Arsenal players: Stay or go?
FootyOn experts assess whether 10 Arsenal players should stay or go from the Emirates this summer.
Fans of football can surely expect to see monumental change at Arsenal over the next 18 months.
Besides the speculation surrounding Gunners gaffer Arsene Wenger’s future, 10 players are out of contract in that time.
What are they to do about that?
Arsenal are as big as 3/1 with Sky Bet for their customary top four Premier League finish this season.
If Wenger cannot maintain his record of providing Champions League football, then the Gunners are facing some tough decisions.
In light of that, we assess if these 10 Arsenal players should stay or go…
Spanish playmaker Cazorla has spent most of the last 15 months sidelined by injuries.
That is going to be a recurring theme with some of these Gunners.
When fit, however, Cazorla offers a sureness of touch and oozes class.
We’re talking about a player who won back-to-back European Championships with his country.
Provided he’s happy with Arsenal’s policy of offering over 30s a one-year deal, then Cazorla should remain.
Long-legged French forward Sanogo, like Cazorla, is out of contract the Emirates this summer.
Now 24, he hasn’t featured in the Gunners first-team all season.
That should be a clear indication of where his future lies.
Loan spells with Crystal Palace, Ajax and then back in London with Charlton Athletic yielded precious little.
Simply put, Sanogo should go.
Just the two names above are only tied down to the end of this season, but eight Arsenal players see deals end in 2018.
Left back Gibbs is one of those, and he can’t get past Nacho Monreal on that flank of defence.
Three Premier League starts all season indicate he is back-up in a perceived weak area.
Getting rid of injury-prone Gibbs and replacing him with someone boasting potential like Celtic talent Kieran Tierney is a definite shout.
There is no sense in keeping a player who needs game time to rebuild his career when the Gunners can’t give him that.
Germany playmaker Ozil is one of those polarising players for football fans.
If he plays well, then his praises are sung to the rafters.
But if Ozil doesn’t perform, that Arsenal transfer record fee is a stick used to beat him with.
He’s now played a similar number of games for the Gunners as he did at Real Madrid.
Ozil has scored more goals, but made far fewer assists – although the Premier League is a lot more competitive than La Liga.
Whoever the manager at Arsenal is, this is one player who at his best anyone would surely want.
It’s lousy luck when you carry a serious knee ligament injury into a season and couldn’t get fit over the summer.
Trying to rebuild himself is the reason why England cap Jenkinson has been on the periphery at the Emirates.
The emergence of Hector Bellerin at right back in his absence during previous loan spells with West Ham United is another.
Provided nobody – say Barcelona – buys Bellerin, then Jenkinson will have to revive his career elsewhere.
Crystal Palace failed in a bid for him this past winter, and may come in again.
Wales midfielder Ramsey hasn’t started more than four Premier League games in a row this season.
Yet more evidence of his injury-prone nature, then.
In fact, Ramsey has missed 19 games across all competitions this term because he was injured.
Just how many Arsenal players can be carried as walking wounded?
You can’t help feel a move somewhere else, and a bit more luck on the fitness front are what Ramsey needs.
Another Gunner and yet another injury case.
Mertesacker is a World Cup winning defender with Germany, but a serious knee problem picked up at the back end of last season has kept him out ever since.
This colossal centre back being felled forced Wenger into signing compatriot Shkodran Mustafi as a replacement this past summer.
A move to a less-demanding league – the MLS or China, for example – would suit Mertesacker.
That rangy frame and large turning circle will only be further robbed of pace by his injury, and Premier League forwards will punish that if he stays.
The Ox doesn’t seem able to nail down a set position this season, and that has got to be frustrating.
Does a deeper-lying central midfield berth he’s occupied in recent matches play to his strengths?
The jury is out on that, and Oxlade-Chamberlain’s future has received tabloid gossip column attention.
Wenger has given him just four chances to play a full 90 minutes in the Premier League.
If Oxlade-Chamberlain isn’t trusted by now, then you do wonder, but his willingness to fill in anywhere is an asset.
Now, here’s the one you’ve all been waiting for.
Sanchez has shown visible signs of frustration on the pitch at Arsenal this season.
How much should we read into that?
The Chile forward is another whose Emirates future is the subject of much speculation.
Before a move away is proffered, however, Sanchez is the Gunners’ main man and might not be elsewhere.
And finally, Wilshere may be on loan at Bournemouth, but is one of the Arsenal players out of contract in the summer of 2018.
Given the regular football he has needed, however, and his Cherries return is less than impressive.
No goals and two assists from 25 Premier League games do not make good reading.
Are those numbers that will secure a long-term Emirates future?
Wilshere cannot count on it, so may need to look elsewhere.