The Gunners are expected to carry out another squad overhaul in the coming months.
Unai Emery joined Arsenal at the start of the current campaign after taking over from the former long-time manager, Arsene Wenger; inheriting a squad that needed heavy investment and a lot of work. Many fans believed that it would take at least a couple of transfer windows to begin challenging for the Premier League title. The upcoming summer transfer window is the perfect opportunity for the Spanish gaffer to make further changes to the squad and mould it to his liking.
However, it was reported that the 47-year-old only has £45 million to complete a summer overhaul. With fellow competitors like Manchester United preparing to go all out in the preparation for the next season, Arsenal have no option but to sell some of the deadwood to generate funds in order to sign some world class players at the club.
With Unai Emery certain to sign new players to the roster, there are bound to be some that will be offloaded. Here is our take on the five players Arsenal should sell in the upcoming summer transfer window.
5. Mohamed Elneny
Mohamed Elneny became a national hero in his country back home when the midfielder secured a move from FC Basel to Arsenal during the January transfer window in 2016. Since then, the Egyptian has only featured as a squad player at best and has remained on the fringes of the starting lineup.
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The 26-year-old has accumulated only 56 appearances overall for Arsenal and has scored only twice in all competitions. He has been sidelined this season by the new signings Matteo Guendouzi & Lucas Torreira and it looks like there is no further role he has left to play under Unai Emery. Valued at around £4-6 million, the club should be selling him to make way for better options.
4. Danny Welbeck
One of the most unfortunate players, one who could never fulfill his true potential due to recurring injuries has to be Danny Welbeck. The Englishman signed from Manchester United in 2014 for a fee in the region of £16 million. Five years forward, the striker has only managed 78 appearances for The Gunners, scoring 32 goals in the process.
Danny Welbeck’s time at Arsenal has been marred by injuries
However, his injury-prone nature has caused him to spend majority of his career at Arsenal on the sidelines. He is still recovering from two ankle surgeries at this very moment and looks set to miss any football this season.
With players like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette to compete with and his contract running down in June, it will be in club’s best interest to release the forward as a free agent to free up some wages.
3. Stephan Lichtsteiner
It was a surprise move to say the least when Arsenal secured the services of the 34-year-old Stephan Lichtsteiner, who joined the London-based club on a free transfer from Juventus. After spending seven successful seasons in the Serie A, the Swiss international was recruited with the idea that along with Sokratis, he will bring experience and character to the team, who were ushering in a new era under Unai Emery.
However, the move invited mixed reaction from the fans with many sets of them wondering what Lichtsteiner would offer given he was at the end of his career, especially in a league which demands increased physicality. The former Juventus full-back has failed to feature on a regular basis and has played only 20 games in all competitions. It would serve well for the club to promote young talents like Ainsley Maitland-Niles instead – rather than making the squad a retirement home for players who are past their prime, point-in-case Antonio Valencia, who has been heavily linked with a move after not being offered an extension at Manchester United. It will be a smart move to release him as a free agent as his contract duration runs out in June this year and the wages can be cleared up to sign better options.
2. Nacho Monreal
Nacho Monreal will complete 6 years at the club at the end of the term, having joined back in 2013 from Malaga CF. He is one of the few players that has remained consistent in defense for Arsenal over the years and was a trusted option in the left-back position for the former manager, Arsene Wenger.
However, he is now 33-years-old and is only losing his natural pace with age. Unai Emery likes to employ a three-man defence and Monreal has played second fiddle to Sead Kolasinac since the Bosnian is faster down the flanks and is a bigger threat in the left wing-back role.
Nacho Monreal could be on his way out of Arsenal after spending six years at the club
Monreal is also reaching the end of his contract in the summer and has yet to be offered an extension by the club. He is also expected to be released at the end of the season to complete the squad overhaul, especially in the defence. Arsenal fans are dreading the scenario where players at the end of their careers are offered new contracts and want the club to make better decisions with an eye towards building a foundation of young talent for the future.
1. Mesut Ozil
The German was the assist king at Arsenal soon after he arrived from Real Madrid in 2013 for a fee reported to be in the region of £42.5 million which made him the most expensive German football player of all time. Mesut Ozil has featured for Arsenal in 209 matches, scoring 42 goals in the process. It is no surprise that he has been underperforming for a couple of seasons now and his apparent relationship with the current manager is not very good to say the least, as he was seen throwing his coat in the general direction of his gaffer after being substituted in the defeat at Everton on Sunday.
The 2010 World Cup winner has looked visibly annoyed due to the time he has spent on the bench. He does not seem to fit the bill that Unai Emery wants going forward, and the gaffer rather prefers to play the faster and more energetic Alex Iwobi instead. With the playmaker turning 31 in October, it is best to cash him out while his market value is still in the region of £30 million. The only hurdle is the mammoth £350k per week salary that Ozil gets, which will either warrant another club to match it or him taking a pay cut.