Arsenal are having an indifferent season. What else is new? Though the Gunners recently wiped the floor with a resurgent Manchester United recently, their performances in the Champions League have left oh so much to be desired.
Manager Arsene Wenger was extensively criticised for his decision not to bring in a senior outfield player over the summer, the only boss in Europe’s top five leagues not to do so. The Frenchman spoke of value for money in the market, and to be fair, he had a point. Though Anthony Martial is doing his absolute best to prove him wrong.
Petr Cech arrived from growing ever bitter rivals Chelsea, and the Gunners still have a squad many would envy. The likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are top class, and Theo Walcott is proving to be the striker Arsenal fans thought they would never have.
However, there is still some deadwood in the side that need axing. Here are FIVE players for Wenger to dispense of in January…
The Frenchman looked a solid signing when he initially arrived to replace Bacary Sagna in the summer of 2014. However, a dislocated shoulder early on in his Emirates career removed him from first-team contention and youngster Hector Bellerin seized the right-back berth with both hands.
With Calum Chambers also comfortable in the role, Wenger could be wise to move Debuchy on. At 30-years of age and out of the squad, recent links with Juventus could be acted upon and Arsenal could recoup at least some of the £12m they shelled out to Newcastle last season.
The Costa Rican has been unable to break the first-team at the Emirates, after a succession of loans away. He was signed back in 2011, but due to work permit issues couldn’t make his full debut for another three years.
He was the calibre of player the Gunners were signing back then, other than the odd exception. Unfortunately for the player, by the time he was able to play, they had moved up a level in the transfer market and were attracting the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
Wenger should cut his losses and sell the player, who would have no shortage of suitors. There’s no realistic chance of him becoming a regular.
An odd one here. The big Frenchman is often accused of not being the calibre of player to lead an Arsenal front line. Then he’ll go and score a few and things will be forgotten somewhat. Rinse. Repeat.
Only this season seems to be a different case. Theo Walcott is relishing in the centre forward berth and Giroud appears to be struggling a lot more than usual. His lack of pace just doesn’t suit Alexis Sanchez and the rest of the supporting cast.
Giroud could feasibly be sold for a profit on the £12m Arsenal bought him for. The funds could go towards a more mobile option to support Walcott, a good deal for all parties.
Seriously, what is the point of having in the squad? No doubt an excellent player in his heyday, and still capable of effortless skill and technique, but glimpses are now simply too few and far between at this stage of his career.
Injuries have ravaged the former Dortmund man, and he’s now nowhere near the first team. Sentimental value is one thing, but if they can shift the player on for a nominal fee, Arsenal should sell the Czech playmaker.
Two goals in the League Cup victory over Spurs will be remember fondly by the Emirates faithful, but the midfielder is dispensable. With Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin clearly first choice holding men in the engine room, Mikel Arteta and a returning Jack Wilshere can take up duty as cover.
At worst case, Aaron Ramsey could also be deployed there, which means Flamini’s departure would be no great disaster. Should any offers come in, Wenger would be wise to sell him before his contract expires.