ARSENAL: WHO GOES? WHO STAYS?

Ahead of next season, FA Cup winners and aspirants at the Europa Cup, Arsenal are in the process of rebuilding the squad to make it stronger for the challenges ahead.

Mikel Arteta faces some tough decisions as he looks to rebuild Arsenal’s squad.

The Gunners concluded an eventful season by winning the FA Cup but there is still much more work to do to improve the squad if the club are to push on further.

Mikel Arteta faces some difficult decisions as he assesses the options that he has at his disposal. The Arsenal boss must sell players this summer to generate funds for his first-choice transfer targets.

British newspaper, Daily Mail, looks at which players Arteta should keep and who should be sold. 

 

GOALKEEPERS

  • Bernd Leno 

Leno’s position as Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper is no longer secure after Emiliano Martinez’s superb performances. 

However, Leno is closing in on a return from injury and it will be a positive to have some competition in the goalkeeping department.

VERDICT: STAY 

  • Emiliano Martinez 

After a decade at the club, Martinez finally got his time in the spotlight as he produced some excellent performances towards the end of the campaign.

Martinez, who has also been tipped to feature for Argentina, will hope that he will be able to establish himself as Arsenal’s number one shot-stopper.

Emiliano Martinez will hope to be Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper after some superb displays

VERDICT: STAY 

  • Matt Macey 

Macey has been at Arsenal for nearly seven years but has only played twice for the club.

In addition, he wasn’t especially convincing during his loan spell at Plymouth Argyle in 2018-19.

VERDICT: GO 

DEFENDERS

  • Hector Bellerin 

One of Arsenal’s longest-serving players, Bellerin can get caught out at times defensively but is capable of offering a threat going forwards. 

If a suitable offer came in then perhaps Arsenal should accept it if they can identify a right-back to replace him. 

VERDICT: JURY’S OUT

If Arsenal receive a suitable offer for Hector Bellerin then they should consider accepting it 

  • Kieran Tierney 

There have been some difficult moments for Tierney in his first season in north London, with injuries affecting him.

However, he has established himself as a fan favourite and towards the end of the season was particularly impressive as a left-sided centre-back following Arteta’s switch of formation. 

VERDICT: STAY 

  • Sokratis

The experienced defender didn’t play a single minute in the Premier League after the restart and it is clear that he has fallen down the pecking order.

Reports indicate that he has no intention of leaving the club but Arsenal should look to move Sokratis on if possible.

VERDICT: GO 

  • Rob Holding 

Since suffering a serious injury against Manchester United in late 2018, Holding hasn’t looked quite the same player.

The centre-back is far from composed in possession and his positioning leaves much to be desired. Perhaps it is time for Arsenal to sell him.

VERDICT: GO 

Rob Holding is a player Arsenal should consider selling as he has struggled since his injury

  • Cedric

The right-back had to be patient for his chance after his move from Southampton as he missed many games through injury.

Cedric scored a fine goal on his debut against Norwich, and, although there are question marks about his defensive capabilities, he won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. 

VERDICT: STAY

  • Shkodran Mustafi

Although he has had some encouraging performances since Arteta’s arrival, there is always a mistake just around the corner when Mustafi is in action.

If Arsenal have ambitions of getting into the top four then they cannot rely on Mustafi – it is no coincidence that they haven’t qualified for the Champions League since he joined the club. He is poised to miss the start of the new season through injury, which will make it difficult to sell him. 

VERDICT: GO 

  • Calum Chambers

The centre-back hasn’t played since December after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

He is set to miss the start of next season and it doesn’t seem likely that the club would look to sell an injured player.

VERDICT: STAY 

  • Pablo Mari

Mari has made just three appearances since joining Arsenal in January but has already had his switch from Flamengo made permanent.

Although he doesn’t appear to be the answer to Arsenal’s defensive struggles, he deserves opportunities to prove his worth.

VERDICT: STAY 

  • David Luiz

You never know what you are going to get with Luiz, who can produce an outstanding performance in one game and an awful one in the next.

The 33-year-old has, however, been a key figure in the dressing room and is set to stay for another year, although he shouldn’t be used as regularly as he was this campaign. 

VERDICT: STAY 

  • David Luiz will be staying at Arsenal for another year but he shouldn’t be used as prominently
  • Sead Kolasinac

The left-back has never been especially convincing defensively and is a liability when deployed as a centre-back in a three-man defence.

Arsenal should look to sell Kolasinac and bring in another left-back to provide depth in that department.

VERDICT: GO 

MIDFIELDERS

  • Mesut Ozil

Ozil has been frozen out under Arteta and hasn’t played at all since the restart, despite having some good performances prior to the break.

With the former Germany international into the final year of his contract, Arsenal should be looking to sell him as he clearly isn’t part of Arteta’s plans. Mesut Ozil has been frozen out by Arteta and it appears unlikely that he has a future at the club

VERDICT: GO

  • Lucas Torreira

When Arsenal signed Torreira two years ago there was much hope that he could be the solution for them in defensive midfield.

The Uruguayan has had some encouraging performances since then but hasn’t been consistent and injuries haven’t helped him either. Torreira should stay as part of the squad but he isn’t guaranteed a place in the starting lineup.

Although Torreira has lacked consistency he can still be a useful member of the Arsenal squad

VERDICT: STAY

  • Ainsley Maitland-Niles

There have been times in recent months when Maitland-Niles looked almost certain to depart Arsenal this summer, but the situation has now changed.

Although he prefers to play in midfield, the academy product has shown that he is willing to help out in defensive positions if required and his versatility is an asset.

VERDICT: STAY

  • Joe Willock

Willock featured prominently in his first season since being promoted to the first-team – he made 44 appearances in total.

The midfielder has potential but could do with a loan spell ,which would hopefully help him to perform with greater consistency.

VERDICT: STAY

  • Matteo Guendouzi

Although he has vast potential, Guendouzi is another who has fallen out of favour under Arteta, with his attitude being called into question.

Guendouzi has been training individually in recent weeks and although he could go on to be a success elsewhere, it looks as if his time at Arsenal could be coming to an end.

VERDICT: GO

  • Granit Xhaka

Many have praised Xhaka for turning his Arsenal career around when he appeared to be close to leaving earlier in the campaign.

However, he can still lose the ball at crucial moments and is prone to switching off defensively. Arsenal need a more consistent performer at the base of their midfield. Xhaka has received praise of late but his performances still lack consistency and he should go

VERDICT: GO

  • Bukayo Saka

Although he didn’t feature in the FA Cup final, Saka enjoyed a superb breakthrough campaign and was rewarded with the iconic No 7 shirt.

The talented youngster has demonstrated his versatility, too, and will look to push on even further next campaign.

VERDICT: STAY 

  • Nicolas Pepe

There have been times when Pepe has found it difficult to make an impact following his £72million switch from Lille.

However, it is clear that the winger has much quality and he showed that at various points during the season. Now it is hoped that he can produce performances of that ilk on a regular basis. 

VERDICT: STAY

Nicolas Pepe showed flashes of brilliance in his first season and will now look to push on more

Reiss Nelson 

Another academy product in the first-team squad, Nelson is the definition of a confidence player.

When he has belief in himself Nelson can perform very well and he will hope to feature prominently next season.

VERDICT: STAY 

FORWARDS

  • Alexandre Lacazette

Lacazette didn’t have his most prolific season in front of goal as he found the net 12 times and struggled on some occasions.

When at his best the Frenchman is capable of making a major impact but if Arsenal have the opportunity to bring in a superior striker then they may look to sell Lacazette. However, Arsenal certainly won’t want to lose both Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the same transfer window.

VERDICT: JURY’S OUT

Lacazette is another player that Arsenal could sell if they are to receive a significant offer

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

The forward showed his value to Arsenal with his brace in the FA Cup final success against Chelsea but there remains much uncertainty regarding whether he will still be at the club next season.

Arsenal should certainly do their utmost to keep Aubameyang but if he doesn’t sign a new contract they could reinvest the money from his sale into improving the squad. Arsenal should try to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but a sale would raise useful funds

VERDICT: JURY’S OUT 

  • Eddie Nketiah

Nketiah had an interesting campaign, which ended with him winning both the Championship (following his loan spell at Leeds) and the FA Cup.

The hard-working forward certainly fits into Arteta’s style of play and he will look to make further progress. 

VERDICT: STAY 

  • Gabriel Martinelli 

Martinelli made a tremendous impact in his first season at the club but the youngster set to be out until around December due to injury.

Therefore, it appears unlikely that he will play a prominent part for much of next season, but he is a very talented player for the future.

VERDICT: STAY