It’s the time of the year where fans are reviewing their respective squads and deciding who should stay and who should go. Some get carried away treating the upcoming transfer window like it’s football manager. While I can understand some gooners calling for a massive overhaul, realistically that’s not going to happen if it’s true that 50-70 million is our budget.
So, here’s my list of who I keep and who I sell. Feel free to put your opinions in the comments..
Leno- Keeper- Keep
Not quite as impressive as some gooners make out but got better as the season went on. Predicted in Germany to progress into a world class keeper, will be better for learning about the physical nature of our League. Emery started off the campaign with him on the bench, wanting him to learn from Cech. Our undisputed number 1 but our manager will want him to have serious competition in case mistakes creep into his game.
Ospina- Keeper – Keep
Played well enough in Italy to make a loan move permanent but it should be noted Napoli stopped playing him as they were scared to trigger a clause which would force them to buy, in other words their keeping their options open. If our budget is low, why spend the limited money we have on a backup keeper when we already have one on our books? Emery could convince the Colombian to give it one last try to be our number 1 goalie. Cech has proved you can get plenty of minutes as the cup keeper, while if Leno makes mistakes, our manager wouldn’t be scared to replace him with a man who has starred in two World Cups.
Martinez- Keeper – Sell/loan
If the Argentine has a future at the Emirates, it’s now or never in terms of at least cementing his place as our back up keeper. Hard to know what Emery’s overall opinion is of him. Has had many loans out to the Championship so he has experience
Jenkinson- Defender – Sell
Starting to become a running joke about how Jenkinson finds a way to cling on to his Arsenal career. I admire his mentality as it must be hard to train every day knowing the club are willing to give you away but can’t find anyone willing to pay your wages. He realizes the moment his contract expires he will probably have to drop down a division to kick start his career.
Bellerin– Defender – Keep
Injury in January overshadowed that the Spaniard was one or our most improved performers under our new management. It was noticeable even when warming up on matchdays, the right back has been working on his crosses. If he carries on that form, he will soon be back on Barcelona’s radar. Long term, an asset worth cashing in if the price was right?
Lichtsteiner- Defender – Sell
No need for the club to activate another year on his contract, and I would be surprised if the Swiss would want them to. Having won numerous titles in Serie A, he has certain standards which he might not have found in England. I’m not going to be too critical. There is zero disgrace moving to the Premiership in your late thirties and finding it a step too far.
Maitland-Niles – Defender – Keep
I’m still not sure if long term he’s a full back, but that’s two managers now who have asked him to fill in that position so clearly they notice something. With Ramsey gone it’s important for the spirit of the dressing room that we have a British core. Niles spearheads a group of youngsters who are being promoted from our underage groups
Kolasinac- Defender – Sell
I am tired of us having to play 5 at the back to accommodate him. He is an example of how the club should have higher standards. If we have to change formations because our left back can’t defend then surely that indicates he shouldn’t be playing at the highest level? It’s not like he offers plenty of assists and goals going the other way. The juice isn’t worth the squeeze.
Monreal – Defender – Keep
Some gooners will say get rid of the entire defense but realistically that’s not going to happen, not with our expected budget. So, there is still an element of working with what we got. Monreal is one of the few leaders we have and unlike some of his peers you can never accuse him of not giving 100 percent. Even if he didn’t play every week, I think it’s useful having him around the place.
Holding –Defender – Keep
I can’t see our current owner paying a huge fee for a centre back, so Holding remains our great hope. The signs were, before his serious injury, that he was developing in to a top defender for us. Our defense needs to have the mentality of a British player who understands what it means to wear the crest, not an overseas talent who might see us as a stop gap.
Chambers-Defender – Keep
Hard to gauge Emery’s opinion of Chambers. Was his loan away part of his development or a sign that the manager just doesn’t rate him? Despite relegation Chambers did get positive reviews at Fulham, although some of those performances came in midfield. Again, if Stan Kroenke’s not going to fund a new back 4, should we build one around Chambers and Holding?
Mustafi- Defender – Sell
Everyone’s favorite scapegoat? Is the German any more inconsistent then those around him? The problem is for someone with his experience he should be mentally stronger which would help those around him. Too often he has a solid performance in a big game then follows it up the next week with a lack of concentration. Talk has always been that he’s struggled to bond with his teammates, while he no doubt hears/reads the critics from the terraces. He might benefit in to having a fresh start but who’s going to pay his salary?
Koscielny –Defender – Keep
Even if can no longer play three games a week, it’s worthwhile having his leadership qualities around the place. Some gooners were a bit premature to write him off when he returned from 9 months out injured. In reality, his peers were so bad Emery had to overplay his captain when he probably preferred to pick and choose his matches carefully. In the big fixtures Koss has still produced the goods, but clearly can no longer be relied on to start every week.
Sokratis- Defender – Keep
I find some gooners have gone a bit overboard about the Greeks debut campaign. I think there’s an element pf people wanting to believe we have a found a top defender, so trying to convince themselves that is the reality. In fact, has made just as many mistakes and shown poor discipline as much as anyone. What I do like is he clearly possesses the mentality that we need. You can see in his body language it hurts him to lose. He’s also old fashioned in terms of willing to fight if he has to.
Torreria- Midfield – Keep
In the first half of the season I would have put him in my team of the year. Then came the traditional south American player who’s used to a winter break and being with his family at xmas, with the Uruguayan’s form suffering through winter. But he is the type of player we have needed for years. Our only worry is given a couple of years, I can see the big boys queuing up to snatch him away.
Guendouzi- Midfield – Keep
Is it worrying that a teenager has looked one of our best leaders? Although the midfielder shows his age, you can tell it’s an honor for him to be playing at this level, so he gives it his all even in defeat. Some times he runs around like a headless chicken but it’s refreshing to see someone care so much. This is a youngster who this time last year was playing in France’s second division so Emery must be credited for trusting him to handle such a step up. There’s already talk that PSG are willing to pay 60 million to bring him home. While we don’t need to think about that, at least it’s a sign we have a resealable asset if we need one.
Xhaka – Midfield – Keep
Divides opinion but I have seen improvement under Emery and a personality inside the Swiss where he could become a future captain. People talk about how often he loses the ball but is it not a case of him being brave enough to attempt the Hollywood pass? Something tells me that tactically he’s more vital to the team then he gets credit for.
Elneny – Midfield -Sell
Not sure why some have gotten angry towards the Egyptian. Every squad has an Elneny. Someone just happy to be at a big club getting well paid, content not play every week, can come in and do the basic things well. That’s why he gets so emotional when he talks about his time in North London.
Ozil- Midfield – Keep
Like Ramsey, some Gooners were patting Emery on the back a few months in for being brave enough to drop one of our best players. Unlike Wenger apparently, our new boss wasn’t picking his team based on reputation. It was wishful thinking. Very soon it became clear that not playing Ozil or Ramsey meant playing Iwobi. It’s one thing talking about what the German can’t do but if his replacement can’t do what he can, then you’re just making the team worse!
Ozil lacks the consistency to be considered a World class player but under the current ownership we are not going to get better. Therefore, we need to make the best out of what we have. We are simply too rubbish to be not playing Ozil.
Mkhitaryan – Midfield – Keep
Doesn’t get the same stick that Ozil does despite equally being on a huge salary. In fact, has lacked consistency since arriving in English Football. Has only had one full season at Arsenal though, which has been disrupted by injuries just when he seems to find form. I would like to give him a little bit longer to work with Emery, especially considering the lack of creativity in the squad. If our budget was bigger than 50-70, maybe I would buy better player but this area is not a priority at the moment.
Iwobi -Midfield – Sell
Works hard but lacks a final ball and panics when he needs to shoot. The problem being is that he’s a creative midfielder so if you can’t do anything in the final third you’re kind of pointless. He’s had more then enough opportunities to get better and Arsenal need to be more ruthless and say he’s not good enough for this level.
Auba – Striker – Keep
I’ve actually been a bit harsh on him this season. Unlike Lacca, I feel unless he is scoring, he doesn’t contribute too much. When no one else in the League is scoring more goals then you it’s hardly a problem, but in 2019 a striker needs to do more then just put the ball in the back of the net. Emery took too long to realize he has to play his two strikers together so you could argue Auba has won the Golden Boot when not always playing in his preferred role. The more his bromance grows with Lacca, the better the two will become.
Lacca – Striker – Keep
My player of the season. He leads by example and most of his teammates could learn a few things from him. One of the few players who you can’t accuse of not giving everything. I would have him captain next season…
Tell me your choices. Please be kind in Comments