What I would suggest for this summer by Gurjit
I’m sure many fans will agree with me in saying that this season has been a huge disappointment and although we could yet end the season qualifying for the Champions league there have been a lot of problems within the club that need to be addressed. Arteta does have fans divided at the minute and personally my faith in him (and Edu) has pretty much faded away – that said, I will continue to hope for the best and reserve my judgement until this summer.
This leads me on to my topic of conversation for day – what changes do we want within the team in summer to set us up for next season? I think too many players within the Arsenal team may have had their day and need to be moved on for the club to improve. The following is what I would realistically (as in the realms of possibility) suggest for the first team:
LB – Backup player required – Saka/Cedric/AMN can all play there as Tierney’s backup but it’s about time we stopped shoehorning players into this position and bring in a promising young player.
CB – Luiz’s contract will expire and despite what some people say I believe he has been very important for us. His presence will be missed but I don’t want to see another CB come in. We have Chambers, Holding, Mari, Gabriel, Saliba and Mavropanos and I don’t see any reason why a solid partnership can’t be formed between two of them.
RB – Some fans want to see Bellerin gone. I understand why, but I think he has shown flashes of what he can offer. Unless a good offer comes in of maybe around 25M I would rather keep him. Cedric/Chambers/Bellerin gives us plenty of options and I’m comfortable with the depth.
CM – A tough one as we are not going to see a lot of changes. Xhaka is a player some fans want to see gone, I don’t. When he doesn’t play we miss him – he appears to be the only one on the field who can dictate play and move the ball to stretch opponents. I do want to see an addition here of someone who can do the same job – a deep midfielder who can dictate play. Elneny – again people want him gone but he offers cover in the sitting position, and though he isn’t going to change a game or stand out he does a job.
CAM – Ceballos is a player whose stay I do not want extended as I don’t think he offers anywhere near enough, either as an attacking player or a playmaker. Odegaard I really like, and though not consistent I would like to keep him, though if it’s a case of buying him or using those funds elsewhere I could be swayed. I do think with Odegaard and Smith-Rowe we have much better depth than at the start of the season when Arteta refused to play a number 10 type player.
Wings – Saka/Martinelli/Pepe/Willian/Aubameyang/Nelson. I’d like to see both Aubameyang and Willian to be moved on. I only ever wanted Willian for one season and I don’t want him to stay longer. I think a departure is unlikely though given the 3 year bumper contact Edu/Arteta have given him. Aubameyang in my opinion has also had his day. He just isn’t doing it for us anymore and if we have the possibility to make some cash on him I would (though again unlikely due to the contract). He certainly shouldn’t be captain going into next season. The chances of either of them leaving are slim and this is a shame as it’s a position that with the right transfer could really strengthen the team.
ST – Lacazette is our only real option here and he’s someone I believe should now be moved on. Yes, he works hard and can offer a lot on his day but it just doesn’t feel enough. Regardless of Laca leaving we still need a signing here as I cant see Nketiah/Balogun getting a real look in and Martinelli suits a wider position (and also doesn’t get a look in).
To summarise first team players that I realistically think could leave: Luiz, Ceballos, Lacazette, AMN (likely) Bellerin, Elneny, Willian, Aubameyang (unlikely)
Positions I would like to fill: Left back, Playmaker, Old fashioned Winger, Striker (2 potentially)
What do you guys think?