It is looking increasingly likely that Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah could leave Arsenal for absolutely nothing after both have run their contracts down, expiring this summer.
Familiar story for Arsenal fans.
Players leaving Arsenal for free unfortunately is nothing new to the Gunners with previous heartache seeing the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil all leave the club for no transfer fee.
Alex Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah could be the latest additions to that list as both of their contracts expire in the summer of 2022. If Lacazette left the club for free, it would represent a disappointing loss for the Gunners after he was signed for a fee standing at around £50m in July of 2017.
A new Gap in striking department.
With the likely departures of Lacazette and Nketiah in the summer of 2022, Arsenal’s Technical director Edu Gaspar and Manager Mikel Arteta will need to be on the hunt for a new number Nine and as Pierre Emerick Aubameyang is not getting any younger, potentially someone who can lead the line in a matter of years to come.
Eddie Nketiah was close to leaving the Gunners this summer as Crystal Palace were reportedly keen on signing the 22 year old but, a deal could not be agreed between the two clubs before Palace and former Arsenal Invincible Patrick Viera decided to instead opt for Odsonne Edouard of Celtic. This left the England U21 record goal scorer in north London to see out the remainder of his deal.
Who should Arsenal look for to replace their goals?
With a total of 81 senior Arsenal goals between Lacazette and Nketiah, where should the Gunners look to replace those vital strikes? There are many names that have been mentioned, tipped to replace the Gunner’s forward men, with Edu and Arteta having the options to search abroad for striking talent or, bringing in already Premier League proven goal scorers that could come in and make an instant impact.
Everton’s Domonic Calvert-Lewin and Ivan Toney of Brentford are two names from within the Premier League that some fans have mentioned, while Lautaro Martinez, Alexander Isak and Victor Osimhen are all options that the Gunners could explore from abroad. With the January transfer window coming up, Arsenal could look to follow up with one of these options however, the Gunners aren’t usually known for spending big in the new year period so, a six month loan option could be explored again with a deal similar to the Martin Ødegaard loan last year.
Why this must not continue.
After the deals of Nketiah and Lacazette expire this summer, tough decisions will have to be made regarding the futures of Bernd Leno and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as both come into the final year of their deals. Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Nico Pepe and Granit Xhaka will also all be entering the final two years of their contracts’ so Arsenal’s Board will have to be proactive in sorting fresh deals for them if they plan on keeping them in north London.
Arsenal’s young players represent the core of their team and it would be a devastating blow for them to even lose the likes of Saka or Martinelli who have the potential for huge futures in N7. Nicholas Pepe however is a debateable renewal after the Gunner’s record signing has failed to hit the heights and expectations set for him after his £72m move from French side Lille.
20 year-old aspiring football journalist, studying at Southampton Solent University. Have been an Arsenal fan since 5 years old!
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