Mikel Arteta aiming to rid Unai Emery influence from Arsenal with three more exits expected

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is ready to swing his axe and sanction the sales of three first-team players that were at one time all regulars in the starting eleven.

All three of those wanted out by Arteta were actually purchased by his predecessor Unai Emery, now at the helm of Spanish outfit Villarreal. The current Arsenal boss is nearing the end of his entire overhaul having brought in the majority of the Gunners regulars himself over the course of multiple windows since his appointment in December 2019.

However, there are still remnants of the Emery regime still found within the side that are hardly pulling their weight when it comes to contributing. The trio in question are club-record signing and £72million man Nicolas Pepe, back-up goalkeeper Bernd Leno and want-away midfielder Lucas Torreira.

Analysing Pepe firstly, the Ivorian has never truly reached the required standard and failed miserably under the white-hot spotlight that comes with being Arsenal’s most expensive ever player. He is a player that failed to deliver under both Emery and Arteta, though it has reached embarrassing lows under the latter.

Last season, Pepe’s return in terms of goal contributions made for miserable reading. The winger bagged just one goal in 20 Premier League outings, though it must be noted the amount of minutes he was handed was a damning indictment of how important he is to the team in the eyes of Arteta.

Pepe completed the full 90 minutes on just five occasions over the course of the entirety of the last campaign, the most recent of which came in mid-October last year during a 2-2 home draw against Crystal Palace.

Nicolas Pepe

Nicolas Pepe could leave Arsenal this summer
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Fast forward to the end of that season and Pepe is being offered to multiple clubs across the continent with few takers. Arsenal have acknowledged there is no chance of the club recouping the kind of fee they forked out on him, but are willing to take a huge loss to simply get Pepe off the books.

It is a similar situation for Torreira, though the Uruguayan arguably started at Arsenal in far better fashion. The Emirates faithful will always remember the combative midfielder’s performance during that memorable 4-2 victory over fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur during his debut season.

Unfortunately, home sickness is rumoured to have plagued much of the 26-year-old’s time as an Arsenal player. Torreira was purchased from Sampdoria in 2018 and clearly feels more comfortable when plying his trade in Serie A.

Last season’s loan spell at Fiorentina saw a return to some of his best form, but due to the Italian outfit’s inability to pay Arsenal’s asking price of £15m the idea of a permanent switch fell through. The Gunners are still hoping for offers for Torreira from elsewhere given his time at Arsenal is all but certain to be over – especially as his squad number was given to Gabriel Martinelli.

As for Leno, the German international has been a solid club servant at times since his arrival in the summer of 2019. He has enjoyed lengthy spells as Arsenal’s number one, but has also lost his place as senior shot-stopper twice to Emiliano Martinez and Aaron Ramsdale respectively.

Keen to revive his chances of representing Die Mannschaft at the Qatar World Cup later this year, Leno is thought to be on the verge of a move to fellow London club Fulham where he can expect plenty more game-time and try to play his way back into the international fold while making Arsenal £10m in the process of his exit.

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