A large number of Arsenal fans are expecting (and hoping) that Arsene Wenger will finally give up his throne as manager this summer, but which players should go with him?
The French boss clearly favours a number of stars despite a number of lacklustre performances, although excuses can be made on occasion, but with a change in management a possibility in the close-season, some of those players may not get those same allowances under a new guard.
Aaron Ramsey has been in and out of the first-team with a number of injuries and fitness problems, and is a regular in the playing squad when available, and while he has showcased his talent on a number of occasions, his inconsistent performances are frustrating. I believe the biggest issue with him is the fact he is used in various pòsitions, and his best position is somewhat unknown. I would expect any new manager to give him his chance to shine, but I don’t think he would last at Arsenal for long unless he could raise his game and assert himself in one role.
Francis Coquelin is a player who may not find it so easy to gain a role under a new boss. His role in the squad is clearly to be our most defensive option at the base of the midfield, but he has put in a number of questionable displays this term, and I struggle to believe he would still play nearly as often as he has under anyone else. I expect another midfielder to be signed this summer regardless of our manager.
Theo Walcott is another player who has been given chance after chance over the past few years, and if Wenger had left last season, the English forward may have been discarded, but this year he has been a different animal. Theo is our second-highest scorer in the league, and has flourished with Alexis Sanchez playing centrally. Unfortunately the Chilean looks near-certain to leave however, and Walcott will have to find a new system to accommodate his playing style.
Olivier Giroud is another player who is regularly under-rated by onlookers, although he has shown his goalscoring ability when used sparingly this season. Fans have been much more respectable of his ability this term, but a new manager may not view him as good enough when trying to build his own side. I’m a fan of Giroud, but he is not a scratch on Harry Kane, Diego Costa or Sergio Aguero, and to really challenge for the title, we need better.
There are also question marks over Mesut Ozil’s workrate, Alex Iwobi’s composure, as well as question marks over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere and Granit Xhaka.
Which players would you be first to offload if you was boss, and why?