It’s a pretty decent time to be an Arsenal fan. Wenger managed to keep hold of Cesc Fabregas over the summer and despite injuries to key players, the Gunners are currently second in the Premiership League table. If Arsenal push on and keep developing (and work harder defensively), there’s a real feeling around the Emirates that this could be the season they finally get back into trophy-winning ways. One of the reasons behind Arsenal’s relatively good start to the season is a squad with decent strength in depth.
When I say this I do not mean that Arsène Wenger has plenty of experienced players that he can call on if needs be. Instead, as has been the way with Arsenal for the last half-decade or so, if a space opens up on the team, you can always count on there being a talented youngster to fill the gap. In fact, Arsenal have so many options that I’m beginning to wonder if now would be the right time to start considering who is a genuine prospect and who might find it beneficial to seek game time elsewhere.
It’s important to ensure that the experienced players get the game time they merit whilst also developing some of the younger players and ensuring they get a chance to prove their worth. One area of particular concern is the centre of the Gunner’s midfield which is congested with talent. Consider this: Fabregas, Song, Denilson, Diaby, Wilshere, Rosicky, Nasri, Eastmond, Ramsey and Lansbury are all vying for a centre midfield place in Arsenal’s squad. It’s clear that these players aren’t all going to make it at Arsenal.
It’s true that Fabregas may only be with the Gunners for another season or two. Yet it seems to me that the only players that Arsenal must make absolutely certain to keep hold of are Song, Nasri, Wilshere and Ramsey. Nasri and Song are already two of Arsenal’s key performers and Wilshere and Ramsey represent the future of the club and the antidote to a Cesc free future.
Of course, we’ve seen a number of these players grow and mature at Arsenal and some people may be upset by my suggestion that Arsenal move them on. But, have Denilson and Diaby really made the grade at Arsenal? They certainly have yet to add consistency to their repertoire. As for the younger players – surely it’s time for the likes of Eastmond and Lansbury to start seeking loan moves. The more chance for actual football they get the better it is for the player. Although it’s exciting for a club to have all these talented young players on their books, what’s important is that these players are given the chance for as much game time as possible.
If that necessitates some of these players moving on, as I believe it does, then so be it.