Who are Arsenal’s untouchables ahead of the summer? (Opinion)

We are into the latter stages of the current season which means eyes will already be looking at the summer transfer window, but which Arsenal players will be untouchable?

Firstly you have to start with Kieran Tierney. The young Scot has earned his place in our hearts, wears his on his sleeve for all to see, and is a potential club captain in the making.

Next on the list has to be both Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka. The pair not only came through the ranks, but they have stamped their authority on the first-team, and are amongst our most valuable players.

After the above, there are very few who I can firmly say without a doubt will be with the club next season.

Thomas Partey is the most obvious one. He only arrived in October and is yet to settle properly into the team due to injuries, but he is most certainly in our long-term plans.

Gabriel Magalhaes is another with a similar profile after suffering with Covid-19, and is yet to stamp the same authority on his role since.

The rest of the players have their own question marks to attend to. I would love to tell you that Gabriel Martinelli is 100% happy and has the brightest future of them all, but recent months will have told you anything but.

The Brazilian is a player who would cause uproar if sold on, and one who you would at least hope that the club would refuse to sell, but for whatever reason, since the beginning of February he has remained fit, yet not featured for more than 15 minutes of a single matchup.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should also be untouchable, but this season he has been anything but. He has been rested and overlooked in favour of others, and rightly so. He has been a shadow of his former self, and with two years on his contract, you wouldn’t be overly shocked if there was an exit.

Arguments could be made for Nicolas Pepe, Pablo Mari, Rob Holding and Bernd Leno, but I struggle to understand why any of those would be kept if the right offer came in.

Leno’s departure stands as the most unlikely on his importance to our side, but I can’t help but believe that he would be relatively easy to replace, while Pepe’s departure would likely be blocked simply because of the fee we paid to land him not long ago.

For me, there is only five players who I’m certain are not for sale this summer regardless of what happens between now and the end of the campaign, but I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping Martinelli can make that six.

Who would you be most shocked at seeing leave this summer?

Patrick

23 Comments

  1. gotanidea says:

    Xhaka is also untouchable, because he’s the only left-footed DM in the first team. Unless Patino and Cottrell can replace him next season, but it’ll be unlikely

    1. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

      first in again…rinse and repeat

    2. Pirate Dandy says:

      Yes he is left-footed, but he is one-footed, and that’s a dangerous, dangerous liability.

  2. Shortboygooner says:

    I dont understand the need for left footed players. I think it helps sometimes but I dont see why it is a make or break aspect. I can think of 100s of CMs and CBs who are not left footed but play left central. Just obsurd to me. Unless your a left back or right back I cant see why this is so important. Even the modern winger it doesn’t matter so much anymore

    1. Declan says:

      It’s now against the law to have either two right footed DMs or CBs.

    2. gotanidea says:

      A left-footed DM is essential for passing flow in a double-pivot formation, but the requirement can be reduced by starting a left-footed CB or CAM to change the passing flow direction quickly

      Imagine if we lure the opponents into the right side by overloading it with our CAM, RW, DM and RB. Having Odegaard, Xhaka and Magalhaes will enable us to move the ball safely with quick short passes, to the open space on the left wing

      It’s even more important for modern wingers, because they can cut inside, shoot and cross without having to race against the opposition’s fullbacks to the byline. The true wingers are the attacking fullbacks that produce more crosses, such as Robertson, Alexander-Arnold, Tierney and Bellerin

      1. Gworm says:

        Perhaps someone can explain to me how playing Xhaka on the left midfield improves our passing. He seems unable to open his body and pass to Tierney. He cannot make an easy pass to the right because the midfield there is congested. Surely he should be playing on the right of midfield so he can spread the ball easily to the right wing? I genuinely don’t understand this.

        1. gotanidea says:

          Xhaka’s forward passes along the left flank are mostly received by our true LW, Tierney. Tierney needs Xhaka’s and Magalhaes or Mari’s passes to easily get past the opponents

      2. Declan says:

        Are you serious GAI? Football is a very simple game that you try to make complicated. Right footed players also have a left foot, which is not just for standing on, apart from Liam Brady that is, but his left foot was a magic wand.

        1. gotanidea says:

          Just my observations of Odegaard’s, Xhaka’s and Magalhaes’ passes/ movements

          Especially Odegaard, he always drifts to the right side. Once that part of the field gets crowded by the opponents, he quickly passes the ball to the open space on left side

      3. Alanball08 says:

        GAI
        I am going to be controversial here and say xhaka is unable to move the ball quickly
        Moving it back and sideways quickly is different then Moving it forward
        You know my stance on him… we need an up grade
        And whilst he has had good games Always a mistake in him
        Has perfected falling on the ball very well to try and win a free kick but hasn’t the legs or speed for recovery if it goes wrong
        For me , definitely one to move on in the summer
        Onwards and upwards

        1. gotanidea says:

          Xhaka always stays behind to cover Tierney and Partey. His replacement must be better in set-pieces

      4. antonioro says:

        FC Barcelona dream team-one of the best teams in football history.Midfield line-Xavi,Iniesta,Sergio Busquets-ALL right footed.Central defenders-Puyol,Pique-both right footed.Add Pedro,Dani Alves and David Villa-ALL right footed.The keeper Valdez was right footed.The left back-Abidal was two footed(playing right back sometimes for France).The only left footed player they had in the team was Messi-who was playing on the right side.So?

        1. gotanidea says:

          Barcelona played with 4-3-3 formation at that time, with Busquets played behind Iniesta and Xavi. Whereas we usually play with two DMs and one CAM

          Abidal’s stronger foot was his left foot, hence his main position was LB. David Villa and Pedro Rodriguez were mostly ambidextrous

  3. Wyoming says:

    Sweet begger all we can do about the situation. It’s out of our hands.
    Most Arsenal players will be retained because
    1. They are good. 10 players.
    2. They cost a lot and no one will pay any where near what we ask and they they are on rock solid big money contracts they won’t get any where else so they won’t leave. 17

    So that accounts for
    Leno Ryan Bellerin Cedric Tierney Kolasinac Saka Gabriel Holding Saliba Mari Mavropanos Xhaka Partey Torreira Elneny Guendouzie Willian Martinelli ESR Aubameyang Lacazette Pepe.
    23
    The redt of the English core Niles Nketia Willock Nelson are not out of contract yet and most are needed for the home grown quota. 4.
    Even Runarsson has a 4 year deal.
    28 players we probably can’t shift.
    They all know the game run down your contract leave on a free for a good salary at the next club Ramsey Sanchez and Ozil have laid down the template.
    The only possible movers are Luiz who is out of contract and the two loanees Ceballos and Odegaard and we have no control over the latter two.

  4. A J says:

    Leno (however, competition needed)
    Gabriel
    Saliba (need to see more of him)
    Tierney
    Partey
    Odegaard (if something can be worked out)
    Saka
    ESR
    Martinelli
    One of Auba / Laca (surprisingly have to give this one much thought)

    Pepe (extremely frustrating player, for which will take a huge hit upon selling)

    Squaddies at best;
    Ryan (solid backup if something can be done
    Cedric
    Mari
    Chambers

    Sadly, no midfield players or forwards make “cover” list.

    1. Pirate Dandy says:

      Cedric is NOT a squad player.

      The man can pin a cross with both feet for flip’s sake, he’s got superior tactical awareness plus much more.

      I wondered why the coaches never chose him to start ever since he got fit from the injury he came with.

      1. A J says:

        Watch us purchase a right back in the summer.

  5. Matthew says:

    The reasonable untouchables:tierney,saka,smith-rowe&partey..arteta’s untouchables:willian,xhaka,david luiz,aubameyang&leno

  6. Durand says:

    Tierney, Saka, Partey, ESR, Martinelli, there would be uncivil unrest from fans if they were sold. Pepe (never recoup fee).

    I would add Gabriel and Saliba who we need to see play before considering.

    Homegrown quota will keep others here, but we should entertain offers for the rest.

    Beggers can’t be choosers, and we aren’t far from begging sitting midtable and stalling.

    We need another Santi type midfielder stat; someone with technique and guile to play out of danger and an eye for linking to the attack.

  7. Declan says:

    And if Man City come in for Tierney with a bid of £150 million and a wage of £200 grand a week, what do you think will happen? Nothing in football is certain and everyone has their price.

  8. OBUA JOSHUA DOUGLAS says:

    LIST OF UNTOUCHABLE PLAYER.
    1.Leno
    2.Bellerin
    3.Tierney
    4.Gabriel
    5.Luiz
    6.Thomas
    7.Saka
    8.Xhaka
    9.Aubameyang
    10.Odegaard
    11.Smith
    If arteta is to use those players next season arsenal would lift the trophy next season.

  9. OBUA JOSHUA DOUGLAS says:

    LIST OF UNTOUCHABLE PLAYER.
    1.Leno
    2.Bellerin
    3.Tierney
    4.Gabriel
    5.Luiz
    6.Thomas
    7.Saka
    8.Xhaka
    9.Aubameyang
    10.Odegaard
    11.Smith

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