Everybody knows that Arsenal are in the middle of a long-term rebuild just now, but those efforts could be hampered by the shorter-term expectations that are placed on Mikel Arteta.
If the Gunners start poorly next season and they aren’t playing lovely football then it’s hard to see him keeping his job, so in many ways he might have to make decisions to save himself – even if they aren’t in the long-term interests of the club.
The classic example would be ignoring their best young players in favour of packing the team with veteran players, but they’ve done that so many times and it just doesn’t work.
Big money has been wasted on Mesut Ozil and Willian’s wages while potential playing time has also been taken from those young stars, and there are a couple of worrying reports for the fans going around just now.
There’s a lot of talk from Calciomercato about a return to the Emirates for Aaron Ramsey, and it’s a move that might work out if he stays fit and plays well, but the concern comes with the suggestion that Folarin Balogun could be sent to Juve in exchange.
He’s one of their brightest prospects and he could be the future of the club if he keeps developing, while there are also suggestions that Emile Smith Rowe could still be sold to Aston Villa this summer too:
Latest transfer notebook
Aston Villa back in for Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe – @JPercyTelegraph
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) June 22, 2021
They would be a caveat here if there were suggestions that Arsenal had plans to replace both youngsters with players who were upgrades and had the potential to become top-class for years to come but that simply isn’t the case.
The rumour about Ramsey and Balogun would be the most nonsensical as the Welshman turns 31 later this year so he’ll have no sell-on value and his wages will be huge, so there’s little chance that he contributes enough to make that worthwhile.
If the £30+ million for Smith Rowe could be turned into a permanent deal for someone like Martin Odegaard then you could understand it, but there has to be fears that Arsenal are just going to go down the same road of throwing big-money at some average veteran players again.