As the season draws to a close another transfer window awaits. The main discussion between fans and pundits is who Arsenal should target in order to mount a serious title challenge next season. However, who should be guided through the exit door during the summer?
The term deadwood is commonly applied to certain individuals – such as Mikel Arteta.
The Spanish veteran has only played 172 minutes domestically this season and he has significantly fallen down the pecking order of late due to persistent injuries and the revelation of certain players such as Francis Coquelin. Arteta recently turned 34 and his pace is beginning to dwindle along with his age – he now lacks the physical qualities to perform at the top level and is generally not as effective on the ball as competing midfielders. The Arsenal captain will most likely be released at the end of the season.
Unsurprisingly, Mathieu Flamini looks set to leave the club for the second time.
The Frenchman tends to be the subject of heavy criticism at numerous stages this season – for instance his performance against Barcelona in the first leg where he gave away a penalty after only being on the pitch for a matter of seconds.
His actions tend to be erratic at times, and his position awareness can be scrutinised. Flamini is in the final year of his contract and even though he has completed 1094 minutes for Arsenal this season, it is highly unlikely that his stay will be prolonged.
Another veteran midfielder that possibly could be departing the club is Tomas Rosicky.
The Czech Republic international is the second longest serving player after Theo Walcott at Arsenal, however, the fan favourite has not played a single domestic minute this season due to be being blighted by injuries. When fit, the 35 year old can still compete through his energetic performances and link up play, but his presence is a rarity of late due to fitness concerns and the chances of his departure are relatively high.
A controversial topic could be the possibility of Theo Walcott leaving the club – the chances are slim nonetheless.
Theo is highly rated by Arsene Wenger, however the England international has had a poor season and has fallen down the pecking order on the wings and at striker.
The 27 year old has scored 5 times and assisted twice in 23 games this year and has been the subject of heavy criticism from fans several times. At 27 years old, there is a massive issue when you do not know what your best position is, as Walcott has dwindled between the wings and upfront for the past few years and has never consolidated a single position. His dribbling this year has been sub-standard and his finishing depicts a lack of confidence. Although his departure would be welcomed by many it is highly unlikely.
The transfer list could contain a host of midfielders – possibly why Arsenal are linked with the likes of Granit Xhaka.
It is essential that Arsenal release injury prone veterans as their place in the squad is not proving beneficial. Who would you sell/ release when the summer comes?