In terms of bare numbers, earning promotion from the Championship to the EPL is the single most rewarding prize in the game.
After all, this translates into an estimated £200 million cash bounty, particularly for those clubs who are able to retain their Premier League status for longer than a single season.
Even this huge sum is dwarfed by the amount that Arsenal have earned during the 18 consecutive years that they have qualified for the Champions League, however.
This type of consistent, if moderate, success has added millions to the Gunners’ bottom line, although it has not exactly translated into regular silverware or victory on the European stage.
A Selling Club: Who May the Gunners Offload This Winter?
During this time, the Gunners have also earned a reputation as a selling club, with manager Arsene Wenger notoriously cautious when it comes to bringing in talent.
With the January transfer window now in full flow, this means that Arsenal are far more likely to offload existing player than bring in new ones before midnight on 31st January.
So, let’s take a look at the players who Wenger may look to sell or offload during the winter window: –
The Frenchman has become something of a forgotten man at the Emirates, as recurring injuries and the emergence of the talented right back Héctor Bellerín have gradually taken his toll.
A £12 million signing from Newcastle in the summer of 2014, Debuchy has struggled to earn a consistent run in the side due to injury, while he also courted controversy by claiming that the Gunners blocked a move to Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United last January.
With the Frenchman set to return from a hamstring injury, Wenger may decide that now is the time to cash in on Debuchy or at least send him out on loan to play some first team football.
While he may need to prove his fitness first, he undoubtedly has the class and experience to add genuine value in the Premier League.
Our Verdict: – 8/10
If Debuchy successfully returns from injury, we can see him being shipped out before the end of the month.
Whether this is a permanent move or not, it is hard to see the Frenchman remaining at the Emirates in the long-term.
Until last season, German veteran Per Mertesacker was established as one of the Gunners’ leading centre backs and a prominent leader.
After initially struggling in the EPL due to a chronic lack of pace, he adapted his game superbly to provide the ideal foil for his French teammate and fellow defender Laurent Koscielny.
While he is still the club captain, however, a knee injury has curtailed prevented him from featuring in the first team so far this season and there remains a sense that father time may finally be catching up on the battle hardened 32-year old.
The German is now back in training after injury, and may be well tempted by short-term loan move or a move back home.
He has been linked with a return to the Bundesliga for more than six months now, particular as it remains to be seen whether or not he is offered a new deal.
Our Verdict: – 6/10
Whether it is now or in the summer, the German centre back is surely approaching the end of his Arsenal career.
The most likely option may be a short-term loan until the end of the season, with the interested club being afforded an option to make the deal permanent if Mertesacker proves his fitness.
The talented Welbeck is another to have endured a torrid time with knee injuries his time at the Emirates, with the former Manchester United forward having only recently made his comeback from a nine-month lay-off.
With Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Alex Iwobi just four of many forwards competing for a place in Arsenal’s attack, however, Welbeck is unlikely to get much game time if he stays at the Emirates for the remainder of the season.
Wenger may therefore be keen to secure a loan move for his Mancunian striker, in a bid to help him regain full fitness and return to the squad in time for pre-season.
There are likely to be a number of Premier League clubs keen to take a chance on a talent like Welbeck, regardless of the concerns that surround his level of fitness.
A return to Sunderland (where Welbeck once enjoyed a successful loan spell as a Manchester United academy graduate) has been mooted, and this would seem to be an excellent deal for both parties involved.
Our Verdict: – 7/10
Welbeck needs minutes if he is to rediscover his best form and put his injury nightmares behind him, but he has fallen way down the pecking order at the Emirates.
A loan move therefore seems certain to be completed before the 31st, with a number of EPL clubs likely to lead the race for his signature.
Written by Lewis Humphries
Follow Lewis on Twitter @LewisRHumphries
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