Who should stay or go from the Arsenal squad 2020 – From a lifelong fan

Arsenal squad 2020

Having supported Arsenal football club for over 50 years, I believe that I should put my 2 cents into the current debates that are ongoing about the Gunners.

Having endured many different Arsenal players and managers over this 50 year period, unfortunately we are in a huge mess probably as bad as I have ever seen.

I believe that we have the correct coach in Mikel Arteta, even though he is still young and has limited experience, he is showing signs of being an astute leader. But we have to accept that there will be times when we disagree with him as fans of our club and that he will make mistakes along the way, as long as these are addressed and he learns from them.

The senior management are a different kettle of fish as they do not seem to have a coherent plan how to improve the club, we have to accept at this time the ownership is in the hands of people who aren’t supporters of the game and especially our club, but that is how the game has changed over these 50 years – money, money MONEY.

Looking at the current Arsenal squad the below players should be sold, loaned out or sent back so that rebuilding of the team can progress with players that fit Mikel’s vision:

• Hector Bellerin – still believe in him but unfortunately disappointing now and might be time to let him go – but only at the right price

• Sokratis Papastathopoulos – now 32 and not up to the task, if he ever really was…

• Sead Kolasinac – still has ability but I believe we have enough talent within this position, and we need transfer money.

• Shkodran Mustafi – not up to the task – must sell.

• Dani Ceballos – has disappointed – return to Madrid.

• Mesut Ozil – not up to the task – sell/loan or anything, but get him out of the club. We had the best of him but now he is just causing issues with his overinflated paycheck.

• Ainsley Maitland-Niles – has ability but not consistent. It might be good for him to go elsewhere either on loan or be sold.

• Matteo Guendouzi – has shown glimpses of talent but also of his rebellious side, and I believe Mikel is getting tired of him – sell to increase the transfer pot.

• Lucas Torreira – if believed from reports he isn’t happy and would like to return to Italy. If this is the case we should sell, but it will be a shame as I believe he would have been a great player in years to come.

• Alexandre Lacazette – We should try to offload, especially if he can be part exchange with a player required, an exceptionally good player but has not shone at Arsenal as expected.

• Mo Elneny – not required and not a good fit so sell.

• Henrikh Mkhitarayan – Sell – He is not required and if a suitable part exchange can be done that will benefit the club that would be good – or just take the money!

Players that we should buy or extend current contracts:

• Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang – incredibly special talent that we should not let go offer a real teacher to our new young stars.

• Bukayo Saka – we must give him a long-term contract so that he can flourish and become an Arsenal star.

• Gabriel Martinelli – a true superstar in the making, hopefully in the same mold as Nicolas Anelka for goal scoring, but not in deciding to jump ship after a couple of good years at the Gunners and then basically mediocre afterwards.

• Pablo Mari – looks promising and I’m glad to see that we have signed him, as I believe he could be a reliable member of the team for years to come.

• William Saliba – One to watch and hopefully a great buy, especially if he can establish himself into Premier league football and more importantly as an Arsenal great.

• Thomas Partey – this is the type of player that we urgently need in the middle of the park. A great tackler and distributor of the ball – a must buy.

• Dayot Upamecano – another central defender that we are desperately in need of – proven talent and with Saliba could be the new Arsenal back-bone.

Arsenal need to look at the academy players and bring on the talent that we have there as well, and slowly bring in additional players that will bring the club back up to where we belong, and that is top 4 minimum, but realistically looking at winning the league. We know that this will take time, but the plans have to be created and acted on so that we fans can see progress, and not what we are seeing at the moment – Pure Chaos!

From a 55 year old Arsenal supporter living in Thailand but still flying the flag!

Tim Donvin

46 Comments

  1. Kedar says:

    I think we should keep Bellerin because he has talent… it’s because we are having pretty bad year…..
    We can keep Kolasinac as well for back up…
    We can train him to be CB As he has good height and pretty Good physic to be CB
    And Arsenal need to scout German league where we can find young German Talent at limited price….
    Just like VVD was bought by Southampton from Celtic with cheap transfer amount
    There has to be some pretty good footballers in Italy, Spain and Germany which can be bought with less amount of Money…
    Also we can look out for Championship Players having potential….
    But for all this we should have strong scouting system…

    1. Ackshay says:

      Bellerin problem is that he isn’t suited to play as a rb as arteta wants it. Under wenger and emery they needed a rb that overlaps all game, joining the attack and being quick enough to track back which suited bellerin game.

      Arteta requires a Rb that joins the midfield and cuts inward instead of hugging the byline. It suited AMN game but the boy is too stupid to grab that opportunity.

      1. RW1 says:

        spot on … he came in with a bang and at a moment in wengers lost decade when we were desperate to see signs of progress but he has been getting steadily worse and worse and is not good enough as an attacking full back or a traditional one either … selling a no brainer … shocked that we havent had competitition coming from the junior ranks in that position

    2. ahmad73 says:

      Kedar: Your point about scouting is the very reason why we are so crap now. Our scouting is wretched. There is talent to be found for our budget for sure. But we can’t seem to find value for money anymore. That’s why we are outperformed by the likes of Leicester, Wolves etc.

    3. Towny254 says:

      Once again buying players who are not up to the EPL and we will have to wait till we bring them up to speed like Pepe We should buy players in the EPL like DUNK from Brighton and Cantwell from Norwich

  2. Peter Olsen says:

    Like Tim’s run down on who to keep and who to offload (His piece 27/6/20). Agree with most of his synopsis

    But without any doubt I would also like to see Xkaha offloaded as soon as possible. A poor player who past behaviour makes you feel his commitment to Arsenal is zero and if we can get a fee for him, all the better. If we can’t, still let him go – he is a liability.

    Note Tim is a Thailand Gooner. I’m a Hong Kong Gooner Long live the Arsenal Expats!.

  3. towny 254 says:

    Just because MA as fell out with Matteo give him a good talking to and put him under your wing and coach him don’t keep talking about selling young players sell the old deadwood

    1. Skills1000 says:

      Guendouzi is not good enough.
      I still dont get the hype about him.
      He should be sold. Xhaka offers more than him.
      If Xhaka was in that match against Brighton, we would have won the match

      What is the hype about Guendouzi?
      He does not score, he cant shoot, does not have the pace to play in DM. Always looking to pass back to the goal keeper. We dont need kids. We need men like Partey.

      1. Mogunna says:

        Keep : bellerin Tierny, Chambers, Holding, youngsters including Gendouzi, Leno, Auba, Ozil, Kolas.

        Out Xhaka, Luiz., Mustafi, Sokratis, Mari, Ceballos, Laca, Torreira, Elneny, Pepe, Miki,

        In : Traore, Koulibaly, Benrahma, Ndombele.

        …………………….Leno
        Bellerin Koulibaly Saliba Tierny
        ……… Ndombele Benrahna
        ……………………..Ozil
        …….Traore. Auba. Saka.

        Sub : Chambers, Holding, Rowe, Kolas, Willock Niles, Nketiah, Martinelli, Nelson.

        Ndombele is a beast, looks like he is not happy at Spurs.
        Ozil is best provider in Europe, but as any players in his role, he needs to be secured in his back and get the ball. He won’t leave anyhow, put him best condition and get best of him while we can. Need Kolas as a back up for Tireny, no need to sell him.

        I would probably send some of our youngsters in smart Loans :

        Martinelli, Nelson, Willock, Rowe. Niles, Rowe, Nketiah won’t all get enough time in such team. Must let 4 go play every week in a good club in Germany or UK, let them progress.

        Niles Willock, Nelson Martinelli could be on loan this season and play every week, progress. 3 or.4 of these 7 must go.

        This is a dream that won’t come true. If we sell those players, we can buy, break even… But we have no need with a brain in this board and an owner who doesn’t care or know about football!!!

        1. Yankeegoonerisalreadytaken says:

          Long time silent follower, long time silent listener…and you had me, but then lost me with …………Ozil.

        2. sekman says:

          why do you think Traore will come to arsenal?

          selling pepe and mari after they’ve just been signed???

      2. ahmad73 says:

        He is more like a huff and puff guy. This is what the new order seems to value.

      3. Jabawoki says:

        Should change your name to Skills -1000

        Guendouzi reads the game well for 19yr old. He doesn’t look up enough and he’s more reserved but you can mold him into a player. He was called up by France and picked by Arteta and Emery – The boy has promise.

        You don’t sell youth before they’re in their prime. You need a balance and people to watch and learn from.

  4. Loose Cannon says:

    Irony is that the ones we want to be gone will be the ones signed on extension or long terms contracts and vice versa. So let gaffer do his selection, this season is a write off, hopefully next season we are competitive, if not by December, repeat the cycle. Before the gaffer goes, would like Raul gone, as he is not have the AFC DNA within him. Merely relying on agents to give us deadwood when we have scouts is not the way forward. I’d say get rid of him and bring back “the diamond eye”.
    Tim, you missed out on Xhaka; one good game last night in a season is not what I would look forward too. Get him out and replace him with maybe Gauye in my fantasy team. Also retain AMN, an all rounder to fit in any role, we do require him as he has grown up with us. Rest as you say may start clearing their lockers and packing their bags.
    Another missing link is the captain’s role, we do not have a senior Arsenal player worthy of the role. Maybe Leno when is back.

  5. Jon Turner says:

    For me, it would be all about solidifying at the back. Another centre back is a must and if Partey is not signed, then we need someone in the Vieira or Gilberto mood that we have been so badly lacking all these years. Just think we could have landed Kante but paid more for Xhaka! I would sell Mustafi, Kolasinac, Sokratis, Mkhitaryan, Guendouzi (overrated as far as I am concerned), Ozil by any means necessary and not renew Caballos on loan. Personally I would rather watch Mavropanos, Smith-Rowe, Nelson, Willock etc because at least they would give their all, play with passion and learn. I believe in Arteta and what is trying to do but fear he will be restricted by our board. Saka needs a long term deal ASAP and I would hate to lose Aubameyang or Lacazette. However if both to go and we have no money, have faith in Nketiah and Martinelli who really are exciting.

  6. g says:

    why not bring back king David Dein he has Arsenal DNA he would not let contracts run out and let valuable players leave for nothing.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      g, that would be fantastic for Arsenal; however there is too much animosity towards David Dein, by many current members of the Arsenal Board. This is another reason to put the cleaners through the senior executives and Board.
      Although David Dein MBE is still very much involved in football and apparently attends every Arsenal home game, the question would be if he at 76 would be willing to be involved in the resurrection of the Arsenal? One could only live in hope.

    2. towny254 says:

      when David Dein left that when Arsenal started the slow decline to where we are today BRING HIM BACK ASAP

  7. Darthballz says:

    I think the main problem is with choosing players to fit the style arteta wants . We have great players but they are a mishmash that are forced together and don’t gel at all . To many cooks i think decide on who to buy . We need arteta to name the players he wants and the rest to do what they can to get them .

    1. towny254 says:

      Emery gave them a list of players he wanted but the board chose different ones to the manager

  8. SY4 says:

    I would like to see Matteo Put on loan for a year as he has potential and give AMN one season in his favoured CM role.

    I would sell Torreira as dives and too lightweight.

    What about Chambers? Granit? Luiz? Luiz is a donkey and should be sold.

    What about Leno – good shot stopper but poor corners, commanding his box & decision making….

    I like Mavropanos, Holding, Saliba & Mari as our 2 centre backs.

    Would love 4 4 2 –

    new right back Saliba Upamecano Tierney
    Nelson Partey AMN. Saka
    PEA Martinelli
    Bench – Eddie, Mari, Pepe, Rowe, Willock, Martinez Holding, Chambers Mavropanos etc etc

    1. Sergio says:

      Are you seriously criticising Leno? He’s been one of our best players this season.

      Also you’d start Nelson ahead of Pepe?

      1. towny 254 says:

        every time Nelson over Pepe

    2. sekman says:

      Pepe >>> nelson, AMN, martinelli

  9. Skills1000 says:

    A good article. However my observations:

    We should keep Bellerin and Kolasinac

    Buy Asensio, Nabil Fekir, Lewis Dunk, Thomas Partey. We extended Ceballos loan.
    Upamenco would not come cheap. I prefer Lewis Dunk because he has PL Experience. We cant get two new CBs(Saliba and Upamenco) without EPL experience starting in defence.
    Effort should be on getting goal scoring and skillful midfieders into the squad

    Next season, we should play David Luiz in DM position
    The squad should be
    Central Defence: Saliba, Dunk, Holding, Mari
    Right Back: Bellerin, Chambers
    Left Back: Thierney, Kolasinac
    DM: Partey, David Luiz, Torrera(if he wants to go back to italy, sell him)
    CM: Ceballos, Xhaka, Saka
    AM: Asensio, Fekir, Pepe, Nelson, Smith Rowe

    Strikers: Martinelli, Nketiah, Lacazette
    Loan out Willock.

    Aubameyang should be sold if he does not want to extend. We may also need the money to fund the attacking midfielders we desperately need.

    We need goals from midfield

    My dream team

    Bellerin. Dunk. Saliba. Thierney

    Partey. Xhaka

    Asensio. Pepe. Fekir

    Martinelli

    The above can compete with any team in england

    If Aubameyang wont extend, sell him and keep lacazette. Getting in the goal scoring midfielders like Asensio and Fekir should be priority over Aubameyang. The present squad is struggling even with the strikers we have. No creativity in midfield. It is all about their skill set

    Also, play Pepe in the number 10 role. He needs to be in the box more often. He is the best finisher in the squad. He converts his chances well. He can also play as a striker.

    Asensio, Fekir and Partey are a must buy.

    1. towny254 says:

      Skills What are you smoking Pepe 72 million pounds wasted unless he gets his finger out this is the English Premier League if he can’t cut it leave he has to be more involved

      1. Joe Allysons says:

        5 goals and 6 assists This season, I’d say he’s not doing too badly for a first season. Also , the team is set up to move the ball towards Auba. Pepe is naturally going to be less involved. They play on opposite flanks

        1. sekman says:

          agreed..

          the team is setup to attack a the left flank (between either Kola/Tierney/Saka/Auba) and swings to right only when we’re out of room

          we don’t start from the right simply because 1) opposing team puts 2 defenders on pepe any time and 2) bellerin doesn’t have the attacking ability of saka / tierney / kola

          i dun understand whats the hate on pepe….he’s arsenal’s best performer this season

          if you look at the stats, most of the games we win is when pepe either scores or assists so i argue he’s consistent too

    2. Joe Allysons says:

      3 Things wrong with your squad. Number one , Pepe can’t play centrally . It’s an experiment that has failed multiple times in his early carrier by multiple managers.

      Second, I don’t think any team in the world is going to have the kind of budget you seem to be operating with in your imagination post covid.

      3rd , the defense. I highly doubt we’ll sign a center back . We have Saliba and Mari who haven’t kicked a ball in anger for arsenal (nearly) . Therefore , it makes awful business sense to spend money on a third centerback if you already have signed two who haven’t played. Looking at how arteta is fielding the team , It appears the team will have Mustafi and someone else as the starting pair. Considering styles of play , Holding , Mari and Saliba are all very good with the ball at feet , but Saliba beats them all . Luiz is probably the best passer of the bunch , but I don’t know exactly how he fits in , Then don’t forget chambers . He ain’t gone no where either.

      I think the most logical piece of business is pulling out all the stops to land partey . After partey , If we can get one of willian or coutinho, that would be grand.

  10. Towny254 says:

    Arteta don’t own Arsenal he has to make do with what we can afford that’s his job he knew what he was getting into when he signed to be a manager I would like to win the Lottery but until I do I have to manage he wants to stop throwing his toys out of the pram alright he fell out with Mattro put him under your wing and coach him Barcelona, PSG, Real Madrid will if they get there hands on him

  11. Reggie says:

    I think any player that is over 30 or any player who have been at this club more than 2 years can go because they have been poor and a total disappointment. The standard of these players is so bad, they have caused us to be a mid table team. Ozil, xhaka, mustafi, bellerin, kolasinac, lacazette, Luiz(obviously signed on but say no more) and socratis have been a total disappointment bar none. I have no problem with any of that shower leaving at all. Let all our younger fitter and willing to learn players stay and bring in some fresh experienced players. The ones mentioned are garbage and taking us down.

  12. George Wilson K ( E A ) says:

    Arsenal management Should and Must abandon if not aradicate the insulation Hope in players.
    That’s if a player cannot perform well with first half of his contract then, there is no chance that he will lmprove after.

  13. Ackshay says:

    Our squad is a complete mess with a collection of players that are not compatible at all or just not good enough. We really need an overhaul and even good players should be sold if they don’t suit arteta style.

    We do have some top talents like saka, martenelli, pepe, torreira, tierney and leno. Thats half a team and everyone in their correct position and they all have a good attitude and work rate. We have a good base just need to build on it.

  14. Joe Allysons says:

    With the contract extensions of Mari and Luiz, with Saliba coming, I don’t think we’ll be signing a center back. Most likely , we’ll get partey , and see if we can keep auba and saka. if we can do that, the only other transfer will probably be a freebie. It would make no sense to have 3 new centerbacks in one window and keep all the ones you have. We might cut sokratis loose, but then we’d still have chambers , holding, Mustafi , Luiz, Mari and Saliba. Arteta seems to trust mustafi , and he’s using him well , so , I kind of think he’s still here. Never the less, if we can keep saka , and auba and get partey and any of the other free agents I hear in the news (maybe willian) I think we’ll have done well. I don’t think we should sell bellarin. I don’t know what people were expecting of him coming straight out of a nearly one year injury.

    1. Ackshay says:

      Mari and luiz contracts likely means sokratis and mustafi are leaving. Let’s hope saliba adapts quickly and chambers heals quickly so we don’t need to see luiz on the field except in cup games.

      1. Joe Allysons says:

        Mustafi is most likely still here . Have you seen any player improve more than him under arteta?

  15. Mogunna says:

    We need to get all board out, get a top coach before any players.

    We are attached to and love Arteta,thatswhyKroenke brought him as cheapest option.

    It worked, won 4 or 5 games in 15 games? We have 5more coming up, he may win 1. That’s 5 games out of 20! How much more is needed to admit beyond all love we have, that Arteta is not ready for that job?

    Can’t blame him, he has no head coach experience, comes in middle of season to experiment, learn, fail so he can evolve.

    I blame him for taking the job knowing he was not ready. Not even U23 coach experience or in Scotland where he grew from a boy to a man before to land to EPL…Lampard and Zidane done just that, plan fully prepared years ahead by Real & Blues!

    We supposed to be a top club, you can’t imagine this anywhere else. Man City told him he can’t be head coach after Guardiola. Simply because he must get ready. They will go for Viera first,.

    We must bring Wenger back as President, Henry as technical director role I see him better for and Viera as a coach. Or bring Allegri. Something to show ambition!

    1. ozziegunner says:

      You keep forgetting Dennis Bergkamp, who not only was a great player, who had a positive influence on every player he teamed with at Arsenal, is highly intelligent and has recent experience with Ajax Amsterdam.
      He would jump at the prospect, provided he didn’t have to fly.

    2. Sergio says:

      How can you blame someone for taking their dream job?

      It’s the board to blame for offering it to him even though he doesn’t have the experience.

      And honestly, I don’t think he’s doing that bad considering. Wenger had years of experience to help scrape top 4 with these players in his last few seasons.

      Arteta is struggling because:

      1. There are some really poor players at this club, e.g. Luiz, Elneny, Ozil, Mustafi, Xhaka

      2. There are some big egos and arrogant players that destroy morale and are poison for the rest of the team when they don’t get their way e.g. Ozil, Guendouzi, Lacazette

      3. He doesn’t have much (if any) sway over transfers or contracts and this is left up to people that have no clue and alternate agendas. The David Luiz contract extension and permanent signing of Cedric Soares are perfect examples. It’s fairly obvious that we need Thomas Partey (and a creative player) but there’s already talk of cheaper alternatives to Partey and no sign of a creative midfielder in sight.

  16. ozziegunner says:

    I can’t understand why people want to keep Hector Bellerin, who can’t defend, has lost his pace, has an inability to cross a ball and is obviously more interested in pursuing a modelling career. He should be sold to one of the Milan clubs, PSG or a Spanish club, with the funds invested in defense or midfield.

    1. ahmad73 says:

      Agree that Bellerin is not fit for purpose. I would like someone who can defend first.

    2. sekman says:

      agreed,

      he’s average on both attacking and defending..

      i think most premier league starting RB are better than him

      alexander arnold, azpielicueta (spelling) doherty, wan-bissaka, willems, matt ritchie, ricardo pereira, walker, aurier, jordan ibe, sidibe…

      all these RBs are better than him IMO

  17. Asiru raheem says:

    We need to start rebuilding and in doing that, we need to let some go and give chances to the youngsters as well as buying some.
    Keep Leno, Tierney, mari, holding, chambers, ……….
    Sell Ozil, mustafi, toreira, luiz, M’Niles, cebalos, lacazatte, mikhitarian, elneny, marcey, Martinez, and AUBAMEYANG because he doesn’t want to stay.
    Bring in areola from PSG/Madrid, ndidi or partey, dunk, a striker and a mobile 10.
    Give smithrowe more chances, probably better than cebalos, give more playing time to martinelli, Nelson, mavropanous and saka-like from the academy. We will regain our top position after 2 seasons.

    Leno, bellerin, saliba, dunk, Tierney, partey, xhaka, Saka, nelson, martinelli and nketia.
    Areola, holding, mari, chambers, Cedric, kolacinac
    Guendouzi, wilock, smithrowe, pepe, new striker, new midfielder, mavropanous.

    Train chambers to be DM, saka to be AM, martinelli to be F. Saka to replace ozil, smith Rowe for ceballos, dunk for luiz, saliba for mustafi, partey for toreira, martinelli for auba, nketia for nketia(lacazatte).

    1. Sergio says:

      You want to sell both our back up keepers and not invest in a new one? What happens when Leno gets injured? Torreira gona play in goal?

      Jesus.

      1. Asiru raheem says:

        *I believe Areola is a keeper that can even challenge Leno to the top spot and we give another youngster a chance as well. Do we keep on relying on Martinez and marcey as backup Kepler’s at 28 and 25 2 without haven never put up a fight? when other teams are trusting young exciting keepers. Record speaks…. Chelsea, Liverpool, man city, even Leno.

  18. Tim Donvin says:

    Some interesting comments to my original post, certainly some good points but others disturbing, as I tried to point out I believe that the team needs to have a thorough review and that means getting players out so to create available revenue for new players – building the team around players that are already onboard with Mikel plans and looking at potential new signings, but also our younger players, we only have to look at what Chelsea have done this season with there team to see this. Arsenal has a good nucleus of young talent that Mikel can work with and he seems to have shown this during his time with Man C but also during his short time at the Gunners – so I really don’t understand why a so call fan would suggest that we should get rid of him give him at least the same amount of time that we gave Emery – or do you want us to look like Man U chopping and changing mangers?
    I also get the point about changing so many CB in one season but look at it this way we can not do any worse than what we currently have and I personally believe that with Upamecano coming from a competitive league like he would he will get up to speed very quickly – this isn’t going to take 1 or 2 seasons we need time to rebuild which some don’t seem to understand as we had such a great period under Wenger, but he had the luxury of having one of the best back 5 in the country if not the best at his disposable when he came to Arsenal and this was from George Grahams days – and most fans were asking at the time who is Wenger?
    I also understand the frustration that many have with the board and certain members of the management team, but unless anyone has the money to buy the club we have to live with it – we can obviously make our feelings clear but don’t make it all doom and gloom – you obviously don’t remember our bleaker days in the 70s & 80s.
    And yes we do miss David Dein – Mr Arsenal but unfortunately this is part of our history and once he left Wenger was left exposed and was given to much responsibility which ultimately created the problems we are now in.

    But be optimistic for the remainder of this season and then lets once again get behind the team and the coach and see what we can achieve in the first half of next season then review – To all Arsenal supporters

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