Keep, Sell or Loan – A Dispassionate look at Arsenal’s First Team Squad in need of Rebuild

I was asked to offer a keep, loan or sell assessment for this week’s Sun Football column  With their permission I am reproducing here with a less outrageous title 🙂


A Squad in need of revitalising

With Arsenal’s season concluded and the FA Cup, on the bag the club and of course the fan’s attention will turn to the transfer window. Faced with the realism of financial constraints, most of us accepted there will need to be much wheeling and dealing and clever manoeuvring to give our brilliant you coach the squad he deserves for 2020/21.

Considering that I have been asked to look at the 2019/20 roster and offer a quick, buy, sell or loan verdict so here goes….



Keepers – Awful pun

Leno and Martinez – Both have been superb, and tempting thought it may be to sell one and bring in an understudy I would like to see both competing. Emi is the man in possession though.

Macey – Sell


Defenders – we have far too many centre backs now and the club needs to be ruthless.

David Luiz – The enigmatic Brazilian has extended so we know he stays – Keep

William Saliba – The future – Keep

Pablo Mari – Our left footer and Arteta’s choice – Keep


Luiz and Mari in coaches plans

Calum Chambers – A more assured passer and therefore more likely to fit coaches plans – Keep

Sokratis – Not in coaches plans – Sell

Mustafi – Unlikely to be able to sell know as injured so he will stay – Keep

Mavropanos – Getting good reviews in Germany, albeit it at a lower level – Loan

Rob Holding – With is second FA Cup Winner’s medal and stock high, it is time to sell. He is a popular player and will be a great servant to a Premier League needing a more traditional centre back. – Sell

Holding 3

Sellable Asset?

Seed Kolasinac – The Bosnian’s wages, as he came for free, are a drain and it’s time to cash in on a player who will never be a first choice. – Sell

Cedric Soares – Long term contract means he is high level cover. – Keep

Ainsley Maitland- Niles – I hope Arteta’s faith in the player means he want to stay and fight. – Keep

Hector Bellerin – Our flying Spaniard finally seems to be flying once more. – Keep

Kieran Tierney – Keep for the next ten years please. – Keep



Lucas Torreria – Much as I like the Uruguayan terrier, I don’t think he fits the profile now but should still attract good offers from Italy – Sell

Matteo Guendouzi – The decision is seemingly made, and I agree with it, He should bring in a good profit. – Sell


A popular player but does his face still fit?

Granit Xhaka – Revitalised under Arteta and very much in his plans I am sure. – Keep

Dani Ceballos – I hope the club can extend the loan and would not be averse to an option to buy if Madrid insist upon it. – Keep

Emile Smith- Rowe – After two loans I think it is time for ESR to fight for his place in the team. – Keep

Joe Willock – The young Englishman has played more games than any of us expected but I think starting weekly at the top of the Championship or at a lower Premier League side will help Arteta decide is he is top level. – Loan

Mesut Ozil – Whether it is due to board pressure or Arteta’s playing style the German is not in favour. If we can then – Sell

Mo Elneny – Sell

ozil-elneny-arsenal 4373978

Yesterday’s Men

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – After a successful loan it appears, he is thriving in Italy – Sell

Bukayo Saka – With his new deal signed I hope he is part of the first team squad but not used as much as we have been forced to use him this past campaign. – Keep

Reiss Nelson – This a very difficult one as he has already had a big loan. I think he will play more is loaned again and he needs to be heart says keep him in the fold. – Keep



Pierre Emerick Aubameyang – There are positive noises that suggest our skipper will be here, and not in his last season but with a new contract. – Keep

Alexandre Lacazette – 2019/20 was not the Frenchman’s best season but there were signs of a return to form post lockdown.  I sense he may be offered in the deal to bring Partey to North London – Sell


Big call on Laca

Eddie Nketiah – Arteta sees something, beyond just an incredible work ethic in this young man and I feel he may be understudy again next season but see plenty of cup football. – Keep

Nicholas Pepe – Next season I expect our exciting record signing to build on a successful first season, not helped by Emery. – Keep

Gabriel Martinelli – I was concerned how little the exciting Brazilian featured before his injury, but I hope it was just caution as he had bee over-played. Sky is the limited for this young talent. – Keep

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2 Responses to Keep, Sell or Loan – A Dispassionate look at Arsenal’s First Team Squad in need of Rebuild

  1. carl August 11, 2020 at 9:31 am #

    such a short memory regards to holding !! only last year he was our main man the best defender at Arsenal until injury stopped him in his tracks !!His stats last year had him as one of the best defenders in the league !! amazingly you have him as surplus to requirements !! lets pray Arteta sees like i do !! as he is only 25 yrs old and still has room to improve and i want that improvement at Arsenal !! not at Utd or even City !! The guy foir me is quality but a bit rusty considering he hadnt played since his since injury last year until the last few games of the season !! it takes time to get back to your best after a long time out !! but you do not give that any consideration !! mari for me is not going to be good enough !! evidence already has proved that !! so keeping Holding a player that is top draw is defo needed !!

    • Dave Seager August 12, 2020 at 3:43 pm #

      To be fair that was under a different coach and a different style. Arteta was confident passers as well as good defenders. Holding is a solid player but an average passer at best.

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