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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta urged to ditch two players to aid Edu’s lofty transfer ambitions


Arsenal icon Nigel Winterburn has urged Mikel Arteta to get rid of Lucas Torreira and Hector Bellerin this summer in order to boost Edu’s transfer plans by freeing up space on the club’s wage bill. The Gunners have already moved quickly to snap up three players since the end of last season, with Marquinhos, Fabio Vieira and Matt Turner all having joined the north Londoners on permanent deals.

Gabriel Jesus is also set to sign for Arsenal over the coming days after Manchester City accepted a fee of £45million in exchange for his services last week. Winterburn believes that a number of Arsenal’s existing stars will need to be sold in order to facilitate any further additions, though, and has picked out Torreira and Bellerin as two shining examples.

“When you send an established player out on loan, like Torreira who wants to play, are you then going to invite him back to fit into the squad? I don’t think he’d be happy to sit on the bench,” Winterburn exclusively told Express Sport, in association with bet365.

“It’s clear to me that he wants to go. Those players out on loan, who won’t be getting so much game time, we have to clear those out to bring new players in.

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“Bellerin is still our player isn’t he? There are players there who can do a job for Arsenal but are seemingly not in Mikel Arteta’s plans, otherwise they likely wouldn’t have gone out on loan. We have to move these players on to free up the wage bill.”

The likes of Reiss Nelson and Runar Alex Runarsson could also potentially be set for the chopping block at Arsenal before the new season gets underway in early August. The former has spent the last few seasons out on loan after failing to hold down an extended first-team spot at the Emirates Stadium, while the latter was also away from the club last season and is now Arsenal’s fourth-choice goalkeeper behind Aaron Ramsdale, Bernd Leno and Turner.

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Leno has also been linked with a potential move to Fulham, who were said to have opened initial talks with Arsenal to discuss the German’s availability last week. It remains to be seen who else will be shipped out of north London in the not-too-distant future as Arteta and Edu look to ramp up their summer business in advance of the new Premier League campaign.

The Gunners were the division’s biggest spenders last summer, splashing in excess of £150m on no less than six new arrivals over the course of the window. It seems as though Arteta, who has already underlined his desire to oversee plenty of movement in this year’s market, could benefit from shipping out a number of fringe players in order to boost his chances of leading another similarly fruitful recruitment drive this time around.

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