After a disappointing season, Martin Keown has urged Mikel Arteta to make some big changes in his Arsenal line-up.
Martin Keown reckons Arsenal need around a ‘minimum of five changes’ to their starting XI next season.
The former Gunners defender has even suggested goalkeeper Bernd Leno, full-back Hector Bellerin, and central defender David Luiz could all leave the club soon.
According to reports, the latter of the three above-mentioned players will leave. Luiz apparently met with the Arsenal board last week and agreed to depart once his contract expires in June.
Leno and Bellerin’s futures, meanwhile, have also come under doubt. While Willian, who joined the club last summer on a three-year deal, is reportedly expected to leave.
The Guardian say Hector Bellerin has communicated to #Arsenal he has no appetite to negotiate an contract extension. Bend Leno will be a free agent in 2 years & has not indicated that he is of a mind to discuss fresh terms. Granit Xhaka is thought to be in a similar situation. pic.twitter.com/w5QqBtLLQq
— Gurjit (@GurjitAFC) May 11, 2021
“Well, it’s a time for change in terms of the players, personnel,” Keown told talkSPORT.
“One to 11, if you go right through the team, Leno’s not signing a new deal by all accounts, Bellerin at right-back is not holding that position down, the two central defenders, you’d say there is uncertainty over who is going to play there.
“[Kieran] Tierney the left-back is probably the only one who is a shoo-in as a defender.”
Keown continued: “You run right through the team and it’s the young kids really that are the backbone of the team.
“[Bukayo] Saka, [Emile] Smith Rowe have been outstanding this season.
“I think a minimum of maybe five changes. I think the front players are still good – I’d keep [Alexandre] Lacazette. I like him actually in the club.
“[Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang’s had his problems this season, [Gabriel] Martinelli needs to be used more, maybe on the wing perhaps.
“Then you’ve got Saka to play, Smith Rowe, make sure they build those careers.
“But they need a base in midfield, [Thomas] Partey needs a partner alongside him, they need to spend there.
“Gabriel has been disappointing as a central defender, David Luiz is about to leave. So there is huge surgery to be made by the manager.”