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It’s time for Arsenal to say goodbye to these 5 players

At the moment, Arsenal has 36 senior players on the first team roster, excluding Martinez and Asano who are out on loan. For comparison Manchester City has 27, Chelsea has 25, and Manchester United has 28. While Arsenal have a recent history of injury issues, and a number of the first team players have been promoted from the Under 23s, the club is carrying too much weight. Before this transfer window closes Arsenal should move at least five players, freeing up both resources to address team needs during the January transfer window and opportunities for youth prospects. It’s what’s best for these players as well, who will be on the bench at best most of the year or sitting in the stands. 1) Lucas PerezLet’s start up top. The Gunners currently have nine forwards on the roster. Even with the possibility that Sanchez could still leave this month or in January, someone isn’t getting time. Premier League, Europe League and two Cup competitions won’t even offer enough matches for Lucas to get the nod over most of his competition – Lacazette, Giroud, Walcott, Welbeck, Iwobi, and of course Sanchez. Yes, Lucas was never really given much of a chance to shine in the squad with only 11 appearances, but this purchase was questionable in the first place. At 28 he needs to be playing each week, or at least seen as the first striker off the bench. He won’t get that at Arsenal this year, nor any in the future. It’s understandable why he wanted to make the move to the Premier League, but Perez is just too far done the depth chart, and with just one goal to his name, the climb back up is near impossible. 2) Mathieu DebuchyAnother purchase looking to add experience to the squad, this time the Premier League of his resume, but ultimately a failed move. Partially due to injuries and the rise of Hector Bellerin, Debuchy’s time as Arsenal’s new right back was cut short and looks dead in the water. To date he has only appeared 13 times, and has seen his transfer value drop from $13 million to around $4 since his purchase in 2014. In Wenger’s new system there is room for an extra defender, but Mathieu doesn’t look to be the man to reemerge into it. If he wants playing time, at 32, he has one last contract left most likely. While for Arsenal, his spot and the handful of chances he may get this year should go towards ensuring the younger first team players are consistently involved (Holding, Chambers, Bellerin, Gibbs, etc.) and occasionally calling up a stand out defender from the U23s to sit on the bench for early Cup ties. 3) Carl JenkinsonAgain look at those defenders mentioned above. Now add in Koscielny, Monreal, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Mertesacker (Note: Gabriel was sold to Valencia on Friday). Jenkinson is 10th in line at best. Consider that Ox will play a wing-back role at times and the fact that Jenkinson wasn’t blowing people away while on loan at West Ham, will the club ever need him again? Arsenal seems to hang on to ‘their’ players for as long as possible, which I can appreciate at times. The player may love being at the Emirates, the chance to make it into the first team eventually, and has become part of the family there. But unless Wenger thinks Carl is going to pick up form to become a first team player again, which I personally doubt (at Arsenal at least), then it is time to sell before the window closes. He has the chance to be a starter at a number of EPL clubs, he and the club need to see that is what is best for him now – not another loan. 4) Joel CampbellSpeaking of loans, no current player on the Arsenal roster has been with the club and played so few matches at Campbell. Since signing in 2011, he has been out on loan with Lorient, Real Betis, Olympiacos, Villareal, and Sporting CP. Making on 23 appearances with the Gunners over the past six years. And surprisingly he is still on 25! Personally I like Joel Campbell. He has a great work rate, and has been a part of the recent rise in form for the Costa Rican national team, including scoring at the 2014 World Cup. But given the addition of Lacazette, the potential of Akpom and knowing Arsenal will continue to add attackers in the future, Campbell needs to push for a permanent move. With his experience and skill, he could play for a number of clubs in England, or anywhere throughout Europe. A continuous series of loans isn’t helping his career. Perhaps a smart move would be a transfer to MLS, where he would be a Designated Player at most clubs, likely earning more money, playing each week and closer to home. 5) GoalkeeperHere is the tricky one. Arsenal need a new goalkeeper. I’m not suggesting Cech is replaced, but the Gunners #1 will most likely retire at the end of next season when his contract runs out (37 at that point). Ospina (28) has been hit and miss throughout his career at Arsenal, but having a few standout performances last season when Cech was rested. But does Arsenal believe he is their keeper of the future? No. He is a quality #2, if the club can keep him content in that role – focused on Cup competitions. Then we have Emiliano Martinez, 24 and on loan at Getafe this year. Having only made 6 appearances since joining the club in 2012, the signs indicate that he is filling a roster spot rather than challenging to be a starter now, or when Cech retires. The Gunners would be better off to sell one, or both, at the end of season and make a move for a younger keeper, giving him one year to learn under Cech. Freeing up cash to go after a player such as Fraser Forster or Jack Butland, makes more sense than heading into Petr’s last season with Ospina and Martinez as question marks.The current two-deep lineup for Arsenal is not a finished product and the club needs to start offloading players to make room for the future. There are easily three or four other players you can make the case for simply based on their injury record or age. Whether it be January or next summer, Arsenal need to look ahead at for a new goalkeeper and center back.