April 23, 2021

Six Arsenal stars under fire as Mikel Arteta urged to complete summer clear out

4 min read

Mikel Arteta has been urged to axe half the dressing room at Arsenal as their struggles continue.

The Spaniard is in his first full season at the Emirates and whilst there are signs of progress plenty of work still needs to be done.

Last season’s eighth place finish is unlikely to be matched and there will be no repeat of their FA Cup success.

Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat to Liverpool at the weekend was nothing new and struck a sense of deja vu to the late Arsene Wenger era or the dying embers of Unai Emery’s tenure.

Former Gunner Emmanuel Petit has lamented the club’s senior stars, who he believes are at the club for the wrong reasons.



Mikel Arteta faces some major decisions this summer
Mikel Arteta faces some major decisions this summer

Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at its launch of the 5-A-Side Bet on Crystal Palace v Chelsea, he said: ‘”When I look at the older players in Arsenal’s team, it’s like they think it’s a retreat football club, somewhere you just go for a vacation.

“They have ambition, but I don’t really expect them to win big games anymore.

“If you took away the name ‘Arsenal’ and looked at that group of players… average. At the end of the season, if I’m Arsenal, if I’m Arteta, if I’m on the board, to be honest with you, I think my main concern is getting half of the dressing room out. Honestly.”

We take a look at some of the major names who could be ousted if Arteta chooses to take Petit’s advice.



The club's senior players have been slammed by Emmanuel Petit
The club’s senior players have been slammed by Emmanuel Petit

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Arsenal’s talisman last season has been anything but this term.

The Gunners convinced the striker to sign a lucrative new deal in the summer but already there is a whiff of Mesut Ozil about the situation.

Aubameyang has been far less prolific this season and his attitude has been called out on several occasions.

The striker no doubt still has a high market value despite his below par season and the north Londoners may be inclined to cash in should they receive any interest.



Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Willian have both been below par performers this term
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Willian have both been below par performers this term

Willian

The decision to give a man in his 30s a three-year deal on north of £100,000-a-week attracted criticism from minute one.

Willian’s failure to hit the ground running did little to quash the idea that this was a bad move from Arsenal.

Performances have improved in recent weeks which has provided a sense of optimism.

The former Chelsea man brings with him plenty of winning experience and Arteta may view that as a priceless commodity right now.



Mohamed Elneny was sent out on loan last term
Mohamed Elneny was sent out on loan last term

Mohamed Elneny

The midfield anchor was sent out on loan to Besiktas last season but has since returned.

It suggests that Arteta feels he can do without the Egyptian, who has hardly been a stalwart this term.

One of many current players who was signed by Wenger, there has been an element of trying to start afresh.

As a result Elneny, who at 28 could still be sold on for a profit, may be moved on.



Alexandre Lacazette is attracting plenty of interest
Alexandre Lacazette is attracting plenty of interest

Alexandre Lacazette

The Frenchman is more likely to stay than leave, although there is no shortage of interest.

Ever since arriving in 2017 there has always been a sense that Arsenal haven’t been able to truly unlock Lacazette’s potential.

With his contract winding down Arsenal are now at something of a crossroads.

Lacazette is a more rounded player than Aubameyang so Arteta may be more inclined to keep him over the Gabon international.



David Luiz was given a contract extension last summer
David Luiz was given a contract extension last summer

David Luiz

It looked like his time was up last season before Arsenal handed the maverick Brazilian a one-year extension.

There are rumours of a repeat, albeit on a reduced wage, as Arteta looks to balance experience with youth.

Luiz certainly offers plenty behind the scenes, even if he is prone to a mistake on the pitch.

At 33 the centre-half will by no means be a wanted man and his short-term future may well be at Arsenal.

Cedric Soares

The full-back was signed by Unai Emery but has never nailed down a start at the Emirates.

His apparent willingness to serve as a squad player is a plus and Arteta may look to keep him in and around the group.

That said, with the Spaniard desperate to restore Arsenal to the success of yesteryear, he may have to be more cut throat with his squad management.

The Portuguese international is yet to make 30 appearances during his time at the Emirates and may find it difficult to increase that number.

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