The 2016 transfer shopping has begun on a different note for Arsenal football club, with the club having already acquired Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach.
The £30 million fee paid for the midfielder, is the third highest that the North London side has ever paid for a player and at such an early stage of the summer, months before the summer transfer window opens officially on the 1st of July.
Then, there are the Jamie Vardy negotiations that begun last week. Apart from it being unusual subject for gossip for people the world over, Arsenal’s interest in the Leicester City and England striker has been sudden and difficult to understand given his age and his release clause; two things we have never seen Arsene Wenger bypass this quickly.
In the mix of the absolutely fast tracked business deals that seemed to be taking place at Arsenal, reports claim that the Gunners could lose at least one of their first team players in the summer, given that there are likely to be more arrivals and in different positions after Granit Xhaka.
As reported by The Mirror, Arsenal are likely to lose ‘at least one’ of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs such that a place in the team can be made for new arrivals.
All three of them have, struggled to feature for the Gunners last season. Gibbs lost his place to first choice left back Nacho Monreal this season and has been linked with Liverpool, while Chamberlain has struggled for fitness and form in spite a promising performance in last year’s community shield game against Chelsea, and Theo Walcott has failed to start a single game since Arsenal’s defeat to Manchester United on February the 28th.
Recent news reports claim that Theo Walcott could very well be that departing first team player that departs. ‘The Evening Standard’ reports that West Ham United are interested in signing Theo Walcott from Arsenal for a £25m. While his wages could be an issue for the Hammers, the chances of him performing at this stage of his career are high.
At 27, Walcott has experience playing at the highest level for decade now; a quality that West Ham would be willing to capitalize on. With Jamie Vardy’s possible arrival, Walcott is likely to fall further down the pecking order in the Arsenal squad.
Regardless of what happens, however, it is unlikely that either Wenger or the club would like the idea of selling Walcott to a premier league club or for that matter, to anyone at all. Moreover, Walcott himself is unlikely to leave unless asked to, given that he is interested in staying at the Emirates.
It is difficult to imagine which of these first team stars is likely to leave the Emirates. It is unfortunate though that it could be a member of Arsenal’s ‘British Core’ which was, not two seasons ago being touted to be the best of it’s kind in the premier league.