As much uncertainty as there is at the moment, now is a good time to look at some of the Arsenal players and figure out if they have a future at the club.
Here are my suggestions, using stats, additional information (from Transfermarkt) and perhaps some misjudgement and prejudice of my own… looking at four positions, five players (and some alternatives) who I believe should begin packing their bags now.
I’m sure that we all will have our own say but who knows maybe this will change when the window is finally reopened.
Emi Martinez – the Argentine goalkeeper is, like Macey, reaching the peak end of his career and will not be pleased that he has been a back-up to Leno this season. From a personal point of view I am not a huge fan of his. Mainly for his consistently underwhelming displays in games when he is chosen. In the Europa League (having played in all the group games this season) he has let in seven goals in the last four games; one being a loss and another being a draw. In addition he was in goal for the League Cup defeat on penalties to what was basically Liverpool’s youth academy.
In his entire Arsenal career Martinez has played twenty five times having conceded twenty nine times and only getting twelve clean sheets in the process. It might be time to let the Argentine go and either look into the youth academy for a suitable replacement or look into the market for someone who can test Leno more.
Other alternatives: Illev and Macey
Calum Chambers – it’s hard to know where his best position is (is he a defensive midfielder, a right back or a central defender?) and to add on to the fact he has had two loan spells to Fulham and Middlesbrough where he has been relegated twice does put into perspective his ability. During this season Chambers has only made eighteen appearances. And at the age of twenty-five he should be playing more regularly. Admittedly his injuries haven’t helped.
Whether he ends up playing at another Premier League club or somewhere else I am sure there will many clubs that might be interested in his services should he decide to move on. Add into the factor he should be chasing for the right to be considered for England selection regularly then moving on would make sense. Just to add additional spice, since we signed Saliba last summer and he will be with the squad soon, then this might impact on whether or not Chambers will be with us.
Other considerations: David Luiz & Sokratis
Henrikh Mhikitaryan – he appeared in three Premier League matches this season before departing on loan for AS Roma. And to be honest his stats are very alarming. In his fifty-nine appearances for the club he has scored nine times and assisted thirteen times. Worse than his record at Manchester (13 goals and 11 assists in 63 appearances). To be honest, I’m not his biggest fan and in the swap deal that saw him come to the club nobody won. To be honest he doesn’t seem like he is a real addition to the team; then again he is nearing the end of his career. I would like to see him leave and I’m sure there might be a few clubs that might be interested – but who knows what will happen. There were rumours that Roma wanted to sign him permanently in January and I would’ve taken the deal in a heartbeat.
Mohamed Elneny – let’s be honest: he was brought in to be the defensive midfielder that Xhaka is supposedly not – a tough tackler who is also able to go forward as well as be a box-to-box midfielder in the centre of midfield. He will always be remembered for that goal against Barcelona many moons ago when playing in the Champions League. In eighty nine appearances he has two goals and eight assists to his name. In addition he didn’t make a single appearance for Arsenal before being shipped out to Turkey. Reportedly, the Egyptian manager has even said he needs to be playing more often to be considered to be part of the national team. Maybe the loan move was a way to attempt to help a rotated player find somewhere that he can truly be appreciated. If we are totally honest with the amount of central midfielders around the team someone is always going to be at the bottom of the pile. And Elneny is the bottom.
Other considerations: AMN, EMR, Saka, Nelson, Guendouzi & Torriera.
This last one is controversial as I am sure many people and fans are fed up with the Laca and Auba should they stay or should they go debate so an alternative is the unfortunate Eddie Nketiah. In a sensible move in the summer; Arsenal decided to loan out Eddie to another team with many teams fighting for his signature, he ended up at Leeds. Eddie struggled at Leeds, being in and out of the team consistently. Scoring about five times before coming back from what was meant to be a season loan. So far he has scored three goals in seven appearances since coming back in January.
The truth of the matter is that Eddie could be a great player but he has to overcome two big name players to be starting regularly. For someone who still plays in the U21s for England regularly there should be questions over whether is he able to step up and follow the likes of other players such as Sancho at Dortmund or other regularly mentioned Young Lions such as Mason Mount. Maybe he will decide to try again out on loan somewhere else and hopefully he is more successful; or maybe, just maybe, he will decide to follow the footsteps of Gnabry and others and to move on to pastures new.
Other considerations: Aubameyang & Lacazette
We don’t know when or if the transfer window will open – but whatever happens, I’m sure that Arsenal will be the one of the first clubs to press to become active. Whether these players leave or not it’s going to be an interesting window – one that might spark more debate than the five signings on deadline day in 2011.
A football lover from an early age, who began to support Arsenal in my early years. I never got to go to Highbury to see any games or even the tour, something I wished I was able to do. I play disability football as well and appreciate the support that the Arsenal Foundation has given the local community, which I have raised money for previously.