Arsenal’s campaign has not gone swimmingly thus far, and with us on course to fail to qualify for any of the European competitions for next season, we could well be in for a rough summer window.
With that in mind, the manager may well be forced to reconsider his stance on certain players who have so far been frozen out, with Matteo Guendouzi and William Saliba both players who will boost our squad.
The pair were both at the club in the opening months of the season, but neither featured for a single minute in the senior side, nor did they make the bench at all.
Guendouzi eventually joined Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga, where his ability has shone through, while Saliba waited a little longer until January before leaving to return to Ligue 1, where he has also earned plaudits for his performances for Nice.
The players’ treatment by Arteta may well have a knock-on effect for both as they consider what to do for the new season, but the manager way have to be told to suck it up.
Should we fail to climb into the Europa League places, or maybe even the European Conference League, our summer could well get complicated.
Certain key players could ask to leave the club, with Alexandre Lacazette only having one year remaining on his contract come the end of the campaign, which could well force our hand a little, while Bernd Leno and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could also be considering their futures.
On top of that, without the pull of European football, and the known financial implications of failing to even qualify, things could be extremely difficult this summer.
This could well mean that the manager will have to stretch those who are already at his disposal, and players like Guendouzi and Saliba have already shown their ability elsewhere.
I struggle to see how Arteta can allow Guendouzi to leave, with Dani Ceballos set to return to Real Madrid when his loan ends in the coming months, unless somebody else in the academy is ready to make the step up.
There has been plenty of talk about Miguel Azeez from the academy, but with only a seven minute cameo in the Europa League, the manager is hardly telling us that he believes he is ready to make the jump.
These players simply have to be given the opportunity to play in the first-team squad next season, and Mikel Arteta may well have to be told that he will either need to unearth an unknown gem from their scouts’ endeavours, or bite the bullet and rely on those already at his disposal.
Can anyone see Mikel Arteta accepting Guendouzi back into his first-team squad? Does Saliba need to be given a first-team role regardless of our finishing position?