Stay or Go? Deciding Which Players Arsenal Should Keep & Offload This Summer

Arsenal have had an underwhelming season
Arsenal have had an underwhelming season | Julian Finney/Getty Images

Arsenal have had their least successful league campaign for over 30 years. Finishing eighth, everyone involved with the club will be disappointed with the campaign just gone.

They did win the FA Cup and qualified for the Europa League through it though, so every cloud etc.

Mikel Arteta returned to the club as manager in January, and since then there has been a steady improvement. He and the board are said to be locked in discussions over the size of Arsenal’s transfer kitty this summer, but both parties will know a big overhaul is needed.

Here’s an in-depth look at who the casualties of Arsenal’s summer transfer business may be…

Leno had a fantastic season for ArsenalLeno had a fantastic season for Arsenal
Leno had a fantastic season for Arsenal | Pool/Getty Images

Bernd Leno (STAY) – The German is one of very few Arsenal players who can honestly say they’ve had a good season. His year ended prematurely with a knee injury but he should be fit for the start of next season.

Emiliano Martinez (STAY) – Martinez has performed heroics at Arsenal since Leno’s injury. He makes up part two of the best goalkeeping duo in the league.

Matt Macey (GO) – At 25, Macey shouldn’t be loaned out anymore. He deserves a chance to play regular football and that won’t be at Arsenal.

Dejan Iliev (GO) – The Macedonian has been on loan in Poland and hasn’t really blown anyone away. Arsenal should sell him.

David Luiz has had a typical David Luiz yearDavid Luiz has had a typical David Luiz year
David Luiz has had a typical David Luiz year | Pool/Getty Images

David Luiz (STAY) – As much as Arsenal fans may not want him at the Emirates, Luiz is a great dressing room presence and has signed a new deal. He will be part of Arteta’s squad next season.

Shkodran Mustafi (GO) – The German has been surprisingly good since Arteta joined, but he is too inconsistent to rely on and Arsenal may be able to sell him for a decent fee. A new centre back ought to be a priority.

William Saliba (STAY) – Arsenal will be over the moon that the young Frenchman’s loan deal is over, and he will come in as the Gunners’ top centre back next season.

Calum Chambers (STAY) – Chambers looked really good before his knee injury earlier on this season, and he could still do a job for Arsenal.

Rob Holding (GO) – He’s liked by Arsenal fans, but Holding has really struggled since returning from his injury. The Gunners may be able to sell him for good money.

Sokratis (GO) – The former Dortmund man is simply not good enough on the ball for Arteta’s style of play, and at 32 years old he should be sold.

Pablo Mari (STAY) – The Spaniard made his loan move permanent in July. Currently injured, he’ll return to the squad as a competent back-up.

Tierney looks to be a wonderful signingTierney looks to be a wonderful signing
Tierney looks to be a wonderful signing | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Kieran Tierney (STAY) – The Scot looks like an astute piece of business by Arsenal and, provided he stays injury free, he will be a huge part of the club’s future.

Hector Bellerin (STAY) – He’s looked a shadow of the player he was before his knee injury last season, but he is still a competent full back to say the least.

Sead Kolasinac (GO) – Kolasinac is simply not good enough, with his error against Tottenham a perfect example of why Arsenal must sell him.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles (GO) – He wants to be a midfielder but he won’t be one for Arsenal. For that reason he wants to leave and Arsenal could sell him to fund their rebuild.

Cedric Soares (STAY) – He’s not good enough, but he’s only just joined so he won’t leave.

Granit XhakaGranit Xhaka
Xhaka has been brilliant under Arteta. | Pool/Getty Images

Granit Xhaka (STAY) – Xhaka’s Arsenal career looked over in December. But since Arteta arrived, the Switzerland international has become the most important player in the Gunners’ midfield. He looks like captain material again.

Lucas Torreira (GO) – After a wonderful start to his Arsenal career, it hasn’t worked out for Torreira. He doesn’t fit into Arteta’s system and he could be sold for a lot of money.

Matteo Guendouzi (GO) – The youngster’s Arsenal career is over, having fallen out with Arteta following a number of disciplinary issues, and will be sold, potentially for around £40m.

Joe Willock (STAY) – Willock is one of a number of exciting young Arsenal players. He’s looked very good at times but is still raw so can’t be relied on.

Mesut OzilMesut Ozil
Ozil’s Arsenal career has to be done. | Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

Mesut Özil (GO) – Özil has to go. He is on £350,000-a-week and his lack of football hangs over the club. Both parties need a clean break and the German must move on. That being said, who’s going to take him on?

Bukayo Saka (STAY) – Saka is the future of Arsenal and Arteta may build his side around the youngster after he signed a new contract.

Reiss Nelson (GO on loan) – A promising youngster, he has a strong chance of making it at Arsenal, but with a number of players ahead of him in the pecking order, a loan would be beneficial for Nelson.

Aubemeyang has been superb this season.Aubemeyang has been superb this season.
Aubemeyang has been superb this season. | Pool/Getty Images

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (STAY) – Aubameyang may be on his way out, but the noises coming out of Arsenal are quite positive and they’ll be hopeful of keeping their main man next season.

Alexandre Lacazette (STAY) – His career at Arsenal seemed to be over as recently as March, but after a strong run of form, Lacazette looks to be the kind of striker Arteta wants.

Nicolas Pepe (STAY) – He has had an up and down season but with a year in the Premier League under his belt, Pepe will be more suited to the division next season and could be vital to Arsenal’s hopes of returning to the Champions League.

Gabriel Martinelli (STAY) – The Brazilian has been a sensation this year. He has a serious injury now, but is set for a spectacular career after a wonderful first season in England.

Eddie Nketiah (STAY) – Nketiah has got a lot of football since Arteta joined. He came back from a loan at Leeds early and has looked really good. He could be very useful for Arsenal next year.

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