Are Arsenal preparing for a summer of change on the pitch as well as off it?

Opinion

With the talk of Alexis Sanchez looking to leave Arsenal this summer, Arsenal fans may need to consider life without several players from the current side after the summer transfer window.

Sanchez has certainly been Arsenal’s most important player this season with the Chilean scoring 17 and assisting nine times. In the form he is in, he is almost irreplaceable, which demonstrates how important it is that the Gunners hold on to him this summer.

Despite Sanchez being most valuable to the Gunners, fans must be careful not to forget the importance of other current players at the club and recognise he may not be the only one looking for a move.

One of those players being Mesut Ozil. Arsenal’s number 11 has divided fans’ opinions since joining, with some recognising his true ability past being able to put in a shift for the team, and others being unable to deal with his lack of effort and at times, laziness.

However, there is no doubt that he provides moments of magic. For example, when he elegantly knocked the ball over the goalkeeper’s head, effortlessly caused two players to throw themselves at his feet before sliding the ball into the net against Ludogorets. With Mourinho once claiming he is the best no. 10 in the world, it would be no surprise if he became interested this summer and selling him to Man United is something Arsenal must avoid at all costs. Arsenal should be looking to tie Ozil down for the next few years, similarly to Sanchez.

With Arsenal playing the way they currently are, many players may consider their future this summer, with another player being Laurent Koscielny. Despite the defender recently having signed a new contract, he could be tempted by a move to Barcelona. The Spanish giants have previously shown interest in the centre back and they could certainly come calling again this time around. It’s very unlikely, but stranger things have happened.

He is one of the best centre backs in the Premier League and is so vital to Arsenal, which was proven in their humiliating loss to Bayern Munich. With Koscielny having to limp off through injury, the Gunners soon lost shape and buckled under Bayern Munich’s pressure, eventually conceding four goals after Koscielny was substituted. Koscielny is arguably as important to the club as Sanchez as the game against Bayern Munich showed, therefore it’s crucial that the Gunners must keep the Frenchman if they want a chance of winning the Premier League title next year.

Other players who could leave the club include Lucas Perez, who has hardly featured for the Gunners since signing despite putting in good performances when given the opportunity. Kieran Gibbs, who to many isn’t good enough for the club, but has played better in his 14 games in all competitions than first choice full back Nacho Monreal. And finally, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. He has played more regularly since the Christmas period, but before that, the Englishman had said he will be considering his future at the end of the season.

The fans must prepare for a long and interesting summer transfer window as numerous players could be leaving the club. Arsenal had seemingly ended the era where they lost their best players each summer, but it seems like it may be starting all over again.