Emirates Stadium boss ready to make drastic alterations to his squad.
Arsene Wenger will conduct a drastic clear out this summer as he looks to make way for new additions that new owner Stan Kroenke will provide funds for. The Arsenal boss is reportedly aware that another season without tangible success next term could lead to the axe and has been assured he has the board’s backing for significant signings when the transfer window re-opens.
Today’s last gasp draw at home to Liverpool saw the North London side drop two points and leaves the Gunners six points behind leaders Man United with just six games left to play which leaves Wenger staring at a sixth straight season without silverware and facing the type of pressure the French boss is unused to.
Arsenal supporters have stayed loyal to Wenger during these lean years mainly due to the fact that under the former Monaco boss they have experienced immense success but their patience is not limitless and recent comments stating that finishing second is ‘not a disaster’ has further antagonized fans expect to see their side challenging, and winning, major honours.
Wenger will look to offload under performing members of his squad and as many as 11 players are in danger of the chop. Bungling keeper Manuel Almunia is perhaps the most likely of the club’s current squad to not be involved with the club for much longer and a move back to Spain is on the cards for the 33 year old.
The inconsistency shown by Abou Diaby is a cause for concern and the remaining games of the current season could be crucial to his continued presence at the club. The French midfielder is very much the nearly man of the squad, so clearly full of talent and ability but so often unable to make an impact, there is apparent interest from French sides Lyon and Marseille. Tomas Rosicky is in the same boat and injuries have greatly hampered the Czech international’s time at the club, now very much a bit part player he too could be sold to create space for the burgeoning youngsters in the club’s academy and youth set-ups.
Summer arrivals Sebastien Squillaci and to a lesser extent Laurent Koscielny, have struggled to adapt to the Premier League and the former may well be sold if Arsene Wenger manages to bring in a new centre back to which end he has targeted Per Mertesacker and Gary Cahill most prominently.
Brazilian midfielder Denilson burst onto the scene some years back and showed great potential and in 2008/09 was practically an ever present but some sub standard performances and the consistent form of Alex Song has left Wenger wondering if he needs the 23 year old who is apparently a target of Bundesliga side Wolfsburg.
Strikers Carlos Vela and Nicklas Bendtner have both struggled to cement a place in the first team but the Mexican’s spell at West Brom may work the same magic as Jack Wilshere’s stint at Bolton and the top notch performances he has put in at the Baggies mean he is more likely to be staying at the Emirates than Danish international.
Bendtner had a much publicised row with Arsene Wenger earlier in the season following some ill advised statements from the young striker and a move away this summer seems a distinct possibility. Andrei Arshavin has had an up and down season and has been linked with a move back to Russia and the fact that attacking midfielder is nearing his 30th birthday may make the Arsenal boss consider any significant offers for the former Zenit St Petersburg man.
Emmanuel Eboue, Gael Clichy and Vito Mannone are the other three potential exit bound stars. The Ivory Coast Utility man may be sacrificed with a number of sides reportedly interested in the right sided player. French full back Clichy is stalling on a contract offer and with Kieran Gibbs and Armand Traore in reserve, Wenger may feel he can afford to sell the former Cannes man.
Italian youngster Mannone has seen impressive Pole Wojciech Szczesny move ahead in the pecking order and could well be looking to find first team football elsewhere.
Such is the array of up and coming talent in Arsenal’s youth and academy systems that moves to trim drastically may not be too problematic. The progress shown by the likes of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Henri Lansbury, Ryo Miyaichi, Kyle Bartley and Craig Eastmond whilst on loan serves the club in good stead.
That knowledge of an impressive youth and scouting system and the backing of Stan Kroenke will give Wenger the confidence to know he can remove players he feels are no longer of use to him.