Arsenal endured a rather dismal 2020-21 season as the Gunners finished eighth in the Premier League and must evaluate the option of selling players who are deemed to be in excess of the requirements. The only trophy they ever won was the Community Shield on penalties against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool last season.
The Gunners scored the second-lowest number of goals in the top half of the Premier League table as they finished behind all other teams in the traditional ‘Big Six’ of the English top flight.
Mikel Arteta needs to sell out players who are no longer needed at the Emirates Stadium before the new season kicks off and make way for new faces in North London for Arsenal.
FootTheBall Take a look at 3 players that need to be sold before the 2021-22 season begins in England.
The Brazilian was one of Chelsea’s most prominent players before his contract with the Blues came to an end at the end of the 2019-20 season. Arsenal acquired him, therefore, in a free signing in what was considered an outright robbery.
But the Brazilian has underperformed in the Emirates since turning from blue to red in London. Willian only scored one goal in the entire 2020-21 season in the Premier League.
He was only a starter in 16 of the 38 Arsenal played in the English top flight and was on the bench in crucial games with Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.
He will turn 33 when the new Premier League season kicks off next month and has been unable to secure a starting position in Mikel Arteta’s team. His contribution to the Arsenal game was also found to be lacking in games against the other ‘Big Six’ teams in the Premier League as well. Also, being a free agent signing, Willian is reportedly receiving high salaries at a time when the pandemic has devastated the finances of all clubs.
Therefore, Arteta needs to sell Willian as soon as possible before the start of the new season in England to bring in new reinforcements or give more playing time to the record signing of Nicolas Pepe and the exciting young Reiss Nelson on Arsenal’s right flank.
The Spaniard had a lot of promise and potential when he arrived in London from Barcelona to try his luck in the Premier League. But over the past season, his performances have been somewhat lackluster for the Gunners.
Bellerin made a total of 25 Premier League appearances for Arsenal on the right flank behind Willian, but his contributions going forward were hugely disappointing for a player of his caliber.
He only managed to score 1 goal for Arsenal in the Premier League, despite providing 3 assists. But if you look at those numbers, it feels like Bellerin has let Arsenal down because of the faith that the club’s board placed in him.
One thing that is still in favor of the Spaniard is that he is still only 26 years old, but he really needs to step up if he wants to show that he is one of the best right-backs in the modern game.
Bellerin’s substitute Cedric Soares can also play as a left-back and has scored as many goals as Bellerin in 15 fewer Premier League appearances than him. With reports spilled that Bellerin has refused to sign a new contract in the Emirates., it seems more and more likely that they will sell it.
Arsenal may have a good potential profit if Bellerin decides to move out of the North London club, as many A-list clubs will be interested in signing him, including Italian champion Inter Milan.
CHANGE OF SCENERY
The defensive midfielder was dubbed the young Schweinsteiger during his time in Switzerland with Basel. He was also touted as the best footballer produced by the Swiss nation, even ahead of Liverpool player and Swiss teammate Xherdan Shaqiri.
He came to London from Borussia Monchengladbach in the summer of 2016 after Arsenal pulled out of a potential N’Golo Kante transfer deal. Over the years, he has cemented his place in the starting lineup, but questions remain about his future at Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal now have a fantastic trio of defensive midfielders, Thomas Partey, Lucas Torreira and Mohamed Elneny, who can easily cover or even replace Granit Xhaka as the deep playmaker pulling the strings in the middle of the park.
Meanwhile, Xhaka stood out for Switzerland at this summer’s Euro when the Swiss reached the quarterfinals of the quadrennial tournament by leading them as group captain.
His outstanding performance came in the round of 16 match with world champion France, when Switzerland, led by an inspired Yann Sommer, expelled Didier Deschamps’ team from Euro 2020.
He was rightly awarded the man of the match in Switzerland’s duel with Les Bleus. However, his relationship with Arsenal has always been one of ups and downs, and the loss came when he was booed by the supporters of his own club. Although Xhaka made it through that period successfully, it has always been felt that Xhaka is fighting an uphill battle for recognition at Arsenal. You may need a little fresh air to find inspiration once again, with José Mourinho’s Roma already showing strong interest. Therefore, a move away from Arsenal is seen as the perfect opportunity for both the Swiss and North London clubs to make a fresh start.