As the end of Arsene Wenger’s reign at Arsenal approached, there was a massive revamp in the management structure, and in Wenger’s last season we saw a massive exodus of Arsene-nurtured players from the club. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs,Alexis Sanchez, Wojciech Szczesny and Francis Coquelin made way for the first new arrivals and Lucas Perez, Jack Wilshere, David Ospina, Calum Chambers and Santi Cazorla were also taken off the wage bill this summer, while Per Mertesacker was moved upstairs.
Halfway through Emery’s first campaign we already know that Aaron Ramsey, Nacho Monreal, Lichtsteiner and Danny Welbeck are all out of contract this summer, and of course Petr Cech has also announced his retirement at the end of this campaign as well. I am sure there will be others also shipped out in the summer, but judging by the owners actions so far on the cost-cutting side, are we likely to be delving into the transfer market? Or will we just be replacing them with our up-and-coming academy products?
Much was made of promoting from within when Emery was announced as our new manager, and so far this season there have been many youngsters given run-outs this season. Reiss Nelson, for one is certain to be back with us next season, and Emile Smith-Rowe has had lots of chances. Maitland-Niles has already cemented his place in the squad, while Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock, Zach Medley and Charlie Gilmour have all been nudging their way into contention.
For Cech’s replacement as backup keeper, we already have Emiliano Martinez in line, plus Matt Macey on loan, and Deyan Iliev waiting in the wings. What is the point of having so many keepers when we keep buying new ones?
As Dan pointed out earlier, if Kroenke’s plans are just to save on wages and transfer fees, then we can fully expect to see more of our youngsters to be promoted more than new arrivals. Don’t you think?