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Arsenal Squad - Keep Or Chuck? Pt 2

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Well worthy of a place…on the bench. You can’t deny his creativity and is adept at getting into the right positions as proven by his six-goal tally with as many assists. That said, he’s not going to win you the biggest prizes (he’s Europa League standard at best) that Arsenal see themselves as being capable of. With two years left on his contract, best to cash in on the Armenian now and let his devilish Dutch agent, Mino Raiola, bear the burden. CHUCK

Granit Xhaka – By no means the most naturally gifted footballer, but you can rely on the swish Swiss to put in a shift whenever he pulls on the shirt. He can pick a pass from a mile away and God help you if you allow him enough space 30 yards out, he's got a foot like a traction engine. Also a highly competent free-kick taker. He stays. KEEP

Matteo Guendouzi – Considering his tender age, he’s done himself proud so far. There is something particularly likeable about the frisky young Frenchie. Whether he’s clattering about the midfield, having his hair pulled by people who, frankly, should know better or leaning out of moving cars to salute adoring fans, you can’t fail to admire him. KEEP

Mohammed Elneny – There’s only room for one bushy-haired box-to-box midfielder in this team and it ain’t you, Mo. Has a decent enough touch but it’s hard to think of a time when he’s really stamped his mark on a game. When you consider some of his predecessors to don the #4 shirt – Viera, Fabregas & Mickey Thomas – the Egyptian is paddling way out of his depth. CHUCK

Denis Suarez – Has just about managed 90 minutes game-time from the dribs and drabs of the 10 appearances he’s made since joining from Barcelona in January. Personified a straw which Emery and the Arsenal board were clutching at to appease fans but looks set to leave having left less of an impression on the club than the now mythical Kim Kallstrom. CHUCK


The living embodiment of scotch mist.

Lucas Torreira – One of Emery’s brightest lights. The Uruguayan is intensely combative and bosses the midfield like a man twice his height. His determination to move the ball forward and be proactive has done plenty enough to win hearts and minds. Has let his hot-headed youth get the better of him at times, seeing red at Spurs, but if anything, these minor misdemeanours emphasise his commitment to the cause. KEEP

Mesut Ozil – Just where do you start with this mardy maestro? Not in the first XI according to Uncle Unai, especially if you’re playing a tough team of shithousers that are commonly found in…well…pretty much throughout English football. Even Ray Charles could see that Ozil is by miles the most gifted player at the club. His vision is so good he can spot a pass in a game that hasn’t even kicked off yet. Alas, his technical talents are unfortunately offset by a terrible tendency to throw a hissy fit and rub fans the wrong way. £350,000 flooding out of Arsenal PLC each week for his shenanigans is absolutely criminal and it's underlined by Ramsey hop skipping it to Juventus because the club can’t afford to meet his wage demands. Please, take Ozil instead! CHUCK

Alex Iwobi – One of the most frustrating players to watch. At times he performs like a force of nature, charging forward, taking players on. But a heavy touch combined with loose control means he’s a limited threat for opponents. Not to mention his handy knack of finding row Z when the back of the net beckons - hence why he’s managed a meagre five goals in 44 appearances this term. All that said, his link-up play is at least imaginative and for the £25 million you’d expect to sell him for, it’s unlikely you’d get somebody better. KEEP

Alexandre Lacazette – In these uncertain times, you have to take heart from what few certain things remain. Your mumma’s unconditional love for one. Lacazette’s relentless energy and lung-busting commitment is another. It’s supremely reassuring to see the Gallic goal gannet causing all manner of menace to opposition defences. Give him a whiff of an opportunity and expect to see him rifle it home. Throw in his blossoming bromance with Aubameyang and you've got exactly the type of team-spirited character that you want in your team. KEEP


Remember when we used to have Chamakh and Chu-young up top? Heady days.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – A strong but silent contender for the Golden Boot, he’s at times flown under the radar and undoubtedly benefitted from the blossoming bromance with Laca. He has razor-sharp instincts and always pops up in the right place for a cushy little tap-in. Goes about his business and sees results – an asset to the team. KEEP

Danny Welbeck – After almost five years in North London, Dat Guy has notched 32 goals in 88 appearances as an Arsenal player: an admirable return for any serviceman. When you consider he’s missed way more games than he’s featured in due to injury, you can only imagine how prolific he might have been if he could stay fit. Another season-ending knack put paid to hopes his contract, due to expire this summer, being renewed. Arsenal and Emery now have two choices: act rationally or ruthlessly. This observer chooses the latter. CHUCK

Eddie N’Ketiah – 2019 is going to be this kid’s year. Since bagging the late brace that snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the EFL Cup against Norwich last season, the teenager has become a firm fan favourite. Given the competition for places, he’s biding his time in the u.23’s where this term he’s netted 10 times in 11 appearances. Keep an eye on this one. KEEP

Bukayo Saka – Very promising prospect. Produced a man of the match performance against Qarabag and became the first player born in 2001 to represent the Gunners in the Premier League. Strong on the ball and always finds a way to get a shot off. They’re big boots to fill but he could be just the man to see off Welbeck. KEEP

Miss Part 1? Click here to see which defenders and keepers have we think should escape the guillotine.

Harry Corton
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All Images - PA. Stats via WhoScored.