In recent weeks, the big transfer news at Arsenal has been about the contract situations of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
It has been well written by many that both have 18 months left on their contract and are currently stalling on negotiations. Some say they are waiting on Arsene Wenger to declare his future, or for it to be announced who his replacement might be, others say they are driven by money, with rumours of a $400,000 offer on the table from China – I always laugh that the offer is ‘from China’ without mentioning a particular club.
Some say that want to ensure they are playing for a competitive club, and will wait to see if we do challenge (and win) the title, whilst Ian Wright thinks they will both sign, but will do in the summer where they will be worth even more if they take Arsenal to the title.
The future of both is concerning for all Arsenal fans, but there are another 11 senior players who’s future at the club might not be bright. And entire starting XI could leave Arsenal this summer.
David Ospina has been linked away from Arsenal ever since Petr Cech joined. Currently the clubs Champions League keeper, he is also likely to play in the FA Cup in the New Year. The Colombian will be 29 next season, entering the peak for a goal keeper. Would he really want to spend his best years sitting on Arsenal’s bench?
The writing is also on the wall for Carl Jenkinson. The boyhood Arsenal fan looks like a deer in headlights every time he puts on an Arsenal shirt. He is good enough to be 2nd choice right back behind Hector Bellerin, but in his own head, Arsenal are too big for him. His demise from one of West Ham’s best players a few years ago has been incredible.
When Frenchman Mathieu Debuchy started against Bournemouth, some were surprised he was still at the club. His contract does not expire until 2019, but with injuries now piling up, and reports of a poor attitude at times, if he is not sold next summer, he will surely be sent out on loan.
Per Mertesacker. The big German. The captain. His contract runs out at the end of the year and there has been no talk about him getting a new one. With the form of Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny, and the development of Rob Holding, Arsenal no longer require his services. He will be able to get himself a nice big contract back in Germany.
After a season of poor form, Arsenal will surely sign a stronger left back than either Nacho Monreal or Kieran Gibbs. With Gibbs being younger and English, and Monreal’s future potentially tied to that of best mate Santi Cazorla (more later), it is the Spaniard who will make way.
Another on borrowed time is Calum Chambers. After a brilliant start to his Arsenal career where he looked like an assured, ball playing centre back, he has gone backwards. Part of this is due to him being played in multiple positions – a bit like Phil Jones at Man U – and part of it due to not getting enough game time. He has made 10 appearances for Middlesborough this season but has been outshone by fellow youngster Ben Gibson. With Rob Holding also at the club, Arsenal will struggle to give to young centre backs enough time to develop. He might be saved by the fact Debuchy & Jenkinson are likely to go, meaning Arsenal need a back up right back.
Santi Cazorla has already played his last game for Arsenal Football Club in my opinion. Now 32, with 18 months of poor injuries behind (and head) of him, his contract runs out at the end of this season. I can not see Arsenal offering him any more than a new 1 year deal. Something that Cazorla will surely not accept. He has spoken previously about finishing his career at Spain, and that time has come. And he will take Nacho Monreal with him.
Another who’s Arsenal career is almost certainly over his Jack Wilshere. Playing once a week for Bournemouth does not mean he is good enough to play twice a week for Arsenal. He clearly enjoys the sea air, a lower intensity of life, and time away from his trouble making friends. Bournemouth are able to manage his work load in a way that a big club like Arsenal are unable to facilitate. Arsenal need fit players playing twice a week. Wilshere does not fit the bill.
Joel Campbell is out on loan at Sporting. With the development of Alex Iwobi, nothing will change for Campbell next year. He will still be surplus to requirements, and will either be loaned once more, or sold.
Homegrown striker Chuba Akpom is at a cross roads in his career. He has not progressed from talented youngster to senior superstar. 4 average loan deals, and Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck and Lucas Perez ahead of him, there will be no chance for him to break through in the future.
Lastly we come to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Whilst everyone is going on about Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez’s contract coming to an end in 2018, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s also does. Another player at a cross roads in his career, he has never really secured a place in Arsenal’s starting XI. He is getting a run now, a chance to prove himself, but if he fails to impose himself on games consistently, he might have to look elsewhere next summer, take a step down to get regular football.
Arsenal could end up off loading an entire XI. I wonder how this lot would get on in the Premier League: