Arsenal Keep or Dump: Should one of Aubameyang or Lacazette go? Ozil will stay


Arsenal technical director Edu has already been busy this summer, but the club still have a number of huge calls to make. Having taken over just before Christmas, manager Mikel Arteta is overseeing the rebuild, and there were positive signs after the restart, including winning the FA Cup. However, after four consecutive years without Champions League football, room to manoeuvre financially is limited. And this has been compounded by some poor decisions made by previous administrations as well as the global pandemic.

2 Related

As we’ve done previously, here’s some unsolicited advice from me and James Olley: a player-by-player assessment of the squad, what might make sense and under what circumstances. Where you see a simple, straight “Keep,” you can assume we agreed and there wasn’t much to talk about. Otherwise, we weighed in with our comments.

It’s not just about performance, either. It’s about age, wages, personality fit and contract length (we went with Transfermarkt for contract expiry dates for consistency). And there will be moving parts, too: departures or arrivals that cause chain reactions, sometimes unexpected.

Jump to: Defenders | Midfielders | Forwards | Overall assessment


Bernd Leno (28 years old, contract expires in 2023)


Emiliano Martinez (27, 2022)

OLLEY: “Some got a bit carried away that he’s earned the right to be No. 1. All he proved was he is a much better No. 2 than previously thought. With Leno’s injury, you have to re-sign him and give him the fair fight he wants.”

MARCOTTI: “Agree. If there’s a silver lining to Leno’s injury it is that Martinez will get plenty of playing time, so if he’s determined to be a No. 1, next summer you can sell him at market value if he extends his deal.”

VERDICT: Keep and extend

Matt Macey (25, 2021)

OLLEY: “He’s 25 and not going to improve. They have a youngster called James Hillson who they really like, so he can be the homegrown third keeper.”

VERDICT: Dump (estimated price £1 million)



Julien Laurens and Gab Marcotti discuss the possibility of Gabriel Magalhaes playing in a back three for Arsenal.


* Konstantinos Mavropanos already loaned to Stuttgart

William Saliba (19, 2024)

OLLEY: “Arsenal are not in a position to allow a £27m signing to go out on loan again… they need fresh blood. The fans are already building him up to be the next Tony Adams, so he needs to be there.”

MARCOTTI: “Injuries really limited him at Saint-Etienne last year when he was on loan. I’d wait to see where he’s at in preseason and then consider whether to loan him out again. If Arteta is going to be able to get him regular playing time, then fine. But if he’s going to be fourth or fifth in the pecking order, then maybe you loan him out again, because at his age it’s important that he plays.”

VERDICT: Split: Keep/Keep and consider

Shkodran Mustafi (28, 2021)

OLLEY: “He improved a bit under Arteta, but there’s no point extending him and if you keep him, you lose him on a free next year. So cash in, though you’d do well to get £10m.”

VERDICT: Dump (estimated price: £8m-£10m)

Calum Chambers (25, 2022)

OLLEY: “He has had a ton of injuries and hasn’t played since September, so you might have to wait until January. But I think between him and Rob Holding, one has to go.”

MARCOTTI: “He needs to prove his fitness before you can sell. But if somebody gives you £10m now, I’d go for it straight away. If not, wait.”

VERDICT: Dump (estimated price: £10m-£12m)

Rob Holding (24, 2023)

OLLEY: “He’s facing a battle to win over Arteta, but at least he’s fit now, so can be assessed. Plus he’s a good guy to have around the dressing room.”

MARCOTTI: “He’s had a ton of injuries since arriving at the club in 2016. But if you play a back three, you’ll need him as a squad player.”


– Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
– Don’t have ESPN? Get instant access

Sokratis Papastathopoulos (32, 2021)

OLLEY: “He’s on big wages and has got a year left on his contract. Plus, he’s made it clear he wants to play, so I’d try to do a cut-price deal.”

MARCOTTI: “I think he can still contribute somewhere, but I think Arteta feels differently and there’s no way you extend his deal. So if he wants playing time, you let him leave. He might have to take less money in exchange for more years, but someone will take him, I think.”

VERDICT: Dump (estimated price: £3m-£4m)

David Luiz (33, 2021)

MARCOTTI: “He’s obviously not everyone’s cup of tea, but clearly Arteta values what he brings.”

VERDICT: Keep, do not extend

Pablo Mari (26, 2024)

How the summer transfer market works
Kuper: Coronavirus’ impact on transfers
Barnwell’s best moves: 100-51 | 50-1
• Best statement signings ever
• Summer transfer grades
• Latest completed major transfers

OLLEY: “He’s a calming presence in this team and could be the surprise package next season once he’s fit again.”


Kieran Tierney (23, 2024)


Sead Kolasinac (27, 2022)

OLLEY: “Not fit enough and not good enough to be a top-level Premier League player.”

MARCOTTI: “He played a fair bit under Arteta, but I think it’s time to cash in since I suspect he’s not going to be more than a squad player going forward. You can still get something for him and if you keep him, you have to extend him. Which is not a good idea.”

VERDICT: Dump (estimated price: £7m-£8m)

Hector Bellerin (25, 2023)

OLLEY: “He isn’t as quick as he was, but he’s valuable in the dressing room and on the pitch. Unless you get a really big offer, you keep him.”

MARCOTTI: “He’s been linked to moves in the past, but he’s started only 31 Premier League games over the past two seasons. He’s committed to the club and wants to stay. No reason to shift him.”

VERDICT: Keep unless you get a big offer (estimated price £40m)

Ainsley Maitland-Niles (22, 2023)

OLLEY: “He’s a natural central midfielder, not a wing-back. But he’s not good enough to play in midfield for Arsenal so they put him wide, even though, positionally, it’s not instinctive to him. I think you cash in.”

MARCOTTI: “You don’t need three right-backs. I don’t think he has a big enough…

Read more at this link (News Source).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.