Arsenal – Keep or Sell?
Rumours have been coming out of the Emirates in the past few days that Arsene Wenger is set to stay on as Arsenal manager.
There are also rumours of a mass exodus at Arsenal, lots of players going and approximately £200 million to be spent.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere, David Ospina and Olivier Giroud all reportedly on the chopping block.
So, with that being said; if I was Arsenal manager, this is what I would do with every player at the club and if I think they should leave, a potential replacement for that player.
Petr Cech: KEEP
A player that has come under increased scrutiny this season after a series of poor performances.
However, there is no doubting his true quality and the experience he brings is second to none.
I don’t know whether he should be first choice next season, but what Cech is invaluable for the younger players.
David Ospina: SELL
It’s being reported that Ospina is angling for a move anyway.
It says a lot about him that during Arsenal’s 3-0 loss against Crystal Palace, he was sitting at home playing Virtual Reality games on his PS4 with Lucas Perez.
Both Besiktas and Fenerbahce are supposedly interested in the Colombian keeper and it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he was to leave.
Replacement: Jack Butland
No doubting, Butland would be an expensive signing because not only is he a good keeper but he is a young English player.
Saying that though, he would be the perfect understudy for Petr Cech and is going a long way in the game.
Emi Martinez: KEEP
It’s make or break time for Martinez.
He’s been at the club a long time now, but never really made his mark.
He had a howler against Crystal Palace, but was not helped by his defence and showed a lot of passion throughout the game.
Whether he will ever be Arsenal’s number one I’m not sure, but he is a good back-up goalkeeper.
Hector Bellerin: KEEP
Bellerin signed a new six-year contract recently and the whole fanbase was overjoyed when he did.
The youngster has shown how good he is going forward, but yet to convince a lot of people about his defensive qualities.
If he can sort that though, then he will undoubtedly be one of the best right-backs in the world.
Linked with moves away to Barcelona and Man City, the Spaniard will surely consider his options, especially after taking the majority of the abuse from Arsenal fans at Selhurst Park on Monday.
Mathieu Debuchy & Carl Jenkinson: SELL
There aren’t many players that I have liked less at Arsenal than Mathieu Debuchy.
He had a good first few months at the club, but then suffered an unfortunate shoulder injury.
Since then though, he has literally been stealing a living.
Coming out, in January 2016 and expressing that he wanted to move to Manchester United did nothing to endear Arsenal fans to the Frenchman.
There wouldn’t be many fans sad to see him leave.
Carl Jenkinson is a different proposition.
He’s a gunner through and through, for that reason; many Arsenal fans give him the benefit of the doubt that isn’t afforded to other players.
Two seasons on loan at West Ham gave him the game time he needed, but Jenko has been unlucky with injuries and isn’t good enough to displace Bellerin.
REPLACEMENT: Kieran Tierney or Djbril Sidibe
Both young players that are being tracked by a lot of big clubs.
Tierney is the more likely of the signings and Arsene Wenger is reportedly a big fan of the Celtic full-back.
Sidibe on the other hand, would be a lot more expensive, but is arguably the better player.
Shkodran Mustafi: KEEP
A new signing at the Emirates, Mustafi had a very good start to his Arsenal career.
The German was on a 20-game unbeaten run.
Following a small injury though, he hasn’t looked the player he originally was, but has also been unlucky in the fact the defence he is playing in has changed a lot this season through injuries.
A player with a lot more to offer, it would be too soon to sell the World Cup winner.
Laurent Koscielny: KEEP
Not at his best this season, but on his day Koscielny is one of the best defenders in the league.
The pressure of being captain has arguably made him a worse player and the Frenchman isn’t a natural leader.
No doubting that he is the best defender in the Arsenal squad and Wenger would be mad to get rid of him.
Gabriel Paulista: SELL
A very nice guy, but he’s not good enough for Arsenal.
Signed from Villareal in January 2015, Paulista has never proven himself to the fans.
Known for being quite a rash player and the fact he can’t speak English has really hindered his progress with the Gunners and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he made way in the summer.
REPLACEMENT: Mauricio Lemos
A relatively unknown player, but Lemos has been making waves in La Liga after signing for UCD Las Palmas from Ruben Kazan last summer.
Still only 21, the Uruguayan has made big strides this year and looks the real deal.
It could be a very adept piece of business from whatever club that picks him up.
Rob Holding: KEEP
Very impressive every time he’s made an appearance in the red and white of Arsenal.
Holding looks like a good piece of business from the club and is definitely one for the future.
Per Mertesacker: Sell
The Arsenal captain is yet to make an appearance for the side yet this season.
Despite this, the club offered him a one year extension earlier in the season.
Per is slightly different to Gabriel in the fact that he was good enough and was a good player for the Gunners for a few years.
Now though, he is past it.
It would be interesting to see if Arsenal offered him a background role as a coach, rather than to keep him on as a player.
REPLACEMENT: Calum Chambers
Currently on loan at Middlesbrough, Calum Chambers was having a very good season until he got injured.
Many Arsenal fans had already written him off, but after a set of impressive performances up North, there is still hope for Chambers.
Nacho Monreal & Kieran Gibbs: SELL
Monreal was awful during his first six months as an Arsenal player.
Since then though, he’s only gone from strength to strength.
He had the best season of his career last year, including a recall to the Spain side.
However, he’s getting on a bit and this season hasn’t been his greatest.
It could be time to completely refresh this position.
Kieran Gibbs is a little bit of a fans favourite, having been at the club for most of his life.
He is becoming more and more frustrated with lack of game time and is looking for a move away from the Emirates.
REPLACEMENT(S): Sead Kolasinac & Benjamin Mendy
According to reports that have come out over the last 24 hours, the Gunners are close to finalising a free transfer for Schalke left back Sead Kolasinac.
A diamond player on FIFA 17, if he’s anything as good in real life as he is in the virtual world then it could be a great deal for Arsenal.
Mendy is slightly different, the young Frenchman made headlines in Monaco’s thrilling Champions League win over Manchester City a few weeks ago.
There are lots of big clubs after him, so whoever secures his signature will have to act quickly.
Francis Coquelin: SELL
Following his return from Charlton, Coquelin was a revolution.
He was the spine of the team that we were missing and formed a formidable partnership with Santi Cazorla.
Without the mercurial Spaniard at his side though, Coquelin has been less than impressive this season.
Unfortunately for both Coquelin and the team, he isn’t cutting it at the minute and doesn’t seem good enough.
REPLACEMENT: Tiemoue Bakayoko
Another player that impressed recently for Monaco is Bakayoko.
He’s been described as a tall version of N’Golo Kante and if he’s half the player that Kante is then he’s a player Arsenal should be really interested in.
Mohamed Elneny: KEEP
Elneny was a surprise signing from Basel last January, but he’s certainly impressed since coming into the side.
Not a player that you would expect to start every game, but when he’s come into the side, he has rarely had a bad game.
Granit Xhaka: KEEP
The Arsenal fanbase seem to be evenly split on Xhaka.
The Swiss international has not won over a lot of his new fans due to his ill-discipline.
When he gets his head down though, he is a great player and definitely deserves some more time to prove himself at the Emirates.
Santi Cazorla: KEEP
The most important player in the Arsenal squad.
Cazorla can do things that no other Arsenal player can do and it’s no coincidence that the Gunners win rate is much higher when Santi is in the side.
He’s been unlucky with injuries over the past two years and so, that could force him to leave Arsenal a lot sooner than the fans want.
Jack Wilshere: KEEP
It’s ironic, the one season Wilshere stays fit, is the season that he isn’t at Arsenal.
It’s also ironic that it’s been a season where the Gunners have been crying out for a player like Wilsh.
Rumours are floating around that he could be on the move in the summer, but Arsenal fans will be hoping that the Englishman stays at the Emirates.
Aaron Ramsey: SELL
The whole time that Ramsey has been with Arsenal, he has had one good season.
The Welshman always puts on world class performances for his country, but can never replicate for Arsenal.
He’s a player that frustrates the Arsenal fans and I don’t think many would be that sad to see him go.
REPLACEMENT: Marco Verratti
The Italian would be an expensive signing from PSG.
However, if Arsenal want to be the club they promised their fans before moving to the Emirates, this is the type of signing they should be making.
A player that has been likened to Santi Cazorla, Verratti could solve a lot of the problem in Arsenal’s midfield.
Mesut Ozil: SELL
One of the best players in the Premier League on his day, the trouble is, his day isn’t often enough.
With just over a year left on his contract and seemingly holding the club to ransom, Arsenal fans are split on whether the German should stay or be sold.
His heart doesn’t seem to be in it anymore and so it wouldn’t be a surprise if this was Ozil’s last season in North London.
REPLACEMENT: Marco Asensio
One of the most exciting players to come out of Real Madrid in recent years, Asensio is making waves in La Liga.
He’s creative, a good passer and showed at the beginning of the season he has a decent shot on him as well.
Although he isn’t as experienced as Ozil, he could be the player to replace the German.
Lack of game time at the Bernabeu Stadium could force the young Spaniard to leave Madrid to further his career.
Theo Walcott: SELL
I really like Walcott, but he isn’t consistent enough.
He’s been at the club for over 10 years, but never lived up to the original hype surrounding him.
It’s not his fault, but it says a lot about Arsenal that he is captain at the minute, only because he’s the most senior player at the club.
REPLACEMENT: Inaki Williams
Linked to London rivals Spurs, Inaki Williams would do wonders at the Emirates.
Inaki has led Athletic Bilbao to a respectable 8th place in this year’s La Liga and the tricky winger chips in with both goals and assists for his side.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: KEEP
Arguably Arsenal’s best player this season behind Alexis Sanchez.
Ox has really come into his own over the past few months.
The England international has been the shining light of a very bad patch for the Gunners, especially when playing in centre midfield.
Rumours are that Wenger thinks he is expendable, but most Arsenal fans will want to keep the strong winger.
Alex Iwobi: KEEP
Iwobi has become somewhat of a scapegoat over the tricky period Arsenal find themselves in.
This is arguably a reason that he has taken some time out of the side recently, but he is definitely a good player.
Having turned out for Nigeria and making the step up from youth level, it has been all guns blazing for Iwobi over the past year and a half, but he certainly has a lot more to offer.
Alexis Sanchez: KEEP
If Arsenal are to retain the title of a big club, they can’t be selling players like Alexis Sanchez.
The Chilean is reportedly unhappy with the lack of direction at Arsenal and is said to be fed up of not winning trophies.
On the plus side for Arsenal fans, it came out earlier today that the Gunners have offered their star man a jaw-dropping £300,000 a-week.
If Alexis accepts, it will make him the highest paid player in Premier League history.
Chelsea and Man City are both interested in Sanchez, but at this point, it would be suicidal of Arsenal to sell him to another Premier League side.
Olivier Giroud: SELL
The Frenchman has never fully convinced me that he should be the player to lead Arsenal’s line.
He arrived as an unknown from Montpellier, but has never shown the real quality that a club of Arsenal’s stature needs.
Giroud has averaged 20 goals a season since moving to the Emirates, normally a good return for a striker.
However, he is so hot and cold than he can go ten games without scoring, a position which leaves Arsenal in the lurch.
REPLACEMENT: Alexandre Lacazette
Arsenal have been after Lacazette for years and it’s time they made the plunge and got their man.
Having scored 60 goals in three seasons for Lyon, Lacazette has proven that he can score goals.
Whether he will be good enough for the Premier League is unknown as yet, but it couldn’t hurt to take a risk and try him out.
Danny Welbeck: KEEP
Welbeck is another player that has been unlucky with injuries since signing with the club.
When he is fit though, he offers a completely different dynamic to anybody else in the Arsenal squad.
Following last season’s heroics at Leicester, Welbeck is somewhat of a cult hero at the Emirates.
Due to this, he’ll stay in North London, but it’s fair to say that many Arsenal fans believe he shouldn’t be the number one striker.
Lucas Perez: SELL
I’m not entirely sure what’s happened with Lucas.
Every time that he has played, he has done well, but he can’t seem to get a run of games.
Perez has been linked away from the moment he arrived at Arsenal and it wouldn’t surprise to me see him leave in order to get more game time.
REPLACEMENT: Moussa Dembele
Dembele has lit up the SPL this season for Champions Celtic.
It could be argued that scoring a lot in the Scottish league doesn’t say much, but Dembele seems to be different.
He has a whole host of clubs after him, both in England and abroad.
He would come in and offer something that Arsenal don’t currently have and would be a good impact player to come off the bench.
Arsene Wenger: SELL
Now obviously, you don’t sell a manager, but, unfortunately, I do think it’s time for Arsene to leave.
I have never been Wenger Out and I don’t want to be disrespectful to the man that is Arsenal’s most successful manager.
One thing that should resonate with all Arsenal fans though, is that it’s Arsenal FC, not Arsene FC.
No matter how much the players come out in support of the manger on social media, the result against Crystal Palace showed that the majority of those players are not playing for him.
With the way that Wenger’s contract is being dealt with, he is ruining his legacy at the club. Which is a shame.
Whatever happens, Wenger is a big part of why I support Arsenal and for that, I will always be thankful.
REPLACEMENT: Massimiliano Allegri
Juventus’ win over Barcelona on Tuesday epitomised why I want Allegri at Arsenal.
The 3-0 victory was a tactical masterclass and something that Arsenal lack at the minute.
Allegri is thought more highly of in Italy than Chelsea manager Antonio Conte and we can all see how well he is doing.
Whether he would even come to Arsenal is a big question, but the club should be doing everything they can to secure him as manager.
Written by Jack Flannigan