Arsenal face a defining summer.
Unai Emery’s men finished the season in fifth place and all of their Champions League eggs now sit in one basket; winning the Europa League.
The Gunners take on Chelsea in the final but, regardless of the result, the squad needs a major overhaul this summer.
Reports suggest that Emery will only have £40million to work with if they don’t qualify for Europe’s premier club competition, but who should the club keep around and who should they bin off in a bid to boost the coffers?
Football FanCast has taken a look…
Bernd Leno – The best goalkeeper Arsenal have had in a really long time. Keep him.
Petr Cech – Already gone – retiring at the end of a distinguished career.
Dejan Iliev – Nobody knows. Keep him and play him in the Carabao Cup.
Hector Bellerin – The best defender Arsenal have but injuries have ravaged him this season. Keep him but wrap him up in cotton wool.
Nacho Monreal – Ageing but has another year on his contract. Sell him if a bid comes in.
Sead Kolasinac – Has struggled to nail down the left-back position and seems unsuited to the Premier League. Would be a wrench to sell him after such a short Gunners career but it makes sense if he can be replaced.
Stephan Lichtsteiner – He’s too old for the Premier League. Sell and replace.
Carl Jenkinson – Amazingly still on the books at the club. Sell him and give him the chance to reignite his career elsewhere.
Laurent Koscielny – The only defender to emerge from this season with any real credit. Keep him but ensure that a succession plan is put in place as he turns 34 in September.
Rob Holding – He does not appear good enough but he’s just 23. Keep him and hope he delivers on his long-held potential.
Shkodran Mustafi – An absolute disgrace of a defender, crowbar him out of the club.
Konstantinos Mavropanos – Loan him out and hope he gets the minutes he needs to improve; has looked out of his depth at times this season.
Sokratis – He’s not quite as good as Koscielny but he’s nowhere near as bad as Mustafi. Keep him.
Mohamed Elneny – Sell him and bring in a defensive midfielder who can actually, you know, defend.
Aaron Ramsey – It’d make sense to write ‘keep him with bells on’ here, but he’s already gone after perhaps the worst transfer decision in the club’s recent history. Juventus will love him.
Granit Xhaka – He has shown signs of becoming the midfield general Arsenal thought they were signing this season and deserves another shot next season.
Lucas Torreira – A pleasingly effective terrier of a midfielder, keep him and give him some support in midfield.
Matteo Guendouzi – Perhaps the best signing the Gunners have made in recent years, given the fee and the context of his rise, Guendouzi has a high ceiling and should be kept.
Joe Willock – Loan him out and ensure he gets some minutes under his belt; sometimes cup competitions don’t cut it.
Denis Suarez – Already gone. A waste of a signing, he’s injured and he’s off. Bye.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Played his part in perhaps the worst transfer in Premier League history, joining the Gunners as Alexis Sanchez went to Manchester United. Both teams lost; if a buyer can be found, sell him.
Mesut Ozil – His £350,000-per-week wages are an albatross around Arsenal’s neck. Sell and ensure no such luxury players are bought again.
Alex Iwobi – He’s got the raw talent to be a success. Give him another season and hope he starts to deliver.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – Nail down his best position and give him a run of games there; stop chopping and changing between playing him in defence and on the wing.
Danny Welbeck – Already gone with contract expiring. He doesn’t have the ability to score regularly and he’s too injury-prone.
Alexandre Lacazette – Reports claim that Barcelona could come knocking this summer; if they do, extract a massive fee, sell and reinvest. If they don’t, hope he keeps banging them in next season.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Keep him but teach him to score the gilt-edged chances as well as the difficult ones.
Eddie Nketiah – Promote him to the first-team and start playing him; his pace and finishing ability is frightening.