Arsenal £25m transfer breakthrough repeat would be Mikel Arteta's most important summer deal

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta speaks to striker Eddie Nketiah
-Credit: (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

As well as signing a new midfielder, probable defender (Riccardo Calafiori), and maybe a striker, Arsenal have a big set of transfer tasks on their hands this summer. In order to continue to afford their ambitious recruitment plans, sales need to follow.

It has already been six full summer windows since the Gunners last sold a player for over £30 million, and that was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Alexis Sanchez departed six months later. Since that 2017/18 season they have sold Alex Iwobi (£25m), Emiliano Martinez (£15m, Granit Xhaka (£12m), and Folarin Balogun (£25m).

That is the full list of players meeting the criteria, and it is why even with improvements on the pitch bringing with increased financial reward via prize money, broadcast revenue, and also general matchday income, the club have been bound by profitability and sustainability rules. The easiest way to shift the figures in their favour - and create room for new additions - is to sell.

More specifically, selling homegrown players is advantageous. It is in the context that reports of positive initial talks with Marseille over Eddie Nketiah have emerged. It is suggested that the French side are now looking to sign the forward. 12 months ago the club chose to back Nketiah over fellow Hale End graduate Balogun.

Now a USMNT international, Balogun banked the club a big sum last summer and it proved vital for allowing them to do business. Although Declan Rice, Jurrien Timber, and Kai Havertz all cost more than Balogun, his money was plunged straight into the accounts as 'pure profit' and therefore frees up room immediately.

If Arsenal are to bring in the desired players this window - and a deal for Calafiori is progressing well - then moving on Nketiah may well prove to be just as important as the departure of Balogun. It is no surprise that with his reduced role in the side during 2023/24 under Mikel Arteta - he started just 10 league games, playing only 1,100 minutes - an exit is being sought.

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Reports earlier this summer had linked him to Crystal Palace and Fulham among other sides. Arsenal are also thought to be considering allowing Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson to go as well, both of whom would be 'pure profit' as well.

These players are among the most sellable in the squad as English players with proven (if not spectacular) Premier League records. Nketiah has largely been trusted more than both and is therefore an understandable target for other sides.

The 25-year-old has been around for a while but has only managed 19 league goals at Arsenal. They have come from 38 starts in total, but 116 appearances with many coming from the bench.

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Arsenal will now be keen to try and get themselves a good resolution from this situation as they seek to make big changes to the squad this summer. Nketiah still has another three years on his contract at the Emirates Stadium.