Friday 15 July 2022

Attacking or wide midfielders - who’s in, who’s out @ Arsenal FC?

Arsenal seem extremely well-stocked in this department, but let's look at the contractual situation of each player, provided by journalist Art de Roche of The Athletic (

Bukayo Saka (2024)
This mainstay of the first-team needs to be tied down to a new contract, as soon as possible. The situation isn't urgent, but will be soon, especially if he continues in the same rich vein of form he's been ever since making his debut.

The shocking thing is he's still 20-years-old and yet he still has the nerve to take penalties, despite missing a crucial one in a penalty shoot-out for England in the Euro 2020 final on 11th July 2021.
Verdict: STAY

Martin Odegaard (2025)
The Norwegian is a cool, calm and collected captain, who is still only 23-year-old, so has the best years ahead of him.

He still has a lot to prove, since arriving from Real Madrid, initially on loan, but many Arsenal fans believe in his ability to thread through final passes for team-mates and to slam in the occasional direct free kick.
Verdict: STAY

Emile Smith Rowe (2026)
'The Smith' as Nunes calls him reminds me so much of Paul Mersin in his pomp that he's always going to start or at least be used from the bench.

He's still only 21-years-old, so the best is yet to come, as long as he steers clear of injuries.
Verdict: STAY

Gabriel Martinelli (2024)
Apparently the club can extend the Brazil international's deal by one more year, so Arsenal fans can rest easily for now.

On his day, the 21-year-old is unplayable, but injuries and his inconsistency makes me wonder if he'll live up to his superstar potential.

He seems more effective as a left winger than he is as a striker, although many fans have called for him to play centrally in the past.
Verdict: STAY

Nicolas Pepe (2024)
The 27-year-old certainly seems surplus to requirements now, but quite how much of the £72m that Arsenal forked out for him can be recovered remains a moot point.

Personally, I think Pepe can offer something to the team, if he gets a run of games, but that seems unlikely under Arteta, who clearly is unimpressed by the Ivorian's work rate and tackling back.
Verdict: GO

Reiss Nelson (2023)
Apparently, this Hale Ender is about to get another chance to deliver for Arsenal's first team, but I can't see it myself.

Although the 22-year-old performed well at Feyenoord on loan by all accounts, playing in the Dutch league for one of the top sides is not as challenging as Premier League football, with all due respect.
Verdict: GO

Fabio Vieira (2027)
With a surname like that, the Portugal U21 international captain has a lot to live up to!

However, we can't expect him to deliver much in his first season abroad, so the question is will he be loaned out? My guess is: 'no'.
Verdict: STAY

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