Before tonight’s 11 pm deadline, Arsenal’s team is starting to take shape, but three deals could change Mikel Arteta’s plans.
Arsenal could make up to three deals on the last day of the transfer window. This would give Mikel Arteta the 25-player squad he wanted for the first half of the new season.
Karl Hein is almost certain to be called up to the senior team. Aaron Ramsdale and Matt Turner are the other two goalkeepers. The attacking group of Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, and Marquinhos will likely stay the same, as no new players or players leaving are expected before 11 pm.
Even though Cedric Soares isn’t going to Fulham, there will likely be movement in defense and midfield. Hector Bellerin has reportedly agreed to get out of his contract so he can return to Barcelona. Ainsley Maitland-Nile’s loan move to Southampton is expected to be announced soon.
And rumors about Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz are getting stronger by the hour, which could mean that Arsenal loses two players and gains one. If a deal can be made for £25 million and the north London team can make a deal before the window closes, Arteta will have the best possible situation: three goalkeepers and 22 outfield players.
Also, after the summer transfer window closes, the Gunners manager can name the club’s 25-person Premier League squad, which can have no more than 17 players from outside the club. The other eight spots can be filled by players born and raised at the club.
For a player to be considered homegrown, they must have been registered with a club affiliated with The Football Association or the Welsh FA for three full seasons, or 36 months, before turning 21. (or the end of the season during which he turns 21).
Should Bellerin follow Maitland-Niles out the door, Ben White, Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah, Rob Holding, Aaron Ramsdale, and Reiss Nelson will be the only senior Arsenal players who meet the homegrown criteria. Matt Smith, a young player, could be added to the list. On Wednesday night, he was on the bench for the game against Aston Villa.
This season, the midfielder would have to be added to the roster to play for the Gunners’ central team. He was born before January 1, 2001, so he can’t be registered as an Under-21 player eligible for the whole season like Hein, William Saliba, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and Marquinhos.
Also, since Nicolas Pepe, Bernd Leno, Pablo Mari, Nuno Tavares, and Lucas Torreira have all left in the past month, the Gunners’ team now has 13 players who are not from England. Since the limit is 17, they can sign up Luiz without problems.
If three deals are made on the last day of transfers, Arsenal’s 25-person Premier League team will be complete.
Goalkeepers: Aaron Ramsdale*, Matt Turner
Defenders: Kieran Tierney, Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes, Rob Holding, Cedric Soares, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Oleksandr Zinchenko
Thomas Party, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe, Fabio Vieira, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka, Douglas Luiz, and Matt Smith are the midfielders.
Forwards: Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson
Karl Hein, William Saliba, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and Marquinhos are all U21 seniors.