First-team trio facing Arsenal axe as Wenger gets ruthless

Arsenal are seriously considering allowing Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini to all leave the club once their contracts expire at the end of the season, according to reports from the London Evening Standard.

No final decision has been made, but manager Arsene Wenger is thought to be edging towards axing the trio next summer in a bid to freshen up his Gunners squad.

All three players will be out of contract at the end of the 2015/16 campaign, and reports claim that, as things stand, each could be on the lookout for a new side.

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Perhaps the most surprising name on the list is club captain Arteta, but the Spaniard’s role in the Arsenal midfield is under serious doubt with Santi Cazorla having shone since being moved into a deeper position.

The ex-Everton ace will also be 34 by the time his deal expires, and despite Wenger being appreciative of his influence in the dressing room his powers are undoubtedly waning.

Flamini is also on the exit list, with the Frenchman’s ability to perform at the highest level now under question.

The Frenchman has dipped in and out of the first-team this term, and his alarming showing in the League Cup exit at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday has led to a feeling behind the scenes that his presence is hindering youngsters attempting to break through.

Rosicky, 35, is the last name in the frame, and given his injury record – he is currently not expected to be available until after Christmas – there’s little surprise that his future is in doubt.

The Czech playmaker almost left the club over the summer before a clause in his contract was activated for him to stay another 12 months, however, he’s not longer a key player and is thought to be considering a return to Sparta Prague.

Wenger will have the final say on all counts, and his decision may be influenced by the availability of replacements next summer.