strength in depth behind him in defensive midfield, Xhaka is perhaps the most lucrative sale Arsenal could sanction without having to perform major surgery on the squad and stitch up the ensuing wounds from his departure.
Currently rated at £40.5m, selling Xhaka could effectively double Arsenal’s transfer budget, and The Gunners should welcome offers for the Swiss international with the risk of stagnating as a result of their lack of resources not one worth taking.
With Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi being eased into life in the Premier League following their debut seasons last year, the absence of Xhaka would likely be less felt than if either Alexandre Lacazette or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were moved on to accrue funds – with the likes of youngster Eddie Nketiah the strikers’ main competition as it stands.
Youngster Joe Willock has also recently made the step up to the first-team to further add to Arsenal’s options in centre-midfield.
There’s nothing to say that an £80m spending spree wouldn’t be enough to replace Xhaka as well as replenish other areas of the squad in any case – and building for the future may be how Emery could do that on the cheap – with several members of the side well into their 30s.
But at the present moment, that is merely a pipe dream without the resources with which to do so – although parting ways with Xhaka may be the answer to breaking the transfer deadlock Arsenal seem to find themselves in.