Today marks the end of preseason as we finished it with an away game at Barcelona. I really feel the result didn't reflect the good performance the team put out. On another note, It has reminded me of who I want and don't want at this club. First, let's start with all the players I want to stay. NOTE: some players are left out as they are obviously good enough (i.e. Bernd Leno) and others have been injured/haven't featured (i.e. Holding).
1 . Emi Martinez - He looked solid all of preseason and deserves a chance after a great performances for Reading on loan last season. Also, considering the fact that using whatever's left of our budget on a second choice goalkeeper is a waste, this would be a no-brainer. Who knows, maybe he'll take leno's spot? (Kidding)
2 . Bernd Leno - No need for an explanation.
3 . Matt Macey - We need a third choice keeper anyway.
4 . Nacho Monreal - This may be a controversial one but he looks to be a decent second choice in my opinion. He could deputise the easy games in the Europa and cup games where his fitness and age won't be exposed as much. He is good going both ways and his experience is invaluable for many of the youngsters.
5 . Calum Chambers - This was my favorite player to watch in preseason. He looks so much more mature and composed than before. He has been consistent throughout and the fact that Emery has started him for almost all the preseason games is testament to this. He should be a squad player at the very least. Of course I know he is not the defender we need but he hasn't made any calamitous errors in preseason.
6 . Sokratis - He is our senior center back that has been very reliable during his time here. It would be foolish to let go of him with so few consistent defenders at the club. He looks a real leader in that dressing room, too.
7 . Jo Willock - He is probably the most exciting youngster to come out of the academy, as his assured performances against great opposition has been very appealing. Of course, if he gets minutes elsewhere that would be good but he is looking too good to not have this season. Looks very versatile, good in a 10, 8, or a 6.
8 . Reiss Nelson - He came back from a fairly good loan move in Germany and he has looked promising throughout. Some league minutes and all the games in the Europa and the cup competitions should be enough for his development. Couple this with the fact that Mkhitaryan is 31 next year and you have a clear path to the first team.
9 . Gabriel Martinelli - Another youngster that looked dangerous in preseason. This is my hot take on him: HE IS ALREADY BETTER THAN IWOBI AND MKHITARYAN. Yes, I know they are not natural wingers, but martinelli can play in all attacking positions. The one little weakness in his game is finishing. I don't know if he was nervous in the first few games but since he is a winger, I wouldn't be too worried. Very excited with his potential.
10 . Bukayo Saka - If we get rid of Mkhi then he will certainly have more opportunities to impress. On this occasion he delivered some great crosses for our forwards and although looked intimidated by the Barca players, he did well enough in his cameo. He did more in
11 . Dinos Mavropanos - It looks increasingly likely that we will only get one center back in, if any, before the window shuts, so he will have to step up to the plate for now. If he can stay fit, I have no doubt he will be back to his best. He looked so imposing and composed on his debut, I find it hard to believe it was a fluke. It's too early to judge him now.
12 . Sead Kolasinac - He's a defensive liability at times but he has been very fit ever since he joined something that I think is a weakness of Monreal and Tierney (if he joins). I would only keep if we do not bring in a left back (preferably not Tierney). If we do then "Adios" to Sead.
13 . Granit Xhaka - Unfortunately there are no adequate replacements in the market in the first place. On top of that, there are more pressing issues to pursue so he will have to stay put.
14 . Matteo Guendouzi - Had a great debut season. Can be naive at times but is very promising nevertheless. Plus, with the competition of Willock and Ceballos maybe he'll reach another level. I have plenty of patience for him.
15 . Lucas Torreira - We don't have other players that can do what he does, at the level in which he does it. Fantastic player, whom if handled properly, could be on his way to the massive clubs like Real Madrid in a few years.
16 . Ainsley Maitland- Niles - He is still too good to let go and is NOT a defender. Would love to see him in the middle as his composure and technical ability can really shine. What infuriates me is that he will probably leave and become good in his natural position, just like Ox.
17 . P-E Aubameyang - No explanation needed. Top scorer last season and works perfectly in Emery's system.
18 . Alex Lacazette - No need to explain again. Player of the Season for Arsenal last season as well.
19. Mesut Ozil - If it was possible to let him go, I would not fuss too much, BUT he just brings something different to this team that I think is different from our other creative options. He has looked fresh and determined in preseason, so why not? He certainly is a popular figure in the dressing room. We know Emery loves being tactically flexible and pragmatic, so there are bound to be a lot of games that Ozil would be effective in, especially against teams that sit back and absorb.
PLAYERS WE SHOULD SELL
20 . Henrikh Mkhitaryan - Looked uninspiring and wasteful in preseason. He always tries, but at 30, I don't really have much more patience with him. He is also on big wages so that doesn't help. We need to give impetus for the young wingers coming through to work hard to get in the first team. He was barely average last season. With the addition of Ceballos, Martinelli, and the coming-of-age of Willock, we need to sell ASAP.
21 . Shkodran Mustafi - DO I NEED TO EXPLAIN THIS?? He looks very low in confidence as well. God knows how bad we will finish if he is still here. I am not having this "it was also chambers's fault" thing for the Suarez goal. Chambers is not THAT fast, he isn't supposed to protect Mustafi from his mistakes ALL THE TIME.
22 . Laurent Koscielny - He made up his mind and there's no going back. At 33, I don't know why we should even consider relying on him in the first place. Injury-prone and a disgraceful turn of events.
23 . Sead Kolasinac*** - ***IF we get a LB in before the end of the summer then GET RID.***
24 . Zech Medley (LOAN) - He is too far in his development to play him in cup competitions. He needs to play week in, week out. But, he is not the defender we need to rely on this season. I couldn't fathom him carrying such a burden at his age. Imagine if he was slated as well? Shouldn't happen.
25 . Emile Smith-Rowe (LOAN) - See above. I would love to see him return to RB Leipzig. He would thrive under the best young manager in world football. Plenty of opportunities and a strong enough team for his exploits to be in the limelight.
26 . Carl Jenkinson - Another bang average player on big wages. I'd rather see maitland-niles make mistakes then see this uninspiring fullback out on the pitch. Average defensively, and offers next to nothing offensively.
27 . Alex Iwobi (LOAN) - I am one of the few fans that hasn't completely given up on him. If he really is an 8 or 10 then loan him out. If he fails there, sell immediately. Otherwise, we have plenty of 8's and 10's in the team. BUT, I also wouldn't fuss if he was sold anyway. He had a great AFCON so I'm confident we can get good money for him. Around 30-45 million in my opinion.
28 . James Olayinka (LOAN) - Almost forgot about this guy but he's not ready yet for me. As with the others, he needs to play consistently so a loan would do a world of good.
29 . Tyreece John-Jules (LOAN) - Fresh of signing a new contract, he should go the Nelson way. A loan would be essential in my opinion for him to prove himself. After a couple seasons, Aubameyang will probably leave/regress and Lacazette wouldn't be far away, either.
30 . Eddie Nketiah (LOAN) - Same reasoning as above. Particularly needs this more as he is a little farther along in his development. Leipzig would be perfect as Werner has one year left on his contracts and is NOT renewing. I suspect Leipzig do not want to play him if they can help it due to his disrespectful behavior or openly pushing for a move.
We should be focusing on incoming transfers as we can still transfer out players until September 2nd (outside of England of course). Looking forward to seeing other opinions in the comments! How accurate is this list?