Against all odds, life under first-time manager Mikel Arteta has been relatively smooth sailing. Only Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United have picked up more league points (24) than the Gunners since January 1st. Suddenly, the players Gary Neville deemed as ‘uncoachable’ are putting up a fight and battling for a spot in Europe. Arteta has shown the board that his non-negotiables are having the desired effect and with the right squad, he could achieve great things. He must be given the full trust to mould this squad in whatever way he sees fit, that includes deciding on arrivals and departures.
Here are 3 players Arsenal must sell in the summer.
The 32-year-old is out of contract next summer and the club would be wise to move him on now rather than let him leave on a free. With William Saliba vying for a spot next season and the club looking to secure a deal for Dayot Upamecano, there will soon be no room for Sokratis Papastathopoulos at the Emirates.
#2 Mesut Ozil
As the most marketable player in London, there is certainly a financial upside to keeping the German at Arsenal. However, things have become so untenable between him and the club that an amicable agreement must be made in the summer. Since the return of football, the 31-year-old has not played a single minute for Arteta, only making the matchday squad on two occasions.
In fact, this season, the world cup winner has made just 18 league appearances, providing only 2 assists. His importance to the team has diminished exponentially and his reputation is tanking. Rather than repeating the Ozil saga for another season, it’s in everyone’s best interest that this negative press is eradicated by agreeing on a sale for the German. At this stage in his career, only a move to Turkey or USA would be viable.
#1 Matteo Guendouzi
From Ligue 2 to the bright lights of the Premier League. The beginning of Matteo Guendouzi’s rise to fame has been far from normal and it looks like his exit won’t be dissimilar. Since his unacceptable display of misconduct in the 2-1 defeat to Brighton, Matteo Guendouzi has been made to train by himself, being completely frozen out by the manager.
Now reports suggest that the club would be willing to sanction the Frenchman’s exit and are considering every avenue. Although talented and passionate on the pitch, things haven’t worked out for the 21-year-old under Arteta as it has for others.
Rumours of the midfielder being immature behind the scenes have come to light and Arteta has deemed his talent not enough to overlook those misdemeanours. If the sale of Guendouzi can generate anything in the region of £40m, it’s a win-win for all parties involved.