Charlie Nicholas has claimed in his Sky Sports column that Mikel Arteta should prepare for a summer clear-out – and has identified five Arsenal players that need to be moved on by the Spanish boss.
The Gunners plunged straight back into reality at the hands of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on Wednesday night following the return to Premier League football, as a David Luiz disaster-class saw Kevin De Bruyne and co. cruise to victory.
Criticism of Arsenal’s defence has been repeated numerous times by pundits, with a number of senior Gunners players failing to live up to either their wages – or their previous form at other clubs. Mesut Ozil and Luiz are taking the most flak.
Gunners icon Nicholas has continued that scrutiny, claiming both Ozil and Luiz should be sold in this summer’s transfer window – as well as three other players in the form of Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac.
“If you have to sell Luiz, Sokratis, Mustafi, Ozil to get him off the wage bill, Kolasinac too, then do it,” Nicholas said, when discussing what Arteta should do in the upcoming transfer window.
TBR’s view – Harsh on Kolasinac, but other four need to go
Ozil has shown in glimpses that he can produce the unbelievable form he showed at Real Madrid and in his early seasons at Arsenal. But to only show that magic in glimpses when being paid £350,000 a week, unfortunately, it is not enough.
He needs to go, as do underperforming defenders Sokratis, Mustafi and Luiz. With William Saliba returning, a new centre-back potentially being signed – perhaps, Dayot Upamecano – and Rob Holding back, Arteta needs to get rid of the old guard.
However, to sell Kolasinac is harsh. The Bosnian ace has done well in a difficult season for Arsenal, and as Kieran Tierney’s back-up, he is more than a decent option. Selling him would see Arsenal have to spend to replace the Arsene Wenger signing.