After an abysmal season so far, Arsenal look set for a busy summer window. We take a look at some players who could likely leave the club.
It’s been a season to forget for Arsenal and their fans alike. A promising end to last season left hopes that the Gunners were on the right path back to glory. Fast forward to the present and it seems like they have taken two steps backward.
The North London side have hit a new low as they look set to miss out on European football, barring a miraculous scenario that would see results go their way. You would have to go back to the 1994/95 season to find a time where Arsenal found themselves in this sort of position at this stage of the Premier League season. For emphasis, the Gunners are only two points ahead of newly-promoted Leeds in 10th place.
The Gunners saw themselves with a second chance but messed up once again, losing to former manager Unai Emery. Regardless of all, reports say the Kroenke family continue to back Mikel Arteta and would back him with the necessary funds for a busy summer. However, given the model of the club, it is likely that a number of players would have to go to free up some cash in the first instance. According to a report, a number of players have flirted around the idea of leaving the club.
The Athletic list goalkeeper Bernd Leno, defenders David Luiz, and Hector Bellerin, as well as Granit Xhaka and Willian as the quintet of players who want to move on.
He is out of contract in the summer so his departure might be straightforward and it’d wage to be freed up as well. The Gunners have no reason to keep him at the club, especially with the possibility of William Saliba returning from his loan deal. At 34, Luiz is way past his best years and Arsenal should be parting ways with the Brazilian if they indeed have plans for a proper overhaul.
Bellerin has been out of favour in 2021 and looks increasingly likely to be leaving the Gunners after a 10-year association with the club. The right-back has been linked with the likes of Barcelona and PSG in recent months and could come as the most valuable player Arsenal can sell to raise funds for their own summer spending spree.
Xhaka has been a regular in the Arsenal midfield since arriving from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016.
However, he has been unable to lead the Gunners to Champions League qualification in any of his five seasons at the club.
Xhaka wanted to leave in January 2020 after a public falling out with Arsenal supporters earlier that season.
However, Arteta convinced the Switzerland international to stay. Reports have recently claimed that the Swiss international could fancy a return to his former side, Borussia Monchengladbach. Arsenal are also linked with a move for Denis Zakaria, who happens to play for the Bundesliga side as well. Perhaps a swap deal might come in handy.
Not much was expected of Willian in Arsenal colors but it’s safe to say he has underperformed. He is the player who may be the hardest to shift out of the club is Willian.
Willian finally scored his first goal for Arsenal at the weekend at the 37th time of asking. Overall, his free transfer from Chelsea has been nothing short of a disaster. The ex-Chelsea man still has two years remaining on his Arsenal contract and turns 33 in August.
Arsenal would likely have to accept a nominal fee for the winger in order to get his large wages off the books.
Leno has made a number of high-profile errors this season and has been dropped for a couple of recent Premier League matches.
He recently said he would potentially be open to a new adventure away from north London and that has not gone well with some of the club’s supporters.
Overall, he has been fairly decent for the club but has also made major errors that have proven costly far too many times. In response to the recent backlash, Leno has come out to say he is still happy at Arsenal but we’ve seen that scenario play out far too many times.
He should still command a fair amount in the transfer market, and the Gunners might just choose to make Mat Ryan their first choice should they go on to sell the German.