Every squad has players that are at best fringe players but in an era with the top teams playing a minimum of four competitions each season it is essential to have strength in depth.
That strength has different levels and in some cases, there is a huge gap between a first-team player and his back up and when that gap is so significant then there is room for that player to be either offloaded or replaced.
So, it is easy enough to sell players that one can describe as deadwood but if that leaves you weakened in a particular area then it would be counter-productive.
But I do feel there are areas where we can offload at least three players without it weakening the squad to any significant degree.
An easy one really and while there is an argument that selling Mustafi right now would not be a wise move simply because we are lacking in centre-halves due to injury and so forth, it is not a view I share.
We currently have three fit central defenders in Sokratis, Luiz and Chambers with Holding due back in the coming weeks, that should be enough for now and with Mavropanos, due back in roughly two months we should have enough cover and let’s be honest, Mustafi is more of a liability than an asset anyway.
I have to be honest and admit that I just cannot see where we would play Elneny, he is so far down the pecking order that even the youngsters have moved ahead of him, it would take a catastrophic set of injuries and players losing form for the midfielder to be considered.
He featured in 17 games last season but just eight in the Premier League and I simply do not see him playing any more than that this season, in fact, I would be surprised if he got anywhere near last seasons figures.
It seems to me that Unai Emery has a soft spot for the 30-year-old but I do not see that lasting, his contribution to the team is minimal and with the signings of Ceballos and Pepe and the emergence of Willock and Nelson, I do see Mkhitaryan gradually falling down the order.
He lacks the vision and spark that he once had years ago and the brutal truth is that there are too many other players in the squad that do a better job.
So that is it, the three players I believe that can be sold before the transfer window in Europe shuts on September 2nd without it damaging the squad.
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