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The Arsenal Summer Clear-Out: Who Stays And Who Goes?

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - JANUARY 17: Olivier Giroud (R) of Arsenal reacts after failing to score with Theo Walcott during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal at Britannia Stadium on January 17, 2016 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

After a season that descended from a Premier League title challenge to the familiar scrap for the Champions League places, many Arsenal fans are desperate to see a massive shake-up this summer.

Though many would like to see Arsène Wenger leave the club after almost two decades, the chances of the manager departing before the expiry of his contract next year appear to be getting slimmer by the day.

Nonetheless, changes in playing staff and transfer policy are being demanded, with a number of the first team squad seen as either being past it or never good enough in the first place.

Although ridding the squad of the entire pile of deadwood is rarely achieved, several players will find themselves ushered out the exit door this season.

But on the whole, in an Arsenal clear-out, who deserves to keep their place, and who should be packing their bags?

3. Kieran Gibbs. Reportedly made available by Wenger this summer, Gibbs’ career has not quite taken off after early promise. Now 26, the England international has found himself demoted to second choice by Nacho Monreal, so may be better off leaving to resurrect his career elsewhere. Sell

4. Per Mertesacker. Arsenal have missed their vice captain at times this season, though the German’s lack of pace is still an issue. Defensive reinforcements are required, but there should be no great need to sell Mertesacker just yet. Keep

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Per Mertesacker and Kieran Gibbs of Arsenal run during a training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at London Colney on March 15, 2016 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

5. Gabriel Paulista. Signed for £11m in January 2015, Gabriel has at times looked shaky, even after appearing to oust Mertesacker as Laurent Koscielny’s partner in defence. Will not be sold this summer but needs to seriously up his game after a number of high-prfile errors. Keep

6. Laurent Koscielny. Arsenal’s best defender by some distance, the French international’s passing and awareness are why he is one of the first names on the team sheet. Unquestionably should remain at the Emirates. Keep

7. Tomáš Rosický. Contract expires in the summer, almost certain not to be renewed. Needs to be moved on to free up space for new arrivals. Release

8. Mikel Arteta. Exact same situation as Rosický. Release.

10. Jack Wilshere. As important a player as he may yet turn out to be, Wilshere’s injury problems and off-field behaviour should be seen as two major red flags. At the age of 24, he should know better – but his natura talent should (and will) buy him one more year to prove himself. Keep

11. Mesut Özil. The playmaker and heartbeat of the team. Not only should Özil be kept, the team shoud continue to be built around him. Keep

12. Olivier Giroud. He may have scored at the weekend, but that was his first goal since March, and his first in the league since January. A competent 7/10 striker but nothing more – good enough for 3rd/4th. Must be upgraded. Sell

13. David Ospina. The Olympiakos gaffe aside, Ospina has been dependable since arriving in summer 2014. May not like the idea of being a number two, but should only be allowed to leave if he requests it. Keep

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: David Ospina of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at Emirates Stadium on January 11, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

14. Theo Walcott. The England international is now 27 – the time for talking about his potential has now passed. This is Walcott, this is how good he can be. Nothing more. He’s already slipped below Alex Iwobi in the pecking order, but he would still go for big money. Sell

15, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. An Arsenal career that has been a series of fits and starts for the 22 year old. Still young enough to have a good career, but Arsenal may not be the right club for him, and vice versa, Sell

16. Aaron Ramsey. An enormously talented player, but his form has not been the best lately. Will not be sold -and nor should he be – but the form of a couple of years ago will have to be matched or bettered to avoid criticism. Keep

17. Alexis Sánchez. Along with Özil, the best player in that squad. Has not been able to replicate his form of last season, and there are rumours that he is becoming frustrated at the club, but is vital to Arsenal while he is there. Keep

18. Nacho Monreal. One of Arsenal’s most consistent and reliable players, will not let them down but will do nothing amazing either. Similar to the Ospina situation last year, no immediate need to upgrade, but if one should become available, it should be considered. Keep

19, Santi Cazorla. Has endured a five month injury layoff and will probably not feature again until next season. Cazorla remains an important player for the squad, however, and should be kept. Keep

20. Mathieu Flamini. As with Rosický and Arteta, his contract his set to expire and there has been no hint of a renewal. Release

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal applauds the crowd after the Barclays Premier League match between A.F.C. Bournemouth and Arsenal at the Vitality Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

21. Calum Chambers. Another who has had his fair share of injury problems, 21 year old Chambers is still young enough for it not to be an issue. Wenger is highly unlikely to give up on the £16m signing but will be looking for the youngster to kick on next season. Keep

23. Danny Welbeck. Has looked in brilliant form since returning from almost a year out with injury. He is making the £16m transfer fee look like a bargain, and is answering his critics in a big way. Keep

24. Héctor Bellerín. Dislodged Mathieu Debuchy as the side’s first choice right back last season and hasn’t looked back. Named in this season’s PFA Team of the Year, the future is very promising for the Spaniard for both club and country. Keep.

27. Serge Gnabry. Undoubtedly a player with potential. However, his attitude has been called into question a number of times, and a poor attitude can be detrimental to a player’s career. Spent the first half of the season on loan at West Brom (playing a total of 12 minutes in the league), Gnabry is at a crossroads in his Arsenal career. Another year on loan will make or break him. Send on loan

28. Joel Campbell. Has looked lively, and was in favour before the emergence of Alex Iwobi caused a midfield reshuffle. Wenger waited years for Campbell’s work permit issues to be resolved, but does not appear to know what to do with him now that he has him. Hard to see him staying unless Theo Walcott is definitely sold, and even that may not be enough. Sell

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Joel Campbell of Arsenal celebrates scoring during the Emirates Cup match between Arsenal and Benfica at the Emirates Stadium on August 2, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

33. Petr Čech. One of Arsenal’s outstanding players this year. Fixed a problem that had been setting them back for years (though Ospina was reasonably solid), Čech has been an absolute bargain at £10million. 33 now, but still has a few years left in the tank. Keep

34. Francis Coquelin. Coquelin had something of a breakout year for Arsenal last year, but has looked less assured this season. Has his limitations and is prone to losing discipline. While he should not be sold, his place as a regular starter is already under threat and that is hard to recover from. Keep

35. Mohamed Elneny. Winner of two club Player of the Month awards, what might have been if Wenger had signed the Egyptian international (or indeed, any outfield player) before January. Was a bright spark during the side’s poor run. Keep

45. Alex Iwobi. The team’s breakout star this season, Iwobi has brought his talents to the senior stage in the past few months, and has proven that he is quite at home there. Now a full international with Nigeria and having staked a claim for a permanent starting spot, Iwobi is the brightest young talent Arsenal have produced in years. Keep

Carl Jenkinson: Spent 18 months on loan at West Ham before returning due to injury, where he was hardly pulling up trees even before being ruled out. Jenkinson’s future at the club does not look promising, especially with the much better Bellerín blocking his path. Unlikely to ever be good enough at the highest level. Sell

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29:  Carl Jenkinson of Arsenal in action during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round match between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on October 29, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Mathieu Debuchy: On loan at Bordeaux currently, where he may end up staying permanently. Wherever he ends up, it certainly won’t be back with Arsenal. His injury-ravaged time at the Emirates is finished. Sell

Wojciech Szczęsny. Seems to constantly go back and forth about whether or not he’d like to stay at Roma or return to Arsenal. Would be better off staying in Italy. He was set to be the side’s third choice keeper before his loan move, and it’s hard to see how that status would change were he to come back. He certainly wouldn’t be dislodging Čech. Sell

Yaya Sanogo. A failed experiment. Has scored 5 goals since 2013. Currently on loan at Charlton, who have just been relegated to League One. Sell.

Chuba Akpom. Wenger assured the young striker that he will get more chances in the first team when he returns from his loan spell at Hull. Highly rated by the manager, the 20 year old will be given every opportunity to prove himself. Keep

Arsène Wenger: For more reasons than can be summarised in a couple of sentences, Wenger should probably go. There is definitey a sense that he is coming to the end of his time at the club, so in many respects, waiting until next year would only be drawing it out. May have taken the club as far as he can, though he will never admit it. Go

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.