Arsenal's British core could be ripped apart in a summer shakeup as Arsene Wenger considers the futures of no less than six homegrown stars, reports the Daily Mail.
Rewind to 2012 and the future looked bright for the Frenchman's young guns. Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all committed their future to the club, signing long-term contracts.
It was hoped they would all become first-team regulars in the near future, creating England's answer to Barcelona's La Masia stars and providing the stability that had alluded Wenger's team for so long.
Article continues below
However, a mixture of poor form and serious injury has prevented each and every one of them from reaching their potential. As a result, all but one of the aforementioned quintet could leave Arsenal this summer and could even be joined by Theo Walcott and Calum Chambers.
That would leave Arsenal chronically short of the required eight homegrown stars, but plans are already afoot to bring in the best of young British talent from around the country. Scouts have been told to concentrate on British-raised players under the age of 23 and have already unearthed some potential targets.
Article continues below
But before we go into that, let us figure out why each of the players mentioned above could be up for sale in the summer, starting with poor old Walcott. The 26-year-old started the season as Arsenal's No.1 striker, but poor form and fitness issues have now seen him fall behind Danny Welbeck for the central role and Alex Iwobi in the wide position.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is much younger at 22, but he too has struggled to keep fit or hold a place in the team. While there is still a lot of time for him to reach his immense potential, the emergence of Iwobi could be the final straw for his Arsenal dream.
Gibbs had struggled with niggling injuries for much of his early career but now he is fit, appears to have fallen well behind Nacho Monreal in the pecking order. At 26-years-old, Arsenal are thinking of cashing him in for a younger model. Leicester's Ben Chilwell is believed to be a target.
Even Ramsey is being linked with a move away as he continues to be utilised on the right-wing. With Mohamed Elneny, Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla and the possible arrival of Granit Xhaka on the horizon, a place in central midfield only seems to be moving further away.
Carl Jenkinson, currently recovering from knee ligament damage, could only be considered backup to Hector Bellerin while Chambers may seek a move away if Wenger can't offer him more first-team football.
Only Iwobi, Wilshere and Danny Welbeck are certain to stay past the summer, potentially bringing an end to another failed experiment by Wenger, who seems content on scrapping the essence of this team and starting again.
Dan Crowley could potentially be fast-tracked into the senior squad to make up the numbers while Fulham's talented attacker Ryan Sessegnon is being tracked.