Arsenal have reportedly made decisions on which players to sell this summer, as they look to strengthen a league-leading squad.
Mikel Arteta has stuck with the same core of players throughout the season, leading to rumours that some big names could leave for more game-time next term. Kieran Tierney at left-back is one that has had to wait patiently for his turn, Rob Holding has slipped down the pecking order, while Emile Smith Rowe has had to contend with injuries.
Hale End graduate Folarin Balogun, meanwhile, has been out on loan at Reims, scoring goals a-plenty – and giving Arteta a headache of how to integrate him into an attack which is already stacked with talent.
According to Football Transfers, however, Arteta wants all four to remain at the Emirates Stadium.
Holding in particular has been praised for his leadership behind first-choice pairing Gabriel and William Saliba at the back, recently stepping into defence in the latter's absence. Tierney, too, is a big presence behind the scenes – and offers a very different profile at left-back to Oleksandr Zinchenko. This could be invaluable as the Gunners look to evolve with Champions League football.
Smith Rowe and Balogun could well be introduced into the attack next season as Arteta looks to refresh his pack – with decisions having been made on two players who will actually be up for sale.
The report states that only Portuguese pair Cedric Soares and Nuno Tavares will be sacrificed. The two full-backs are currently out on loan.
While Premier League teams have shown interest in Tierney, there are fewer links with Arsenal's other forgotten first-teamers. Smith Rowe and Balogun have come through the academy and have a personal connection to the club, while Holding – a £2 million signing from Bolton in 2016 – is well-loved by fans.
The Gunners face Liverpool in the Premier League this weekend.
More Arsenal stories
Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, sparking rumours that the Gunners could have to fight to keep their No.9. Manager Mikel Arteta has identified nine players who could leave this summer – while Rasmus Hojlund is a target up front, along with Leeds star Wilfried Gnonto.
Elsewhere, Gabri Veiga has been rumoured to be on Arsenal's radar, as has AC Milan star Brahim Diaz. Declan Rice is thought to be this summer's big target, with Oleksandr Zinchenko sharing a word with him when Ukraine played England, setting tongues wagging.
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