With the January transfer window now behind us, teams will no doubt be looking ahead to the summer and identifying those players they’d like to bring in and force away.
For Arsenal, there are plenty of players who have struggled to justify their place in the squad in recent years, and Mike Arteta should be plotting a reshuffle of the pack to guarantee a dramatic improvement in the 2020/21 campaign.
In terms of players who should depart the club, there are two prime candidates who should be sent packing in a couple of months in order to free up space on the wage bill.
So, without further ado, here are the two players they should be looking to offload when the summer window reopens for business.
The midfielder has somewhat revived his standing in the squad since Arteta’s arrival but after nearly seven years with the club it’s about time he embarked on a new chapter.
The creative playmaker has added just two assists from 1431 minutes of competitive action across a total of 19 games, while he has failed to find the net on a single occasion this season.
Not to mention that he is Arsenal’s highest-paid athlete in the squad with an annual salary of £18.2m.
Evidently, there is a glaring disparity between his salary and his importance to the club, and if the Gunners wish to progress they need to offload the mercurial German and begin building a future without him.
Another fringe player Arsenal could very well do without. Mustafi has played a bit-part role throughout the 2019/20 season for the Gunners, only managing to register 1118 minutes for the squad across all competitions.
More often than not, the 27-year-old centre-back has been completely left out of the team – and with good reason – as he has only made six appearances in the Premier League this season.
His fate is looking unlikely to change for the better in the future and the former Valencia defender is out of chances to prove himself in north London.
Both Sokratis and David Luiz are clearly ahead of Mustafi in the Gunners’ pecking order and Mustafi’s annual salary of £4.68m represents a figure that would be better spent elsewhere.
When combined with Ozil’s wages, that equates to a total of £22.88m per year Arsenal could save by sanctioning these two exits.
It’s time for Arteta to pull the trigger.