Arsenal’s results have started gradually improving since Mikel Arteta took over from Unai Emery in December. Much more seems to be in place than before. There are clear ideas being implemented on the pitch, with every player working as hard as he can to fulfill the task given to him. However, it is the job of every manager to take constant looks at the squad at his disposal and ponder possible improvements; what needs to be strengthened, who are the players potentially not up to the standards required, would there be enough depth without them, and who could possibly take their places.
According to Daily Mail, there are four names Arteta has already chalked off as far as the future of the team is concerned, and one of them is Mesut Ozil.
The German is the club’s highest earner, but his contribution on the pitch since signing that contract in February 2018 hasn’t grown. If anything, it has grown less and there have been numerous speculations about the final years of his career lying elsewhere. The former Real Madrid man had completely fallen out of favour under Emery. He had been given a new lease of life when Arteta came in but it seems the boss doesn’t consider the expectations to have been fulfilled. Arsenal have 20-year-old Joe Willock waiting to be given a proper shot in that role. Alternatively, they could choose to keep the services of Henrikh Mkhitaryan who is due back from his loan spell with AS Roma at the end of the season when the final 12 months of his contract will commence, but that is not a very likely option. The club have also been linked with 19-year-old Orkun Kokcu of Feyenoord, who also plays as an attacking midfielder.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos is another player who has apparently been earmarked for sale. The Greek centre-back has fallen down the pecking order in the heart of defence behind David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi, as well as the new loanee, Pablo Mari. Arsenal are expected to make the Mari transfer permanent in the summer, and with William Saliba due to come in from his loan at Lille, Sokratis will become surplus to requirements. It shouldn’t be forgotten that Calum Chambers will also be back from injury at the start of next season.
Matteo Guendouzi has also fallen out of the team. Further more, he recently had a public fallout with Arteta and technical director Edu. Another one who hasn’t done nearly enough to impress the manager is Ainsley Maitland-Niles.