Three Arsenal players that can be sold and not weaken the squad

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.

Shkodran Mustafi

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.

Mohamed Elneny

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.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

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.



  1. I’m focused more on football now. Had enough of transfers this summer.

    But out of the three mentioned only Mustafi is a liability. The other two are just average players. Although Elneny at least tries hard which I value

    Newcastle 1-3 Arsenal

    1. Please read my comment below

      Imagine if Emery wants to use a three-CB formation but there is no Mustafi anymore

      Elneny, Mkhitaryan and Ozil can be sold, because we already have their replacements

      1. First, the Article doesn’t mention Ozil and if you are adding him to your sell list then you are off your rocker. You forget a important fact: Every season we have INJURIES!!!

        (Btw I’m putting this in capitals to highlight. I’m not shouting. I’m typing this on my mobile so can’t underline)
        I HAVE BEEN CALLING FOR OZIL, MKHITARYAN, MUSTAFI, ELNENY, XHAKA TO BE SOLD ALL YEAR. But the window to purchase is closed now.

        Getting rid of OZIL and Mkhitaryan now that the window has closed is Suicidal. This is coming from someone who wants them gone but we have NOT got a replacement. Ceballos is RAMSEY’S replacement
        Pepe is a top winger that we didn’t have. He isn’t replacing anyone really

        If Emery had bought a Top CAM (CENTRAL attacking midfielder) then yes I would be fine with selling one of them, maybe both.

        And you want to get rid of our CAMs. Ceballos hasn’t proven himself yet. Emery may not even play him in CAM. We don’t have the luxury of having brilliant central midfielders like Cazorla or Rosicky. Ceballos is most probably playing in that position but again the jury is still out on him. CAM is very important position and I know you have this obsession on “pacey Wingers” but pace isn’t everything and certainly not a replacement for creativity in the centre of midfield

        As for Mustafi, he is a Liability. Meaning that we are better without him. Luiz, Holding, Sokratis, Chambers, Monreal, Kolsanic can all play in 3 CB formation

          1. Atid, How do I put this gently to you…oh,I know, ARSENAL IS AN ENGLISH CLUB PLAYING IN AN ENGLISH LEAGUE. What a surprise eh!

    1. Without checking, I seem to recall reading an article that showed Özil nead the top for distance covered a match.

      1. Ah but @wellbeck-nobody looks at those statistics when in comes to Ozil.I have said on numerous occasions that his work rate is never as low as most suggest.He has a style that often looks as though he is just strolling around but it is proven by the statististics he covers as much ground as most of the team.

  2. Selling Mustafi would weaken the squad, because his defending stats were one of the best in EPL last season. His interceptions and tackles almost doubled the likes of Van Dijk’s, Luiz’s and Keane’s, which means our defense got little protection from our midfield and relied a lot on Mustafi to stop the opponent’s attacks

    Contrary to what most Gooners believe, Mustafi just made one fatal error that led to a goal, the same as Van Dijk, Luiz and Keane. Lewis Dunk was actually the most error prone CB in EPL last season with two fatal errors that caused two goals

    Our playmakers’ inability to control the game has been burdening our defense too much and that was why we have been missing CL in three consecutive seasons. Mustafi/ Sokratis had to do a lot of technical fouls to cover for our playmakers’ deficiencies and they got caught a lot when doing the dirty jobs

    1. Its true that aMustafi has been blamed when the people to blame are in midfield. his energy levels never drop.

    2. gotanidea
      Unfortunately stats can always be manipulate to show good is bad bad is good
      Hand on heart you cannot tell me you dont get heart failure when Mustafi is in the side.
      Dont get me wrong I like his commitment when he plays for us but his concentration levels are poor.
      His judgement on situations is rash
      When we are under pressure he makes crazy decisions
      Guraenteed a yellow and so does Sokratis and the reason why is they both dont keep on there feet and dive in all the time.
      I do wish him well as he seems to five 100% but he just isn’t good enough for us in that position.
      For us to keep on progressing we need to replace inferior players in the team and squad which we seem to be doing now and in my opinon Mustafi is one of many that falls in to category.

    3. There’s an article going round on the internet claiming Shkodran Mustafi is statistically better than Harry Maguire ??
      Here are the highlights ?

      Blocks: Maguire, 18; Mustafi, 17

      Interceptions: Maguire, 37; Mustafi, 58

      Tackles: Maguire, 31; Mustafi, 62

      Tackles won: Maguire, 17; Mustafi, 45

      Percentage of tackles won: Maguire, 55 per cent; Mustafi, 73 per cent

      Clearances: Maguire, 152; Mustafi, 161

      Headed clearances: Maguire, 77; Mustafi, 106

      Aerial duels won: Maguire, 118; Mustafi, 123

      1. You’re right,sometimes when the midfield is bad it makes defenders look worse than they actually are, mustafi makes mistakes and so does maguire

      2. Is Maguire better because of his positional sense and leadership qualities? What do the stats mean? Is this some weird version of The Weakest Link?? I see Anne Robinson (played by Sue) delivering the verdict after a gruelling round of football: “Shkodran, statistically you were the strongest link, sadly the fans didn’t think so. Mustafi, you were weakest link goodbye ??”

        1. Not a fan of Mustafi, but if his stats are better than Maguire`s and Leicester finnished below us were the Leicester fans calling for his sale ?……because if it wasn`t for Maguire they would have possibly got top 4 !…………… least they got their player out …………Mustafi was probably Man U`s first priority !

      3. QD-very impressive statistics.What it fails to mention is BRAINFARTS.For this I guarantee Mustafi is ahead of Maguire as well

  3. For me, only Elneny is safely dispensable for now. Any more than that would weaken the team. It’s a long long season with injuries,suspensions and all that, and with so much football to play. We need to be more realistic than sentimental here.

    1. Hi everyone, its my first comment on here.

      Mustafi is not as bad as most people make him out to be. And I’m of the opinion that his stature is kind of a disadvantage, when we consider his energy and commitment level.

      The defense have had to operate under constant pressure as a result of an inept midfield.

      Get a player like Doucoure, and you’d be shocked at how the defence would be significantly improved.

  4. I have just realised something. Elney must always think to himself “Wow, I am so lucky. I juts have to sit around at the Emirates, hardly play more than 10 games a season but always getting my £60,000 a week”.

    What a life. No stress, no nothing.

  5. Personally I think what we saw in the summer transfer window was the first phase of Arsenal Rebuild…and the first phase won’t end until we sell all the under performing over paid players..

  6. It wouldn’t surprise me if all three are in the team today. Unfortunately it is not possible to second guess Emery’s team selections which have always been somewhat baffling at times. Other teams buy new players and they play straight away, yet ours “haven’t been integrated yet” or are “not match fit” or not yet “right mentally” or other mysterious reasons for not playing. Sorry, woke up in a bad mood today and we haven’t even played yet ?

    1. I agree, Declan. I’ll be really disappointed if we don’t see any of our newbies today! I bet Newcastle’s go straight in.. except Carroll though

    2. Agree with you Declan. Mahrez played in the final game of AFCON against Senegal and yet featured for ManCity on Saturday. Pepe’s Ivory Coast were knocked out in the quarterfinals but he can’t play for us.

  7. My dear Sue, brace yourself fore more ozil aticles now that the original scapegoat is gone, am sure you know who am talking about, the one who happens to score the highest assists for us last season but was label as not good enough, I mean the one who some said will end up at Brentford for under 10million but now is our records sale. And ken1945 i always respect your contributions on here but we’ve been told by some fans on here that because you dont rate a player doesent mean you ‘hate’ him, so I think those who wants ozil gone don’t hate him but to them he’s just not good enough for The Arsenal.

  8. Unfortunately Mustafi is not the worst CB, we have. Chambers has never been a CB, and we can easily do without him. But there might be buyers for Mustafi, so maybe he will be sold. In contrast, there are probably no buyers for Chambers.

  9. if we keep selling our seniors and experience players…

    there will be no one experience enough to led the juniors once injuries kick in

  10. My personal opinion is that Mustafi is not as bad as he appears. Because it’s always left to him to make the last ditch tackles after Sokratis has unsuccessfully wrestled one of the opposition to the ground and has him in a headlock, Xhaka has let the opposing forward run past him after being nutmegged twice and both full backs are still on the halfway line. Oh and Torriera having been dumped on his arse is still there gesticulating at the ref demanding a free kick, claiming being fouled. Meanwhile, Mustafi is having to do the work of five players so no wonder he gets caught out at times

  11. (Slightly off topic as I see someone up-talking Mustafi).
    Firstly I see someone up-talking of Mustafi’s stats. Some science needed here. Stats measure quantities not qualities. Quality we see with our eye and is almost mystical. To buy a player or use a player based on stats is true ignorance. Stats are half the equation. The quantity of this, the quantity of that. Quality is a totally different thing. The qualities show their face in the Pirlo’s, the Ronaldinho’s, The Messi’s, The Henry’s and all the magicians and dancers who grace the football field and make it worthwhile. Stats don’t measure nervousness, how far behind a player the pass is, or the quality of the pass or positional senses. Stats and quality are two different things….quantity and quality. Both need to be taken into account. Please do not up-talk Mustafi.

    1. I agree Sean, it’s all dammed lies and statistics. I blame the those alongside and in front of him. I’d look bloody nervous too if I had to rely on that lot helping me out.

  12. I don’t care what stats says about mustafi I see with my clear eyes that he’s just an average defender,the same way I see that elneny is average,the same way I see that ozil is lazy and will not suddenly improve at 30.

      1. Declan , It is you who need Specsavers, if you can find your way there! Almost all Gooners agree with Lenohappys post, judging by very many comments. No one rates Mustafi and a few only still stick up for Ozil. Most do not consider Elneny average but rank poor! He was using “average” to be kind. I am not kind and tell the unvarnished truth . He is dreadful and so is Mustafi, Xhaka and Ozil is totally lazy,Mkhi also.

  13. It’s extremely good to see that some fans are beginning to realize that our midfield is the sole cause of all our problems….

    Torreira, Xhaka, Mkitaryan, Ozil, Elneny, Ramsey cannot dictate tempo of matches so against the big 5 teams (and teams that have ball possessors) we struggle as they don’t make enough tackles, interceptions etc.

    That’s why unsurprisingly Van Dijk has less tackles and interceptions because he has Fabinho, Keita, Milner, Henderson and Wijnaldum ahead of him who are good ball possessors and put opposition under intense pressure with the high press.

    1. Very true Mayert, even Van Dijk would struggle in our team. Our midfielders and fullbacks can’t tackle and the only tackle Sokratis knows is a rugby tackle ?

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