Arsenal should offload these 3 players to fund new transfers
After a strong start to the season, Unai Emery would have hoped of changing the fortunes at the Emirates Stadium but Arsenal find themselves six points off the top four with Manchester United hot on their tails. After going through a period of 22 matches unbeaten, Arsenal have struggled to perform consistently and have faltered in the race for Champions League qualification.
Emery would have gotten a first-hand experience of the most competitive league in the world and given that other rivals have consistently focused on adding quality to their squads, he too needs to add fresh legs to compete with them.
But first, Emery should consider trimming his squad and offloading some of the players who are not the part of his plans to make room and funds available for the new arrivals. Here are three players Arsenal should consider selling in the current transfer window.
The England international has struggled to deliver during his stay at the Emirates Stadium. Due to injury problems and lack of game time he has failed to make an impact ever since he signed for the Londoners. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette firmly established, the 26-year-old has little chances of making it into the team. Given his high work rate and excellent game reading abilities, a lot of teams should be looking forward to having him in the side if Arsenal consider selling.
There has been a lot of frustration when it comes to one of the best creative midfielders in the world. The quality Ozil has been blessed with should have been a lethal weapon for Unai Emery but it really has not been the case.
Having signed a new contract this time last year, Ozil was expected to lead the team at the Emirates Stadium but has failed to do so. He still is one of the best creative midfielders in the Premier League but his low work rate and inability to track back have led to his downfall.
Thus, it would be better for Arsenal to offload him and utilize the funds to sign other targets instead.
The defender has failed to lead the back line at Arsenal and given his inability to adapt to the back three, it would be wiser to sell him and add a defender who fits Emery’s system. Mustafi has featured 20 times this season and has chipped in with two goals but his lack of concentration and rash decisions have led to defensive errors.
Arsenal have lacked a leader to lead the back three that Emery has focused on playing in the recent games. Mustafi is not an ideal player for the three-man defence; his error-prone style does not suit the requirements.
It would be wiser for Emery and the club to consider selling German international and instead sign a defender who can organize the back line and is comfortable playing in a back three.
Arsenal shelling out £17m to sign this Belgian starring in the Serie A would be a dream move for Emery – Here is why
Arsenal Opinion: Why Dennis Praet will be a good signing for the Gunners?
The Belgian, 24, has enjoyed an impressive season with Sampdoria, scoring two goals and supplying as many assists in 29 in Serie A games. He is viewed as a like-for-like replacement for Aaron Ramsey this summer by the Gunners.
Ramsey, 28, will join Juventus on a free transfer at the end of the season after his contract in north London was allowed to run down, but it looks like Unai Emery has already started plotting potential targets to replace the Welshman. And as it stands, Arsenal are looking to snap up one of Serie A’s brightest midfielders, Dennis Praet.
The Belgian playmaker was on the books of Anderlecht when Sampdoria came calling in 2016. He has performed extremely well in the last two seasons at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, catching the attention of Arsenal.
Arsenal have done an admirable job in Unai Emery’s first season, as the north London outfit chase a top-four finish. A place in the Champions League next season will certainly boost Emery’s transfer kitty as well as help the Gunners attract high-profile talents across Europe.
While reinforcing the defence has to be Emery’s priority over the summer, the Spanish tactician should also strengthen his options in midfield, with Ramsey set to join Juventus.
Ramsey’s departure in the summer will leave Emery with Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira, Mohamed Elneny and Matteo Guendouzi as midfield options, which will certainly be less for a club that is expected to challenge for the title next season.
That makes signing a midfielder very important and someone like Dennis Praet would not only bolster Arsenal’s midfield but also add a much-needed depth to the squad. Praet is a versatile player, known for his ability to play in central midfield, and on either the right wing or left wing.
The 24-year-old is noted for his impressive distribution, creativity, dribbling skills, whilst possessing the game-reading ability to intercept the opposition’s advances.
The tenacious Belgian not only excels with his ability to pick out the right pass in the final third and contribute to the build-up play but he is always eager to drive forward with the ball and act as the link between the midfield and the forward line.
Furthermore, he is never shy of going for a pop at the goalkeeper from distance and make late runs in the box to score goals.
At 24, Praet certainly has his best years ahead of him and his acquisition in the summer could make the Gunners’ midfield strong in the coming seasons.
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It remains to be seen whether the Belgian gets reunited with Torreira but given how the diminutive Uruguayan has impressed in his debut season at the Emirates, Emery shouldn’t think twice in splashing the cash for Praet.
[Image] Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to miss out? – Predicted 3-4-1-2 Arsenal XI to face Leicester City
Arsenal vs Leicester City Predictions: Arsenal Line-up
Arsenal will lock horns with Leicester City at the King Power Stadium as Unai Emery looks to bounce back to winning ways on Sunday.
Successive defeats to Crystal Palace and Wolves have seen the Gunners suffer a big blow in their hopes of a top four finish. But Emery will expect a response at the weekend after a 3-1 drubbing at the hands of Wolves in mid-week.
Leicester City have done extremely well since Brendan Rodgers’ appointment last month and will look to stun Arsenal at home.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is doubtful for Arsenal’s trip to Leicester on Sunday after missing their match with Wolves.
Aaron Ramsey and Denis Suarez are sidelined with injuries and will miss Sunday’s game.
Probable Arsenal XI
Manager: Unai Emery
Bernd Leno (GK)
Leno was at mistake in a couple of Wolves’ goals on Wednesday. He’ll be raring to make amends at Leicester City.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (RWB)
Maitland-Niles has improved leaps and bounds under Emery and deserves to keep his place in the team. He’ll start at right wing-back on Sunday.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos (RCB)
Sokratis has arguably been Arsenal’s best defender this season but he needs to step up and lead the backline against the Foxes.
Laurent Koscielny (CB)
Koscielny’s presence at the back will be very important if the Gunners are to bounce back to winning ways at the weekend.
Nacho Monreal (LCB)
The Spaniard struggled at left-back against Wolves but he’ll be a given role in the back three on Sunday.
Sead Kolasinac (LWB)
Kolasinac excels in the left wing-back role, showing his attacking prowess and taking on opposition defenders.
Granit Xhaka (CM)
Xhaka struggled to impose himself against Wolves midfielders on Wednesday. The Swiss will look to put in a better performance at Leicester.
Lucas Torreira (CM)
The Uruguayan’s form has dipped massively in recent weeks but his presence will be hugely important against a speedy Leicester side.
Mesut Ozil (CAM)
Ozil’s creativity and flair will be of massive importance in a must-win game for the Gunners on Sunday.
Alexandre Lacazette (RS)
Lacazette will need to step up and show his top form on Sunday. He will be raring to get on the score-sheet at the King Power Stadium.
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Alex Iwobi (LS)
Iwobi’s pace, trickery and movement could make him a thorn for the Leicester defenders.
10 duels, 4 tackles: This Wolves star was the impact player in their 3-1 humbling of Arsenal – Agreed?
Wolves Opinion: Diogo Jota was a standout performer in the 3-1 victory over Arsenal
Arsenal stumbled once again in their pursuit of a top-four finish, as Wolves pulled off another major upset against a top-six side at Molineux to bag all three points with an emphatic 3-1 victory over the Gunners.
Wolves had only 29% of the possession throughout the ninety minutes but that was enough for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side to outclass Arsenal on their home turf and reclaim the 7th spot in the Premier League standings.
The hosts strengthened their chances of securing the Europa League qualification spot, leapfrogging Leicester City in the standings, while Arsenal suffered their second defeat on a trot in the Premier League after a 3-2 humbling at the hands of Crystal Palace at home on Sunday.
Arsenal played reasonably well for the first twenty minutes or so, though it was Wolves who had the first real chance of the game. Ruben Neves initiated a brilliant move from deep inside his own half but Joao Moutinho fired his shot agonisingly wide of the post following a slick exchange of passes.
Neves, though, got his name on the scoresheet in the 28th minute, finding the corner of Bernd Leno’s net from a free-kick just outside the box. The Portuguese international put Wolves in the driver’s seat with his fourth goal of the season, showing exactly why he is held in such high regard by the Molineux faithful.
There was no looking back for Wolves after the opening goal, as the hosts put an unimpressive, lacklustre and listless Arsenal to the sword in the first half, with Matt Doherty and Diogo Jota both finding the net to ensure that Nuno Santo’s side went into the interval three goals to the good.
Arsenal dictated the play in the second half as well, but the Gunners lacked the incisive edge to their attack in the final third and gave the ball away far too easily at times, as Wolves put up another fantastic team performance to frustrate Unai Emery’s men.
Despite having 71% of the possession throughout the ninety minutes and registering a mammoth 690 passes with an accuracy percentage of 88, Arsenal managed to get only one shot away on target. The lack of creativity on display was ridiculous and Emery could just watch on helplessly from his technical area.
Wolves, on the other hand, played a meagre 285 passes with an accuracy percentage of 74 but that was evidently enough to make Arsenal pay for their shambolic defending. They deserve all the credit for playing well together as a team but one man who stood out in that 3-1 victory was Portuguese international Diogo Jota.
While Neves and Doherty also made a massive impact on the night, Jota was instrumental in tearing the Arsenal defence to pieces with his lightning pace, power, stamina and uncompromised work-rate.
The 22-year-old showed good awareness to capitalise on Arsenal’s sloppiness in the midfield and made a mockery to Sokratis at the back with his clever change of gears to score the third goal in the second half.
Jota registered his 8th goal of the Premier League campaign this term to virtually seal the game for Wolves but it was his overall contribution to the team, both in terms of build-up play and defending, that underlined once again what a gem Nuno Santo has transformed him into.
The 22-year-old covered every blade of grass on the pitch and pressed the opposition relentlessly to deny Arsenal the time to pick out the correct passes in the midfield.
While Mesut Ozil looked rather pedestrian in a No.10 role for Arsenal, Jota was everywhere for Wolves- taking on the defenders, beating them for pace and creating that extra yard of space to work with.
He could have added a fourth goal had he managed to get a good enough connection on Raul Jimenez’s cross from the right. The Portuguese star combined well with Jonny to set up Jimenez in the dying stages of the game but the Mexican made a has of that chance.
Jota won an impressive 10 out of his attempted 16 duels throughout the ninety minutes, while also registering 3 successful dribbles and 1 successful long pass. He completed a total of 23 passes at an accuracy rate of 78.3 and also chipped in with 4 tackles. Furthermore, Jota gave the Arsenal defenders a nightmare, earning 3 fouls in the game.
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It was Jota’s aggressiveness and his display of pace, power and intent that played a key role in Wolves’ giant-killing heroics at Molineux.
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