The fallout from our disastrous Europa League loss is beginning to show itself.
We are seeing stories emanating from different new outlets of players linked with other clubs, how these players may well be interested parties thanks to our failure to activate our Champions League membership for yet another season.
We are already four players light compared to the season just passed. Stephan Lichtsteiner, Danny Welbeck, Petr Cech and Aaron Ramsey have departed the club for gratis. No money incoming, which means we have to involve our meagre budget to fill those gaps.
Youngsters in our academy can do the job for a couple of those spots – Emile Smith-Rowe could fill in for Aaron Ramsey and Emi Martinez is a perfect swap for the retiring Cech.
What about those players that leave of their own volition though?
We hear reports of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang linked with Chinese clubs willing to offer more than £300k a week. We have heard stories of Alexandre Lacazette being a reported target of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid – clubs who are ever present in the Champions League. Granit Xhaka unsure if Arsenal have moved forward and whether he will stay. Mesut Ozil’s relationship with Emery has perhaps reached a fractious point of no return – can we say that all of these will still be at the club next season?
There have been more links with more players departing The Emirates and while we can discount the majority for what they are – gossip and lies – there may well be truth in a portion of them.
That means the squad loses more players.
In order to be stronger than we were last season, we needed to build on what we had, rather than take away players. It leaves us playing catchup straightaway and needing to recruit with a view to improving on what we had – which will cost far more than the budget that has been allotted.
Can we bring in players of sufficient quality? Can we bring in players that are better than what has left – or will leave?
This summer is going to be a tad nerve-wracking.