Which players should be welcomed at the Emirates and which ones should be shown the door
It’s still more than three months until the summer transfer window and rumors about the incomings and outgoings at Arsenal are already in the discussions .
We will look at every Arsenal player and decide whether the club should keep the player or sell him come the summer of 2021. Also, we must point out that we won’t include players who have recently signed for the club (there will be few exceptions).
Bernd Leno: Since his move from Bayer Leverkusen in 2018, he has been one of the most consistent players at the Emirates. In the 98 appearances he has made for the Gunners, the 28-year-old has conceded 114 goals and kept 29 clean sheets on the way. The German also came second in the club’s yearly Player of the Season Awards last season. Keep.
Maty Ryan: The Australian made the switch from Brighton to Arsenal on loan in the January transfer window. The former Seagulls’ first choice had an impressive debut against Aston Villa, even though the Gunners went onto lose that game. Despite the player boasting vast experience in Belgium, Spain and England, Arsenal should be looking at keepers who bring the homegrown ticket with them.
Freddie Woodman and David Raya have been repeatedly looked at by the club, and their signing in the summer would make more sense. Don’t sign.
Alex Runarsson: The Iceland international joined the club after goalkeeper coach Inaki Cana recommended his former protégé to the club’s representatives. Even though the 26-year-old, who has seven international appearances, has majority of his career ahead of him, the third-choice goalkeeping spot should be given to an academy player. Teams like Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd and even Man City has/had a homegrown player in the third slot for the keeper, to ease them in the HG rule of the Premier League. Having more flexibility in recruiting players in the forward, midfield and defensive positions makes a lot of sense. Sell.
Hector Bellerin: The former Barcelona academy product has had mixed performances since he made a comeback from the serious ACL injury he suffered against Chelsea at the start of the 2019 campaign. But cashing in on Bellerin, who is 26 years old, with a pacier and younger full-back should be the priority at London Colney. Sell.
David Luiz: The majority of the Arsenal faithful were aggrieved when they came to know that Arsenal extended Luiz’s contract for a further year in the summer of 2020. Even though he has had shaky moments in an Arsenal shirt, Mikel Arteta has been really impressed with the 33-year-old since day one. When Martinelli and Saka were asked about the one Arsenal player who helped them to settle in the first team premises, both, without a hesitation said “David Luiz.” One of the reasons Arsenal have an extremely healthy environment at London Colney is due to the presence of the former Brazil international. Keep.
Calum Chambers: Although Mikel Arteta was impressed with his former teammate when he first joined the club, luck hasn’t been on Chambers’ side to aid that impression. The 26-year-old was injured in Arteta’s first home match in charge of the club. What followed was a lengthy lay off from the pitch. In his absence, the Gunners went and bought two center-backs which made Arsenal well stocked in his place. Although he played in two Europa League games, his shot at getting back to Arteta’s team looks highly unlikely. With a year left on his contract come summer 2021, Arsenal might well try to cash in on him. Sell.
Pablo Mari: Despite the Brazilian being used sparingly in the first team due to his injuries, he has looked more than ready when he was called upon. He was part of the team which showed great character in the post-Christmas period, taking Arsenal from a bottom half team to a team fighting for European places. Even though he is not one of the fastest defenders you will see, his game intelligence is one of the best assets that Arsenal can use to their own benefit. Keep.
Cedric: This was a signing which really touched the wrong nerve of the Arsenal faithful. The Portuguese’s loan deal was made permanent in the summer and some Arsenal fans even went far by saying “Worst Arsenal signing of the decade.” This was unfair, due to the fact that he had barely played for the Gunners. But the European Champion showed that he isn’t just another piece of their squad. His presence has made Arteta feel better about the full back positions. When Hector Bellerin showed some signs of slacking off, the Spaniard was replaced by the 29 year old. Arsenal looked a completely different side on the right wing, with Bukayo Saka and Cedric combining to great effect. Thus, he has the ability to cover in both left and right back slots if the situation asks for it. Keep.
Rob Holding: After fully recovering from the ACL injury, Arteta has showed his trust on the 25-year-old former Bolton defender. He has been used frequently and has been one of the more consistent players in this sluggish Arsenal side. Even though the Englishman is not the fanciest of players, he does the job when it needs to be done with the least mistakes. Keep.
William Saliba: Arsenal must give him every chance. This is a player who has already shown maturity beyond his years on numerous occasions. Keep.
Sead Kolasinac: I think we can all agree that the full back has no future at Arsenal and won’t be returning. Sell.
Konstantinos Mavropanos: The Greek has been superb for Stuttgart this season. The board at Stuttgart were so impressed with his performances at Tier 2 Nurnberg last season that they extended his stay for a further year in Germany but he has gone up a Division. Arsenal have still high hopes for the 23-year-old. Keep.
Joe Willock and Maitland Niles: The duo are currently out on loan in Newcastle and West Brom respectively. Although both had some good spells under Arteta, that has come far and few in between. If they do want to enter Arteta’s first team, the initial step would be to make the grade at their respective clubs. It may sound a bit harsh but Arsenal could sell both of them before signing better players for their push for the Champions League. Sell.
Bukayo Saka: Do we really need to say a word? Keep.
Emile Smith Rowe: Do we? Keep.
Thomas Partey: Are you sure? Keep.
Dani Ceballos: Reports emerged last week that Arsenal will need to stump up £22million if they wish to sign Dani Ceballos on a permanent basis. The Spanish international is one of the hardest workers on the pitch. The 24-year-old is well adept at making ferocious tackles and defense splitting passes. However, he has made just 12 starts this season at the Emirates. Although Ceballos is an extremely good footballer, Arsenal should look at other profiles who would do a more efficient job at the center of the team. Return.
Mo Elneny: Nobody would have imagined Elneny staying at Arsenal for the remainder of the 2020/21 campaign. The Egyptian has had some good games in an Arsenal shirt this season but Edu and Arteta must prefer younger and better players in terms of quality. Sell.
Granit Xhaka: This is where there is a huge division among the Arsenal fans. Some say that he should be given a new contract due to his importance at North London. Whereas some prefer not seeing him around next season. At 28 and with two years left on his contract, he is far too ponderous on the ball and inconsistent for Arsenal to go to him and say, “We are giving you a contract extension.” Sell.
Matteo Guendouzi: The 21-year-old is regarded highly across Europe. But when you put in his “complex attitude” into the fold, it is a different ask. Arsenal could well have sold the Frenchman in the summer by offering him in exchange deals for Houssem Aouar and Thomas Partey. But all their endeavors were a failure. Reports emerged in Germany that Guendouzi will be given a second chance at Arsenal this summer. And he deserves one even though he has an “attitude problem.” Keep.
Lucas Torreira: The player on numerous occasions has shown his unwillingness to continue his career at Arsenal or more precisely, England. Even though Arsenal fans had many hopes for him when he arrived in 2018 after he shone at the World Cup, he can be put in the box of “one that wasn’t meant to be.” Sell.
Willian: Oh boy! Here we go again. Arteta and Edu must admit that they got it wrong with the former Chelsea man. Not only is the winger ineffective, the minutes he is getting is usually at the expense of younger players such as Martinelli, Pepe and Reiss Nelson. Sell!!!
Alex Lacazette: The forward will turn 30 this summer and if Arsenal give him a contract extension at this stage, they might fall into a similar hole as Mesut Ozil. Players running down their contracts feels like a daily sight for the Arsenal faithful. That needs to change for good. Sell.
Aubameyang: He is not leaving and nobody wants him to leave, it is as simple as that. Keep.
Eddie Nketiah: West Ham looked at the U21 striker briefly in January to fill the void left by Sebastian Haller but they never considered him a serious option. Given that he will have a year left on his contract, extending it in the coming months and then moving him on this or the next summer might be a wise decision. Sell.