Arsenal should be looking to offload Hector Bellerin “if the right money came”, says Charlie Nicholas, with the former Gunners star also urging Mikel Arteta to sell Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Rob Holding and Calum Chambers.
There is expected to be a freshening up of the Emirates Stadium ranks this summer. Arteta inherited a squad from fellow Spaniard Unai Emery in December 2019 that needs a lot of work doing to it – particularly at the back.
He was able to fix things up enough to deliver FA Cup glory in 2020, but movement in and out of north London will be required in the current transfer window for former glories to be recaptured. Nicholas admits as much and believes funds can be freed up by moving several underperforming defenders on.
Spain international Bellerin does not necessarily fit into that category, but he could prove to be a saleable asset that would allow Arsenal – who have already welcomed William Saliba onto their books ahead of the 2020-21 campaign – to reinvest elsewhere.
Nicholas told Sky Sports: "I would contemplate and look at, people have been mentioning, somebody like Bellerin if the right money came.
“Now, Bellerin has been a star but since his bad injury he's never really recovered fully. If we can get him fit again and get him going again, then I'm all for Bellerin staying here.”
Along with the arrival of Saliba, who was snapped up from Saint Etienne 12 months ago, Arsenal are also closing in on a deal for Lille star Gabriel Magalhaes. With fresh faces either already on board or seemingly on their way, Nicholas believes an opportunity has presented itself to clear the decks.
He added: “We welcome Saliba and if we can get Gabriel I think suddenly we've got a bit of pace and a bit of power there.
“[David] Luiz was signed on a one-year contract as a squad player and maybe to play in a back three occasionally.
“Mustafi will be sold. He's injured just now but he will be sold, he has to go. Sokratis I think will say: 'At my stage, I have to go'. Rob Holding, nothing against him, I don't think Arsenal's helped him. It was the wrong move at the wrong time for the lad. I think if the right offer comes in, he'll go.
“Obviously Calum Chambers, who has been in and out of the club unbelievable amounts of times, will have to go for his own sake, rather than his long-term future at Arsenal - it doesn't exist.
“So they'll be four out, you get the money in, you replace them.”