Arsenal have given clarity on the futures of Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, but there is still a lot of work to be done before Mikel Arteta completes his first-team squad for the 2023/24 season.
The latter, who spent the 2022/23 campaign on loan at Southampton, revealed in April that he was set to leave the Gunners when his contract expires at the end of this month and there was official confirmation of his impending departure – along with 12. other players across the men’s and women’s first team squads as well as U23 and U18 – Friday morning.
And in a pre-recorded message, Maitland-Niles bids an emotional farewell as his long association with his boyhood club comes to an end: “Words can’t describe how I feel to be honest, it’s been a very emotional journey,” he said. “Having supported the club’s growth and come through the ranks, I can only be happy with what I have achieved since I have been here.
“I’ve seen a lot of players come and go and play with a lot of great players during my time here. Sadly it has to come to an end but I’ve enjoyed every moment I’ve been here playing and working for this club.
“The cup wins would probably be the best moments for me, obviously some of the domestic seasons weren’t that great but at least I won some trophies with the club that I love. The FA Cup final was a great day that will always stuck in my mind and I was happy to be part of the team that won it.
“There have been some lifelong relationships that I have built since I have been here. I can only be grateful for the people who have come into my life and helped me since I have been here at the club. I will always be here to support the team and the boys and hopefully they can win something in the future.To all the supporters out there just stay true to the team.They have come very very far this season and it has been great to see Once a Gunner, always a Gunner!”
READ MORE: Declan Rice signing, Kai Havertz decision, Cancelo transfer: How Arsenal could line up in 2023/24
A notable absentee from Arsenal’s release list is Reiss Nelson, as his deal is also due to expire at the same time as Maitland-Niles. Although the club have communicated that a new contract has been offered to the Hale End Academy graduate and that negotiations are ongoing.
Now, soccer.london understands negotiations over a new deal for the 24-year-old are in the final stages, with confidence growing that he will follow in the footsteps of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Aaron Ramsdale in committing his future to the club.
Even with Nelson likely to remain until his new deal is officially signed, he cannot be included in the list of senior Arsenal players under contract ahead of the 2023/24 season. However, as things stand, returning loanees such as Nuno Tavares, Folarin Balogun and Cedric Soares could be, and they have all been named on the club’s retained list, as published by Premier League.
So are Granit Xhaka and Pablo Mari, despite both players expected to leave permanently this summer. The former is in advanced talks over a £13m move to Bayer Leverkusen, while the latter is set to join Serie A side Monza for £5.9m after a successful loan spell.
As the international transfer window doesn’t open until July 1, neither player can technically be registered by their respective new clubs until then, but an official announcement that both players are on the move could come in the near future.
Arsenal’s first-team players will be retained in 2023/24
Goalkeepers: Aaron Ramsdale, Matt Turner, Karl Hein, Arthur Okonkwo, Alex Runarsson
Defenders: Kieran Tierney, Benjamin White, Gabriel Magalhaes, William Saliba, Jakub Kiwior, Rob Holding, Cedric Soares, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Nuno Tavares, Pablo Mari, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Auston Trusty
Midfielders: Thomas Partey, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe, Jorginho, Fabio Vieira, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka
Extenders: Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, Leandro Trossard, Nicolas Pepe, Folarin Balogun, Marquinhos
Of course, the above list is expected to change drastically in the coming months. In terms of revenue, soccer.london understands Arsenal want to sign Declan Rice and have a genuine interest in Kai Havertz. Meanwhile, they continue to be linked with moves for Ilkay Gundogan, Joao Cancelo and many others.
That said, Kieran Tierney, Alex Runarsson, Arthur Okonkwo, Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Marquinhos could all leave in one way or another, while soccer.london understand that Auston Trusty, Nicolas Pepe and Folarin Balogun will leave permanently this summer.
Have your say on who you’d keep or sell below!
Arsenal’s ideal squad for the 2023/24 Premier League season if 17 summer transfers go through
Arsenal news and transfers LIVE: Rice £100m bid, Diaby offer, Lavia boost, 13 exits confirmed