The January transfer window is always a tricky month to do business in, especially if you are looking to sign a player.
But it is not always about signing players, it is also about offloading deadwood and therefore Arsenal cannot go through this month without doing some business, even if it is just players leaving.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles is Roma bound it seems (Eurosport) and Folarin Balogun could be on his way to Middlesbrough (Teeside Live) but it must not stop there.
Most of us know that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang needs to go as well, he no longer fits into what Mikel Arteta is building, keeping him around the club could have a detrimental effect.
There are also a number of other players that at best will only have a bit-part role, players like Pablo Mari, Calum Chambers, and so on, there is no point holding onto players for the sake of it.
In conclusion, in my humble opinion, Arsenal must avoid missing an opportunity to continue getting rid of the players that have failed for years at the club.
Maitland-Niles departing has to be the tip of the iceberg and more have to follow him out of the door.
Hopefully, there will be new acquisitions but rebuilding a club is not a one-way exercise with new signings after new signings, players that are no longer needed must be jettisoned and this January is a perfect time to get some of that done.
I would keep chambers, if Niles is gone.
Because we would be short on midfield, and he can play there.
But in July, sell him
Mari can go back to Flamengo, that would be great for us, he was a beast playing here.
Chambers is gone for free by summer
The club have a 1 year extension option on Chambers, which they will probably exercise soon, even if no one comes in for him this window.
Apparently, they have done the same with young Harry Clarke, so that Hibernian cannot take him for free after his loan spell.
I do not agree we need to let Auba go.
Loosing both Auba and Laccazet will put too much pressure on whoever we buy as replacement, am sure MA is aware of that fact.
We all can only hope Auba issue is resolved and quickly forgotten, he isn’t the one we need going forward, we definitely need another toe of striker in mold of Vhanovic but still Auba presence is essential.
We can’t use just 15 players, considering homegrown rules, I think the clearance is almost complete after AMN and kolasinac is gone. Am not sure we can sell Elneny, he will be leaving in the summer like Laccazet and Nketia
As long as their replacements are ready to come
Arsenal are not “holding on to players for the sake of it”, we need decent back ups, which is what they are, in case of injuries, suspensions, AFCON, covid etc. Some of those mentioned are certainly not deadwood, you deplete your squad at your peril.
Fair play Aubas not having much luck .
So in the space of 7 days, we will play Spurs away and Burnley home in the Premier League.
However, Man United will play:
West Ham H
And Chelsea will play:
Man City A
If we can just squeeze a victory at Spurs, we could really solidify our position .
I know it’s technically not but I feel this Spurs game is a make or break for our season.
No club is interested in Auba. Too high wages!!!
He will run down his contract at Arsenal unless Arsenal agree to share his wages with another club
Signing players 30 and up to extended contracts is a risky gamble (CB’s and GK exceptions). Offering them luxurious wages is borderline foolish. Age and injuries take their toll on footballers, and unfortunately it’s not a slow decline or drop-off.
Hearing Xhaka has covid.
As for deadwood, two that have shocked me are Chambers and Mari. It seems those 2 have really taken the brunt of the blame for the Man City defeat. Although as I understand it Mari is not playing because 1 more match costs Arsenal another £1m, so I think he is gone. Chambers has yet again lost his identity, similarly to AMN. Is chambers a full back? – not really, is he a centre back? – not really, is he a midfielder? – again not really. It will be in everyone’s interest for both players to move on this window and for Arsenal to use Tierney or Kolasinac as the deputy for Gabriel, then bring back Saliba in the summer, he can play left and right centre back.
Holding can also play on the left
Players I would let go in January (current squad not loans)
Leno. He wants to leave get as much money as we can for him.
Mari. Complete waste of money.
Cedric. Please anyone…?
Kola. Shame, but not in MAs plans.
AMN. Has a chance to play and prove a point with Partey at AFCON but would rather go somewhere else. Let’s call it a day and let him go for a fee.
Pepe. Another shame, but not in MAs plans.
Eddie. Even bigger shame than Kola and Pepe. He wants to leave, we can’t give him game time so let’s get as much as we can. I’m assuming the recall of Moller might pave the way for a transfer.
Auba.☹ Pains me to say it, but I think his game is over under MA. The bridge had been burned and with results being as they are I think the club may see him surplus to requirements. Lacazette has made the central striking position his own to lose.
Players I would keep.
Chambers. Versatile. Hopefully covers the gaps that Cedric, Mari, AMN and Partey could leave.
Elneny. Last year of contract, understand on AFCON duties but I am sure we are guaranteed a seasonal Partey injury so would require cover. So until replacement is found keep until summer.
Laca. I would extend his contract for a year. Never understood why he splits opinions but I believe we play better with him in the team than out. He always has the right attitude and never sulks when he is dropped. I would call him a model professional.
I appreciate that this is a lot of players to get rid off and I would never call them deadwood as I believe that they all have something to offer this season, but I’m thinking about next season as well. So if we could get 50% of who I suggested to leave this January this leaves space for some good work in the summer as January has never been the right time to buy without over inflation.