Arsene Wenger has dropped a hint as to what he plans to do this summer regarding transfer business, after admitting that five percent of the players currently on the books at the Emirates Stadium won’t be there next season.
Speaking to the media, as relayed by the Daily Express, the Frenchman refused to discuss the prospect of who he might recruit come the end of the campaign, but did offer an insight into what might be happening regarding outgoing assets.
According to the Gunners boss 95 percent of the current playing setup will stay, despite the fact that it’s widely considered he needs to make changes if his team are going to realistically challenge for the Premier League title next campaign.
“Ninety-five per cent of the players will still be here next season," Wenger said.
“And what is important is the attitude of this 95 per cent of the players and how much we improve, how much we push on now until the end of the season.
“We are in the semi-final of the FA Cup, we are in a strong fight in the Premier League.”
The unlucky few
Just which players fall into the damned five percent is unclear, though it’s not too difficult to hazard a guess as to what the future holds for certain individuals. Though they’ve made it through to the FA Cup semi-finals, this year will mark another season that Wenger’s men have failed to make impressive headway in the Champions League, and their domestic challenge hasn’t looked half as strong as Chelsea’s.
Starting from the back either Wojciech Szczesny or David Ospina could well be flogged come the summer, with neither having cemented the number one position between the sticks. The latter only arrived in 2014 following an eye-catching World Cup, but with rumours aplenty that Wenger could purchase a new ‘keeper, his spot is far from safe.
Meanwhile Szczesny hasn’t looked the part since being dropped for his poor performance during the New Year’s Day defeat to Southampton, and all told it might not be bad for the club if he is shipped.
Further up the field
Moving forward there’s been question marks raised over the suitability of Per Mertesacker this term, with the tall German not such a foreboding presence as in years past. A new centre-back might be on the menu ahead of next season, and if he is Wenger might let go one of his current crop.
Though there’s no need for drastic changes up top per-say the midfield might tell a very different story. Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby and Mathieu Flamini are all men who could be seeking pastures new, with the former the only one Wenger is likely to want to keep. Word on the grapevine though is that the ex-Everton man isn’t willing to sit on the bench, leaving his club with quite the dilemma.
On top of that Wenger has to also consider the futures of those out on loan this term. Lukas Podolski, Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell are the biggest names, but they all play in similar positions and so it will come as a great surprise if they all return to north London without being pushed out the door.
Arsenal fans, who would you like to see sold on this summer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below...