Arsenal kickstart summer firesale Mikel Arteta needs as £97m transfer saga finally comes to an end

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta
-Credit: (Image: James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images)

Arsenal's confirmed wave of first exits this summer has been released publicly. In announcing the club's retained list, a wide-ranging group from youngsters to first-team outcasts have been let go.

They are in full: Mauro Bandeira, Omari Benjamin, Luis Brown, Catalin Cirjan, Noah Cooper, Sabrina D’Angelo, Henry Davies, Ovie Ejeheri, Mohamed Elneny, Taylor Foran, Hubert Graczyk, James Hillson, Henry Jeffcott, Tyreece John-Jules, Alex Kirk, James Lannin-Sweet, Kaylan Marckese, Vivianne Miedema, Arthur Okonkwo, Kamarni Ryan, Cedric Soares and Kido Taylor-Hart.

There are some left to be finalised, but it has opened the door now for more to follow from the senior squad when the transfer window finally gets going in under two weeks. That is when business time really kicks in.

Taking a look at some of the other reports around Arsenal and the Emirates Stadium, has the latest.

Squad player interest

Fulham are interested in signing Eddie Nketiah this summer, according to reports, with Crystal Palace and Wolves also said to be monitoring the forward. Fellow Hale End graduate Emile Smith Rowe is also being linked with a move away as the Evening Standard write that Arsenal will listen to offers for the player.

Aaron Ramsdale and Kieran Tierney are also up for sale too. It comes with the Gunners looking to overhaul their squad in a bid to raise funds for possible big-money signings as well as aiming to remain compliant with Premier League financial rules.

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Fabio Vieira has also been touted as a player that could leave, whilst Cedric Soares and Mohamed Elneny were already confirmed as exiting the club before the retained list was published on Monday. says: It's brutal but this is the nature of top-level sport. Arsenal have arguably now outgrown players like Smith Rowe and Nketiah despite their help in getting to this stage in the first place.

Smith Rowe has been stunted by injury whilst Nketiah's record away from home and against the best teams is poor. Ramsdale was harshly dealt with last season but the replacement seemed to work and pay off in the end. Arteta is yet to really get a decision like this wrong.

This trio in particular are all good enough to have a role at the club but Arteta's lack of rotation has seriously held them back and simply hasn't been conducive to developing individually or being able to make an impact. The task will be to replace them with better players that significantly move the club on.

Early sales for good money will be beneficial to allow for top targets to be pursued. Arsenal can't let emotion cloud their judgement.

Mbappe saga finishes

A transfer that Arsenal were only ever truly on the periphery of. Kylian Mbappe has finally been confirmed as having joined Real Madrid. Years on from the first expectation that he would leave Paris Saint-Germain, the longest and most tiring drama is over.

Just days after winning a 15th Champions League title, Madrid announced the deal that everyone knew was happening. It's alright for some.

After seven years at PSG Mbappe signed a contract until 2029 at Santiago Bernabeu. He joins Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, Jude Bellingham, Endrick, Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni, and the rest in the Spanish capital. *Gulp* says: What if Arsene Wenger had been successful in luring Mbappe to north London? What if Arteta and his bold January window statement of wishing to be in the mix for Mbappe had come off? What if IShowSpeed had somehow been right and Arsenal really had been the true final destination all along?

These are all hypotheticals now that we will never know the answer to. Did anyone really think Mbappe was coming to the Premier League anyway? Thank goodness that the pointless flirting every summer is over, quite frankly.

The reported £85million signing on fee as well as £12million yearly salary (not including the lucrative sponsorships) perhaps explains just why this was such a no-go. Can anyone actually afford this on one player?

The biggest Arsenal disappointment in this story is that their chances of winning the Champions League just took a huge hit. Really, it's Madrid's to lose.