midfield and attack

Arsenal Who Stays and Who Goes - Midfield and Forwards

Hello and welcome back to Part 2 of Who goes and who stays, we wont waste any time and will dive straight into it.

Midfield

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Sell – Henrikh Mkhitaryan at 31 years old we should be looking to shift Mkhitaryan as he's on roughly £140k a week if Mkhitaryan was to stay for another year it would automatically trigger an option within his contract which would double his wages to £240k a week. Anyone in world football can tell you he would not deserve that kind of wage. Currently, on loan at AS Roma, they have signalled their intention of keeping Mkhitaryan. Rumors coming out of Italy are the arsenal are looking to swap Mkhitaryan for Justin Kluivert and whilst I can't see where he would fit into the team considering who we already have at the club, I would still take him as he would be on a fraction of Mkhitaryan wage. The big thing for me is to get rid of Mkhitaryan’s wages. If it comes to it just take 10 million euros.

Arsenal news: Henrikh Mkhitaryan lands Gunners dig as he drops ...

Mohammed Elneny – Sell -  Currently on loan at Besiktas, Mohammed Elneny has made 20 appearances providing 2 assists picking up 7 yellow cards and 1 red in the process, I think Elneny has found his level of football. I see no future for Mohammed Elneny at Arsenal. There has been some rumoured interest in Elneny within England, if that is the case I think we could potentially get around 10 to 15m.

Besikas want to re-sign Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny on loan ...

Dani Ceballos – End of Loan – Dani Ceballos joined Arsenal within the summer window. Having made 15 appearances, Dani has provided 2 assists. Dani is a player that likes to play on a half-turn with this in mind Dani has been used between the attacking midfield role and the centre mid role and often deployed next to Granit Xkaha. I don’t think Arsenal has seen much from Dani Ceballos to warrant a 40 million Euro outlay considering you could get a lot better for that kind of money. Whilst Dani has been a useful member of the squad, I don’t believe he fits the profile of player that Mikel Arteta is looking to have at the club moving into next season.

Mesut Ozil – Sell  -  The Enigma that is Mesut Ozil, I absolutely love the player some will say his time at Arsenal hasn’t been good enough others will argue the opposite.    I’m of the belief that the systems and personal haven’t been good enough to get enough out of the get the best out of Mesut Ozil. Possibly one of the biggest transfer coups we’ve seen at Arsenal. The German always has divided opinion in the press and amongst fans and pundits alike. We have seen falling outs with managers, managers dropping Mesut, it appears Mesut’s time may be coming to an end with his inclusion within the starting eleven on a downward trend, I think in the summer transfer window would be best for all parties to cut ties with each other and move on for the clubs' point of view it would save a considerable about of money per week in wages.

Mesut Ozil returns to Arsenal squad against Brighton but named on ...

Lucas Torriera – Sell – Lucas Torriea is Arsenal’s only true defensive midfielder, Lucas season this season has been disrupted by an inept managerial decision by Unai emery which nearly saw Lucas depart in the January window, Unfortunately, he is currently coming back from injury so isn’t ready for the start of Project Restart. There have been rumours coming from Italy in every window that Lucas isn’t happy in England but there are false he's very settled here. So why have I opted to sell? As a squad player, I believe Lucas could do a very good job when needed but within the premier league, I feel he gets bullied off the ball far too often and isn’t the type of profile we are looking at moving forward.

Mikel Arteta explains his plan to get the best out of Lucas ...

Ainsley Maitland Niles – Sell -  A player that has rarely been deployed as a CM or midfield in any capacity for his senior Arsenal career AMN is a weird one as when he was deployed at RB or RWB a lot of Arsenal fans were of the opinion that we have a real steady understudy to Hector Bellerin. AMN then comes out publicly stating he isn’t a right back and doesn’t see his future there and reading through the line refused to play there in the future. With the current midfield, AMN will be able to get minutes in Centre Mid but for me, he is too lazy and hasn’t got the spatial awareness to be successful at Arsenal. Sadly we would need to get rid of AMN if the youth product doesn’t realise his potential at RB.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles' crossroads and what Arsenal's next ...

Matteo Guendozi  - Loan -  Matteo Guendouzi is a player I really cannot get behind. He charges around like a headless chicken, he needs to simplify his game. Guendouzi is a player that has a passion for playing for Arsenal but so often his lazy tracking back or laps of concertation are costly and quite frankly I for one don’t think he should be trusted into the middle of midfield but he should go on loan and learn some tactical discipline but then it comes back to arsenals current midfield not being good enough.

Granit Xhaka – Sell –  Since Arteta has taken the helm Granit Xhaka has been arsenals most important CM when Saka was at LB Granit would cover the space often being a quarterback from that position, with the added space he would be able to dictate play with long balls and long switches into the channel. Do I believe Granit has a future at the North London club…? No. Why? I think Arteta wants to completely overhaul the Midfield and will do so over the weekend. If Granit accepts he’ll be a squad player only then I don’t believe he will be here past the summer window.

Granit Xhaka reveals how Mikel Arteta turned his Arsenal career ...

Joe Willock – Keep -  Joe is a Midfielder that has the raw ingredients to make it at Arsenal Football Club. The youth product will be a very fine central midfielder. Arsenal Midfield has arguably been one the weakest area’s this season offering very little in terms of goals or assists to the forward players.  Joe was primarily used by Unai Emery as a number 10. I feel that Joe’s best and most naturally suited position is the number 8 role. One where he has an enormous engine to get up and down the pitch, Joe is very adept at shooting outside of the box and that’s something we have missed in recent years. One area I feel Joe would need to improve on is his decision making as there have been too many times where he has broken from midfield and could release an early pass into our forward line but decides to keep hold of it. That will come in time and I fully trust Mikel to iron out the flaws in joes game. One for the future.

Bukayo Saka – Keep – Bukayo Saka, has filled in and really excelled at Arsenal within the left-back role due to injury, As I mentioned earlier when  Saka leaves the left-back area he usually pushes into the left-wing where he is most comfortable in his natural role. Saka is currently looking at extending his contract before COVID and I firmly believe he will extend at Arsenal with the club it's just the club are looking to do so at the most opportune moment.

Forwards

Reiss Nelson – Keep – Arteta absolutely loves Reiss Nelson and it has shown but the amount of faith he has put in him sometimes comes on instead of the 72million pound player in Pepe. Racking up 13 appearances within the league, Reiss as a fantastic 1v1 where he can eliminate a player in a moment if given him the opportunity. Arteta has had glowing recommendations from 2 or Manchester City’s fleet-footed wingers in Sane and Sterling. If Arteta could get Reiss up to that kind of level then Arsenal would be laughing and it looks like he is on the right track to be doing so. It will certainly be worth giving Reiss the time to develop.

Alexandre Lacazette – Sell – Lacazette is going to be a casualty of the summer overhaul. With 22 appearances and 7 goals with 3 assists in the league for someone who is supposed to be leading the line for me that is not the calibre of striker, we need to be leading the line when in comparison his good friend and current captain is outperforming him in every single area of the game. People will be quick to point out that Laca will come deep to help the team out defensively. Whilst I can appreciate the workload he puts in but when he comes deep he restricts the space that Ozil needs to operate and also uses up so much energy and isn’t able to rejoin the attack when we break often leaving nobody in the middle of the attack.

Alexandre Lacazette

Pierre-Emerick  Aubameyang – Keep – it is an absolute must the Aubameyang has to stay. Currently amassing 34 appearances this season often playing in the LW position, Auba has managed to get an impressive 20 goals across all competitions, providing 1 assist. Auba in my eyes should be playing down the middle of the team being that focus of the attack. As you can see Auba has nearly 3 times the goals that Laca has. Aubameyang should be the focus to build a team around him to his strengths  Yes at 31 some will say will he slow down? Will he be the same player? Absolutely in my opinion Auba is so sharp in and around the box and if you move him into the middle in future we will reap the rewards.

Gabriel Martinelli – Keep –  Burst on the scene when he made his move to Arsenal, and playing regularly under Unai Emery, his game time under Mikel Arteta has dropped off a cliff. It looks like Gabriel has been dropped down the pecking order depending on where he is to play, at left midfield you have Aubameyeng and Saka currently infront of you and up top you would have eddie and Laca to get passed so in terms of playing time Gabriel has a lot of work to do on the training pitch to get into the starting eleven.

I suspect over the last 8 remaining games Gabriel will be playing some part within the first team.

Nicolas Pepe – Keep -  Pepe at 72 million from Lille has come with a huge price tag. Across all competitions this season Pepe has appeared in 34 games  with 8 goals and 8 assists. I would suggest keeping Pepe as he has been a bright spark in the night considering that he has had to play under 3 managers in a currently failing arsenal team. Once Mikel has him under a full pre season I can see Pepe really kicking off and being a star for next season.

Eddie Nketiah – Keep – Eddie again is a keep, Eddie appears to have forced himself as the number 1 Striker at arsenal at the moment ousting Lacazette as he has had a very poor season to date. Eddie again is one with the ingrediance to make it at Arsenal. I firmly believe Eddie will come good but this will have to be as a back up choice as personally I don’t feel hes ready for a full season of in the first team. I feel Eddie would be good to wait and bid his time and he would be able to then learn a lot from Mikel and his coaching staff.

Folarin Balogun – Loan –  Balogun is a weird one at the moment with reports his contract is running down and ending soon, Balogun is one off the most gifted and clinical strikers that’s  came through the youth team set up. He has a massive up hill task to undergo getting up the pecking order. I hope Balogun signs a new deal and then I could possibly see him going out on loan.

Check out my previous post that takes a closer look on Keepers and Defenders, check Arsenal official site for the latest Arsenal news, or check out our Saved by the Bellerin Podcast and Youtube videos

Let me know what you think about Arsenal players and who should stay and who should go.

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