Friday, September 29, 2023

Arsenal Offload This Playmaker For Free: What It Could Mean For Mikel Arteta And The Club?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

Arsenal have confirmed the departure of Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Gunners have terminated his contract on mutual consent, allowing the playmaker to join AS Roma on a free transfer. Although the duration of his new contract in Rome remains undisclosed, the Italian giants have made quite a coup by signing Mkhitaryan, who did spend the 2019/20 campaign playing for Giallorossi.

Arsenal Still Missing A Playmaker

The departure of Mkhitaryan does not come as a shock given his failures in adapting himself to the fast-paced nature of the Premier League. However, it doesn’t solve Arsenal’s problems either as the club are in dire need of a reliable playmaker.

Mesut Ozil has suffered a fall from grace over the past couple of years. He is, in fact, yet to feature in the first-team since Project Restart and has divided the fanbase, particularly due to his expensive wage demands that have crippled Arsenal’s financial firepower.

Ozil is unlikely to be utilised by Mikel Arteta in the new season, leaving Emile Smith Rowe as the only other like for like option in that number ten slot.

The youngster is coming on the back of a productive loan spell at Huddersfield Town. However, it won’t be reasonable for the Gunners to rely on a player who has minimal experience in top-flight football.

Arsenal have confirmed the departure of Henrikh Mkhitaryan - A failure at Arsenal.
BARCELONA, SPAIN – AUGUST 04: Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Arsenal looks on during the Joan Gamper trophy friendly match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal at Nou Camp on August 04, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

A Financial Boost For The Club

Although one might argue that by terminating Mkhitaryan’s contract, Arsenal have missed the opportunity to bag a reasonable amount of money from his transfer fees, it is reasonable to consider the fact that they now wouldn’t have to worry about his wages.

As a matter of fact, the Armenian was reportedly bagging £180k per week at Emirates, which is the average salary of a top-class Premier League star. The permanent departure of Mkhitaryan, in that regard, would serve as a financial boost for the north London giants, helping them balance the books.

It will be useful now more than ever amid Coronavirus pandemic that has inflicted huge financial losses to European clubs throughout the year.

A Key Unlock Dani Ceballos?

Mkhitaryan’s departure would, no doubt, relieve the shackles of Arsenal in the transfer market. But more importantly, it may finally strengthen the possibility of Dani Ceballos’ potential return to Emirates.

The Spaniard, who enjoyed a brilliant run of form under Arteta during the backend of the 2019/20 campaign, had moved back to Santiago Bernabeu following the end of his loan spell. However, the reports are already suggesting that talks of his potential return to the Premier League are gaining some fuel.

Now with Mkhitaryan permanently gone, Arsenal won’t have troubles finding a space for Ceballos as the Real Madrid star truly looks to make an impact in the English top-flight next season.

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