Arsenal may have finished second last season but every football fan knows that this does not tell the full story. The Gunners were lucky to finish in second place and this only happened because their local rivals, Spurs, capitulated on the last day of the season. There’s talk about Arsenal aiming for the title every season and nothing has materialised since 2004. The North London side have already signed Granit Xhaka and hopefully have more signings to complete, unlike last season when they only signed Petr Cech in the summer. Here are five players who might be exiting the Emirates before the 2016/17 season begins.
Theo has been an Arsenal player since 2006 but he has never really reached his potential. Constant injuries and lack of game time have stopped him from becoming the best player that he can be and if Arsenal want to challenge for the title, he is the type of player that needs to leave. Theo does not have what it takes to be a central striker and struggled to break into the first team towards the end of last season whilst also underperforming for his country. According to the London Evening Standard, West Ham would be willing to pay £25million for the Englishman. A change of club and a new manager could get the best out of him. Arsenal should take the money and spend it wisely.
Gibbs is another player who is underperforming for both club and country. The left back’s career has stalled as of late and while he is languishing on the bench, Nacho Monreal has taken his place in the first team. At the age of 26, Gibbs still has at least five good years left in him and if he wants to force his way into the England squad again, he needs to go to a club where he can play week in week out.
Arsenal’s defence is shaky at the best of times. Throw Per Mertesacker into the mix and it makes matters worse. For some reason, the German can do no wrong in Wenger’s eyes. But whatever the question is, the German centre back is not the answer. His lack of pace is a constant issue, highlighted when he was sent off against Chelsea in January. Pace isn’t the be all and end all but his lack of it has let Mertesacker down time and time again and he cannot be relied upon.
At 23, Oxlade-Chamberlain obviously wants to be playing first-team football. However, since his latest injury, the emergence of Alex Iwobi has pushed him down the pecking order. The England international has the potential to go on and do great things. If he can be fully fit and improve his form, there is no reason why he cannot be a regular starter. The only problem is; this may not for happen at Arsenal. It would be better for him to accept his fate and move on.
For whatever reason, Arsene Wenger just doesn’t rate Joel Campbell. He worked incredibly hard last season and tried to take his chances whenever they came but Campbell is clearly not a top priority for Wenger. The 23-year-old is talented but was often dropped in favour of a below par Theo Walcott. The way that Wenger behaved towards Campbell last season suggests that he would be happy to get rid of him in the summer if the opportunity arose.