Arsenal plot transfer ‘sacrifice’ to help James Maddison and Declan Rice wish

Arsenal will be looking to bolster their midfield in the summer transfer window with both James Maddison and Declan Rice seen as the top targets. And it’s being reported they could ‘sacrifice’ Emile Smith Rowe in order to help raise enough funds to make moves for both Rice and Maddison possible.

While Arsenal’s title hopes ended with a whimper, the season as a whole will be deemed a huge success from where they were just 12 months ago. Mikel Arteta’s side finished outside the top four last season and nobody was tipping them to be Manchester City’s closest challengers this year.

But players such as Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale and William Saliba have all stepped up while signings such as Jorginho, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko helped improve Arsenal exponentially. Having qualified for the Champions League for the first time since 2016, the pressure will now be on for Arsenal to prove that their performances this year were not just a one-off.

Changes are needed this summer with Granit Xhaka already all-but confirming that he will be leaving. It’s in midfield where Arteta is most short of options while they were also caught out defensively when Saliba went down with an injury in the final weeks of the season.

Both Rice and Maddison are seen as priority signings for the summer transfer window and together will likely cost in excess of £100million. While finishing second in the Premier League and securing Champions League football for next year will see Arsenal receive plenty of prize money, more funds will be needed to secure all their transfer goals.

For that to happen, Arsenal are likely going to need to offload some of the first-team players. Kieran Tierney, Folarin Balogun and Thomas Partey are just a few players being linked with sales this summer.

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And the Mirror claim Smith Rowe, who endured an injury-ravaged season this year, could also be on the chopping block. The 22-year-old was one of Arsenal’s stand-out stars just last season, scoring 10 Premier League goals having burst onto the scene as a teenager a few years prior.

But a groin operation before this campaign saw Smith Rowe drop down the pecking order upon his return to full fitness.

He’s yet to start in the Premier League this season with only one game remaining and it appears as though Arsenal are ready to listen to offers for the talented playmaker. Aston Villa are among the clubs who are supposedly interested in signing Smith Rowe this summer.

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