Who should each of the “Big Six” teams in England sell?

cody gakpo
Cody Gakpo (Photo: BTA)

After just over a week’s break due to the national teams, it’s time for club football to return. We’re about to enter the climax of the current season, but most teams are already looking towards the summer transfer window and preparing for the next campaign.

In a world where Premier League profitability and sustainability rules are becoming an increasingly crucial factor, generating revenue from player sales is just as important as attracting new players to ensure teams remain competitive on the field.

No club, even the wealthiest ones, can afford to have an oversized squad. It’s time to select one player from each of the “Big Six” clubs – Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Chelsea – who needs to be sold this summer.

Arsenal: Aaron Ramsdale (goalkeeper, 25 years old)

Aaron Ramsdale lost his starting position during the campaign following the arrival of David Raya on loan from city rival Brentford. Furthermore, Arsenal decided to exercise the buyout option for the 28-year-old Spaniard during the summer. This is unlikely to improve Ramsdale’s situation.

The 25-year-old Englishman was selected in the PFA Team of the Year in the Premier League for the 2022/2023 season and posed a serious threat to Jordan Pickford’s position as England’s starting goalkeeper for the upcoming European Championship in the summer. However, 12 months later, it’s doubtful we’ll even see Ramsdale among the substitutes in Germany due to his unfortunate status at the Emirates.

Now Arsenal owes it to him to at least consider offers for him, and they could likely receive a sum exceeding the £30 million they paid for him to Sheffield United back in 2021.

Liverpool: Cody Gakpo (left winger/forward, 24 years old)

24-year-old Cody Gakpo has been at Liverpool for just over a year, but the Dutchman lacks a defined role and, wherever you look, he is not a starter in any of the positions he can play. Presumably, he is a left winger, but he can easily compete with Darwin Nunez for the top spot in attack. However, the “Reds” rely more on the Uruguayan, who has been in great form this season, and they paid more than twice as much for him as they did for Gakpo.

The more clinical Diogo Jota may be a better backup number nine, leaving Gakpo in a dilemma. At the moment, Liverpool is calm because he has a long contract until 2028. Thus, if the “Reds” decide to sell him in the summer, they can easily make a larger profit than the £37 million they paid for him in January 2023. He is still in his prime and has great potential, but the question remains whether he is suitable for Liverpool.

Therefore, parting ways with him could be a smart business decision by the returning Michael Edwards, enabling the club to gain fresh funds for a new player.

Manchester City: Bernardo Silva (attacking midfielder, 29 years old)

It’s quite challenging to pick any player from a team considered one of the best in the world. Everyone at Manchester City seems outstanding, but is everyone satisfied with their current situation? The answer is also quite difficult.

Perhaps it’s time for the “Citizens” to finally fulfill Bernardo Silva’s wish and let him seek a new challenge. Although he remains one of the most important players in Pep Guardiola’s scheme, the Portuguese no longer feels at home. At 29 years old, with a contract until 2026, he could still be sold for a significant sum.

In recent years, City has had the habit of parting ways with key players – Raheem Sterling, João Cancelo, Gabriel Jesus – while simultaneously replacing them with younger and more promising footballers – Jeremy Doku, Yosko Guardiola, Erling Haaland. Only the latter three are proof that the quality on the field is in no way diminished.

Manchester United: Antony (right winger, 24 years old)

Manchester United turned Antony into their second most expensive player in history when he was purchased from Ajax for £86 million in 2022, although before that, the team’s scouts valued the winger at only £25 million…

The Brazilian started his career promisingly at Old Trafford, scoring in each of his first three appearances in the Premier League, and then his goals helped the “Red Devils” knock Barcelona out of the Europa League. But his form suddenly disappeared, followed by off-field issues regarding allegations of domestic violence earlier this season. He still hasn’t scored or provided an assist in the Premier League this campaign, although before the break, he scored one of his most important goals for United in the 4-3 victory over Liverpool in the FA Cup.

Now the main task for the “Red Devils” is to limit the losses from his transfer, although it’s clear that the majority of the investment in Antony will go down the drain.

Jadon Sancho is another obvious candidate for departure, but if United’s new bosses, especially Sir Jim Ratcliffe, decide to appoint a new manager to replace Erik ten Hag, the Englishman who is currently on loan at Borussia Dortmund, has every chance of getting a second chance at Old Trafford.

Tottenham Hotspur: Tanguy Ndombele (central midfielder, 27 years old)

With a contract until 2025, it seems that this summer will be Tottenham’s last realistic chance to succeed in selling Tanguy Ndombele for any sum, after paying a then-club-record fee of £64.5 million for him back in 2019. However, the midfielder has failed to establish himself in the Spurs lineup and hasn’t even played for the team for over two years – since January 2022.

It’s also highly unlikely that Galatasaray will take advantage of the option to buy his rights when his loan expires at the end of the season, considering he’s struggled to secure a place in the starting lineup in matches for the Turkish giants.

Chelsea: Marc Cucurella (left-back, 25 years old)

Chelsea is unlikely to ever recover from the huge investments they made in midfielders Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez (note: a total of £223 million was paid for the two). The duo has failed to live up to the high expectations placed on them, but considering they are still in the early stages of their careers, there is hope that they can improve over time.

There is one player, however, who should never have been brought in – Marc Cucurella. Selling him could turn out to be an excellent decision, especially since Chelsea will surely be able to recoup at least half of the over €65 million they paid for him back in 2022, unlike Mikhailo Mudrik or Wesley Fofana, if the “Blues” decide to part ways with them.

The Spaniard has already proven himself as a defender, and if a team with ambitions to finish in the top half of the table, let’s say Crystal Palace, West Ham United, Brentford, or even a return to Brighton, offers around €35 million, then Chelsea should accept the offer without hesitation.

We’ve already mentioned Mudrik and Fofana, who are not the only remaining candidates to leave Stamford Bridge. We shouldn’t forget Romelu Lukaku and Kepa Arrizabalaga, who are on loan at Roma and Real Madrid respectively, with expectations that they will be sold in the summer. Why not add Raheem Sterling to this list as well, who seems to be more of a flash in the pan, as they say.

Krasian Mitev
Krasian Mitev
Krasian Mitev is a Bulgarian sports journalist and analyst. He has worked for a number of sports media, including Topsport, Boets, Sportnamasa and many others. Krasian is responsible for a number of football analyzes and previews, as well as the verification of some bookmakers.

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