Six In, Six Out
The 2020-2021 season is coming to an end and personally, the end couldn't come soon enough. It's been a dreadful campaign highly and depressing especially as an Arsenal fan. I sit here writing this whilst we sit in 9th place with a slim chance of finishing in the top six if results go our way.
Arsenal regardless of where we finish has some massive reconstruction work to do. The current squad has proven time after time that they cannot perform to the standard expected of them. And I’m not saying this as an entitled fan, Mikel Arteta has said this several times himself this season.
The only positive to filter out of this season was the highly energetic and often courageous performances from youth players, such as Bukaya Saka (19) and Emile Smith-Rowe (20). Both players have come into their own and given fans hope for better times ahead.
The biggest disappointment of this season has been the lacklustre showings of the more senior players; such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (captain), Willian (our resident Chelsea retiree), David Luiz (King of gaffes!) and this is just to name a few, I’m in no way pinning any blame of just these three... Errrr… Willian maybe!
Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to capitalise off of the energy that the squad generated last season having finished with a record 14th FA Cup Final win, in which manager Mikel Arteta (who replaced caretaker manager Freddie Ljungberg) managed to galvanize the tepid Arsenal team Unai Emery left behind after been sacked.
But you know what, I'm not really here to talk about who’s to blame. I'll leave that for another vlog, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled and ears open for another Vlogume of ‘Five Minutes With Da Gee!’.
Today I want to focus on the 2021-2022 season, which is incoming. It’s a massive one for Arsenal, the squad needs an overhaul I’ve put a list together of 6 players of which I would like to see Arsenal bring in and 6 players whom I wouldn’t be fussed with if Arteta let them go.
Tammy Abrahams (Chelsea), £36m A player I’ve been watching for a while, has 12 goals this season but hasn’t been able to hold down a spot in the first 11 due to Chelsea’s big signings of Havertz and Werner. What I like about him most is he’s tall, agile and finds good positions. He does have the tendency to miss chances but he’s young and still learning his trade.
Jessi Lingard - (Man Utd) £13.5m The out of favour Manchester United midfielder decided to go out on loan during the January transfer market. I can’t lie, I thought the 28-year-old had lost his flames but since joining West Ham United he has played 14 games, scored 9 goals and has 4 assists. This is remarkable and puts him up there as one of the best performers of the second half of the season. I think Jessi would slot right into our midfield
Yves Bissouma - (Brighton & Hove Albion) £15.30m The Mali international has been making waves since he joined Brighton in 2018. He’s played over 84 games and has shown signs of great quality. Personally, I feel he would be a fantastic partner for Thomas Partey in the double pivot role in my preferred 4231 formation.
Serge Aurier - (Tottenham) £18m Since joining Spurs from PSG in 2017, Tottenham haven’t quite ascertained the level of performances they were expecting from the Ivorian. However that’s not to say he wouldn’t be a good signing for a club like Arsenal, he’s versatile at the back, the main position as a right-back but can also fit in as a CB and LB which would be very useful in my opinion.
Tariq Lamperty - (Brighton & Hove Albion) £16.20m Tariq is nothing short of a problem (excuse my pun) for opposing teams defenders. He’s a right-back who loves to exploit the wings with his incredible speed and intensity. He would be an ideal replacement if Bellerin were to leave and he’s only 20! So he’s only going to improve.
Matthew Ryan - (Brighton & Hove Albion, (Loan Arsenal)) £5.4m The Australian international Goal Keeper has only made 3 appearances since joining Arsenal on loan. He was always going to find it hard overturning the grip that Leno has on the #1 spot (just ask Emi Martinez). However, I feel that with him being a backup GK for Brighton and there’s a potential that Leno may leave this transfer window, buying Matty probably would be a good idea.
Now let's take a look at some of the players I feel should be a priority for us to let go.
Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson - (GK) £1.62m The Icelandic GK was signed to the club on the back of Emi Matinez being sold. He cost Arsenal a measly £1.80m from Dijon and was somewhat of a panic buy. He’s managed to play a handful of games in the Europa league putting in some shaky performances but it was the game against Man City in the Carbao Cup which really show how bad he was… see highlights here if you have forgotten.
Mohamed Elneny - (CM) £9m Somehow Elneny managed to return from Besiktas on loan, having had 2 loan spells there it looked like he would be out of the door this season but to everyone surprised Elneny managed to gain a place in the squad whereas players like Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos were evicted. He’s managed to play 22 games but this transfer window Elneny has to go, if Arsenal truly wants to push on they need to find players of better quality.
Lucas Torreira (CM) - £19.8m Feel heavily sorry for Lucas as it feels he’s not really been given a chance to fulfil his destiny. He’s had a torrid 3 season spell with the club, this season being sent on loan to Atletico Madrid. I would love to see him don an Arsenal shirt again but I feel him being sold to raise cash and give him a home to play regular football is going to be best for all parties.
Héctor Bellerín Moruno - (RB) £22.5m I for one do not really want to see Hector leave, I believe he has so much more to give to Arsenal. 3-time Fa Cup and Charity Shield winner is an embodiment of what is the Arsenal DNA. Yes, he has been a bit off the pace since returning from his double knee ACL injury but something like that should always be expected. Whatever his decision I hope he goes on to have a great career as he’s a true professional.
Willian Borges da Silva - (RW) £10.8m - 37 games, 1 goal and 7 assists… meh! Nothing to write home about at all. If rumours are to be true the Brazilian is on his way out the door and could be going to the MLS. I really do hope he does move on and this helps free up as space for a player like Reiss Nelson.
David Luiz Moreira Marinho - (CBR) £4.5m David is definitely moving on as he’s come to an agreement with Arsenal where he won’t be offered a new contract. I think this is the right decision by everyone, in fact, I still believe we made a grave mistake offering him a new contract last term.
So there you go, that’s my Six in, Six out.
Da Gman signing out!