Unai Emery’s first season at Arsenal has had its highs and lows so far, the 22-match unbeaten run early in the season should debatably stand as its highest point as Gunner’s boss while their woeful away record and recent form are jostling for its lowest.
The Spanish coach wasn’t given much financial backing in last summer’s transfer window, a meagre £50million was the little available to make changes in the first team. Winter was worse off as he was only allowed to make loan signings with Denis Suarez coming in from Barcelona on a six-month deal.
Any hope of financial redemption isn’t coming any time soon, at least not this summer. The former Valencia coach has just £45million available to him for business this time around leaving him in a tight spot, the club will have to sell some its first team players in order to create funds while also reducing the wage bill of the club.
As the transfer window approaches, the rumour mill has started spilling stories of expected comings and goings at North London, while blogs and pundits are also having their say on who should be bought and sold at Arsenal, I have also got some ideas of mine which I will let you in on in a bit.
Let’s take a look at each position as I give my thoughts on who should be sold, which player should be kept and where necessary additions are needed.
Bern Leno has been remarkable since taking over the first team spot from Petr Cech with the Czech stopper set to hang up his gloves at the end of the season. With Emiliano Martinez returning from a loan spell at Reading at the end of the season alongside Matt Macey – who also returns from a short stint at Plymouth Argyle – Arsenal is well stocked in the goalkeeping department so they won’t need to purchase a goalkeeper. David Ospina should be shipped out to create funds to invest in other departments.
Shkodran Mustafi has been calamitous this season thus there have been calls for him to be sold off with Emery going all out to get a replacement. As much as I also believe Mustafi should be sold, I don’t think a replacement is necessary. In Laurent Koscielny, Sokratis, Rob Holding, Mavropanos and the returning Calum Chambers – who can also play in midfield – the Gunners are well covered in the centre of defence.
A young left-back is needed to cover for the ageing Nacho Monreal and the unreliable Sead Kolasinac.
It’s safe to say that Stephan Lichtsteiner has been a failure at Arsenal and its best for everyone if he leaves while Carl Jenkinson should also bring his 5-year stay at Emirates to an end. Hector Bellerin should resume his role as No 2 when he returns from injury while Ainsley Maitland-Niles will be on hand to deputise when needed.
This is where I believe a whole lot of work is needed to be done. Aaron Ramsey leaves for Juventus at the end of the season, Henrikh Mkhitaryan hasn’t lived up to expectations so far while Mesut Ozil doesn’t do enough to justify his wages. Selling these two will free up around £500,000 in wages which should be invested in elsewhere. Mohammed Elneny has also had a disappointing season so he should also be sold. A rugged defensive midfielder should be bought to deputise for Lucas Torriera while a replacement for Ramsey should be gotten. Alex Iwobi, Granit Xhaka and Matteo Guendouzi should remain while Calum Chambers is also an option, let’s not forget Joe Willock and Emile Smith Rowe too.
Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are two devastating forwards on their day so they should be left to remain at the club. There have been talks of a new contract for Danny Welbeck, this will be good news if the ex-United striker can stay fit and cover for the aforementioned duo. Bukayo Saka has had a stunning season with the reserves so he should be promoted to the first team while. Along with the returning Reiss Nelson, Emery will be given options on the wings as Eddie Nketiah can also play anywhere across the frontline. Another goalscoring wideman should be acquired to guide this inexperienced trio and assists the strikers in the goalscoring department.
What do you think? let me hear what you have to say in the comment section below.