Arsenal blame game causes eight-man transfer list as Arteta ditches one position’s starting duo

Benjamin White, Gabriel Magalhaes, Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka

Arsenal are ready to clear out eight players this summer, including two that Mikel Arteta has heavily relied upon this season, according to a report.

After falling short in their pursuit of the Premier League title despite leading the way for much of the season, Arsenal will be having serious reflections about where it went wrong, who is to blame and how they can improve.

It means there could be several casualties from within their current squad, with the Daily Mirror now claiming that eight Arsenal players could be banished this summer.

The most high-profile potential exits mentioned in the report would be those of Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka. For most of the season, Arteta has used them as his starting combination in defensive midfield.

However, Xhaka is ready to announce a decision about his future, which is expected to be that he is leaving for Bayer Leverkusen. It will represent a return to the Bundesliga after Arsenal originally bought him from Borussia Monchengladbach.

Meanwhile, Partey’s presence in the Arsenal squad is now also up for question. According to the report, he has attracted attention from two clubs in Italy, although it is not yet clear who they are.

Partey’s decline in form towards the end of the season is cited as one reason Arsenal were overtaken by Man City.

Exits for Xhaka and Partey could clear space for Arsenal to be able to pursue potential replacements like Declan Rice and Ilkay Gundogan, the captains of West Ham and Man City respectively.

Gundogan could be available on a free transfer, whereas Rice would cost a club-record transfer fee. Therefore, Arsenal will need to raise even more funds for their top target.

Six more could follow Xhaka and Partey out the Arsenal exit door

Other players on the chopping block at the Emirates Stadium include defenders Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney, as well as midfielder Emile Smith Rowe.

Attacker Reiss Nelson is also due to leave when his contract expires in the summer – despite the attempts of the club to renew his deal – as is Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who has spent the 2022-23 season on loan at Southampton.

Another loanee Arsenal are ready to cash in on is Folarin Balogun, who has excelled up front for Reims in Ligue 1 this season. However, Arteta might still want to stick with Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah as his main strikers.

How much Arsenal will be able to raise by offloading all eight players remains to be seen. In some cases, the most important thing will be to get their wages off the books.

But some of the more frequently used names on the transfer list – specifically Xhaka and Partey – will have to be replaced with new additions.

The report suggests Arsenal could make five signings in the summer. Other than Rice and Gundogan, they are also said to be looking at Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi, Leicester attacking midfielder James Maddison, and full-back Joao Cancelo, who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich from Man City.

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