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Keep, sell or loan: Arsenal current first team squad ahead of the summer

A look at Arsenal’s current first-team squad ahead of the summer window.

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Image Credit: Getty Images

Here is a look at Arsenal’s full first team squad ahead of next season & what I would do with each individual player during the summer transfer window.

I’m going to make a call on whether Arsenal should keep, loan or sell every player in the current first team squad ahead of the 2023/24 campaign. There is some easy decisions like keeping Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard and then some more difficult decisions like Sambi Albert Lokonga and Kieran Tierney.

I am a writer for now.arsenal and my name is Jerome Lindsay. You can follow me on Twitter here.

Keep, Loan, Sell: The current Arsenal first-team squad

Aaron RamsdaleKeep. The English international has been a saviour in numerous times throughout the season and has played a key part in Arsenal’s great season.

His heroics against Liverpool and Tottenham will be remembered along with his critical save against Bournemouth at home which helped Arsenal get the three points over the line. His distribution has been top notch too and is proving to play a massive part in Artetas project.

Emile Smith Rowe – Keep. Smith Rowe has struggled for minutes during the campaign due to injury however even upon return has struggled to get any playing time. With Odeagaard, Martinelli and Trossard all occupying roles that Smith Rowe can play in, it is hard to see his place in the team.

However, as rumours emerge of Smith Rowe learning to play the new Xhaka “Box to box” position, it will be an interesting watch to see the young talent develop further.

Emile Smith Rowe will stay at Arsenal next season. [Image Credit: Getty Images]

Bukayo Saka – Keep. After yet another fantastic season with the Gunners, Bakayo Saka is establishing himself to be one of the best hot talents around Europe.

At the age of just 21, Saka has had a phenomenal season and is quickly becoming the club’s greatest asset. With a new contract just been signed, it is safe to say that the star boy won’t be going anywhere soon.

Granit Xhaka – Sell. It looks like Granit Xhaka’s days in an Arsenal shirt are numbered as a move abroad to Bayern Leverkusen looks ever nearing.

The Swiss captain has put up his greatest numbers yet for the club, and as his age starts to get the better of him now could be the time to cash in on him.

Mohamed Elneny – Sell. The Egyptian has recently signed a new deal with the club despite being injured so it is unlikely for the club to sell.

However, with Arsenal looking to reinforce in midfield over the summer it looks like even his cup minutes will come few and far between.

Martin Odegaard – Keep. Odegaard has arguably been Arsenals player of the season. With 15 goals and 7 assists, rumours circulate that a new deal could be around the corner.

The 23-year-old has been vital to captained Arsenal to their first title charge since many years ago.

Gabriel Martinelli – Keep. The forward has had his best season in professional football yet. Martinelli has been one of Arsenals most consistent players this season and his finishing is probably the best at the club.

His blistering pace has caused defenders nightmares this season and at just 21 years of age the future looks extremely bright.

Kieran Tierney – Keep. This is probably the most interesting choice of the bunch. Despite getting game time cut short this season, Tierney is not even favoured as a second-choice option for Arsenal. Jakub Kvior has been slotted into left back when Zinchenko has been injured and it looks increasingly likely that KT will be shown the door.

I feel this would be the wrong decision as defensively Tierney can do a job, and it allows someone on the right-hand side of the defence to slot into midfield and play that inverted role. Not only Thomas Partey, who was seen in the Wolves game at the final game of the season playing a similar role but also Moises Caicedo, who Arsenal have been rumoured to make a move for. Not to mention, selling to Newcastle would be a mistake as Arsenal may find themselves in a position where they have sold to a direct competitive rival which they may be challenging tor silverware.

Newcastle United and Aston Villa are currently the two teams showing the most interest in Kieran Tierney. [Image Credit: Getty Images]

Gabriel Magalhaes – Keep. Gabriel has started every single Premier League game for Arsenal this season and has missed a total of 11 minutes throughout the season. His partnership with William Saliba has been amongst the best in the league.

His performances have been consistent and strong throughout an has flown under the radar. A key part of Mikel Artetas side.

READ MORE: The latest on Declan Rice’s move to Arsenal.

Rob Holding – Sell. Rob Holding has been at Arsenal for 7 years and is a player who has always been happy with his role and hasn’t complained. He knows his job, as a backup, causes no issues and is more than keen to do what he needs to do.

However, with Arsenal stepping up a level and now challenging for the Premier League title and not just top 4, it may be time to say goodbye. It has been clear by the performances of this season, that a backup right sided centre back is needed.

Ben White – Keep. Ben White not only offers strength at right back, but centre back too. He has a very good connection with Bukayo Saka down that right side of the pitch, and his overlaps have been useful with getting crosses into the box.

His 50-million-pound price tag may have been questioned when he signed in the summer of 2021, but has been clear that those questions have clearly been answered.

Fabio Vieira – Loan. Fabio Vieiras move to Arsenal has so far, not worked out. The gap between him and Odegaard, the player he’s meant to be pushing, is far too big. Having played his first season in England after moving from his hometown, an off season is reasonable due to the high expectations which have been put on him by his 34-million-pound price tag.

He needs to bulk up as he gets disposed easily as he continues to get out muscled by his opponents. A temporary move away may be a good move to get his confidence back and play at the level Mikel Arteta expects.

Oleksandr Zinchenko – Keep. Zinchenkos leadership skills have been key to the way that Arsenal have fought for a Premier League title. On numerous occasions has he led the team huddle and his influence on the pitch is clear for all to see. His ability to drop into the midfield has been a reason for Arteta signing him and his technical ability is for all to see.

However, his defensive capabilities need to be improved upon massively as that has cost Arsenal a few points across the board this season. His mistake against Trent Alexander-Arnold at Anfield stands out the most. His injury record has also been slightly worrying but a large part of Arsenals successful season, nonetheless.

Eddie Nketiah – Sell. Eddie had to fill the boots of Gabriel Jesus while being injured post world cup. Finishing wise, Eddie has scored some key goals for Arsenal including a late winner against Manchester United and a brilliant goal against West Ham

. However, he has missed far too many big chances and has had multiple opportunities to show his worth to Arsenal over the years. Jesus offers so much more upfront, with his ability to take it past players and knock it around them Gabriel Jesus’ assists help Arsenal far more in attack.

Despite being on 100 grand per week, even has a backup striker Leandro Trossard has been seen as Artetas preference ever since he walked through the door. Not to mention Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun will be returning after caning in the goals in the French league, Ligue un.

Matt Turner – Keep. The American international has only had a few performances for Arsenal and hasn’t really made any mistakes.

His performance away at Sporting sparked concern amongst Arsenal fans however has had a few clean sheets in the Europa League this season. However, some fans may argue that Ramsdale needs a more solid player to drive him onwards.

Takhehiro Tomiyasu – Sell. This may seen as “Harsh” by many Arsenal fans however I really don’t see his place in the team anymore. He is too unreliable. His injury record is poor and depending on him is unrealistic.

He is useful as he is both footed and can play either side at fullback, Arsenal must sign a new backup right back. This position is not a priority however Arsenal must be ruthless to win major silverware.

READ MORE: Rio Ferdinand blames Arsenal for Manchester City potentially winning the treble.

Reiss Nelson – Keep. Reiss Nelson has shown his worth this season and his shone at every opportunity offered to him. He has demonstrated plenty of cameos this season and his ability to play on either wing is crucial.

However, I think he will be played on the right-hand side of attack as he is the most viable back up option for Bukayo Saka. Rumours are that Nelson will sign a new deal, keeping him at the club.

Gabriel Jesus – Keep. Jesus has had an incredible first season at Arsenal. A player who Manchester City let go last summer, has been a key reason in Arsenal fighting against them for the title.

His goals and assists have helped Arsenal throughout the course of the season and his playmaking skills have played a huge part to those around him. Despite needing to work on his finishing, with him in the squad, Arsenal are always stronger.

Jorghino – Keep. Jorghino only has a year left on his contract. With Arsenal about to be short in midfield due to the departure of Granit Xhaka, Arsenal have little choice but to keep Jorghino as a back up option.

The Italian is happy with his role as a backup, and the Champions League winners experience has helped Arsenal get wins over the line at Newcastle, where he ran the midfield and his composure helped the team but also his late goal at Villa Park, which he took so well.

Jakub Kiwior- Keep. It may be too early to call as Kiwior hasn’t played all that many games for Arsenal however I have seen very promising signs from the Pole. The fact that he can play left back is important and his defensive abilities have been good so far.

His first half performance against Chelsea is one that springs to mind and is proving to be a good replacement option for the left centre back position.

Leandro Trossard – Keep. Trossard has immediately hit the ground running at Arsenal. His assists have been key and has been such a vital signing for the Gunners.

His first half hattrick of assists against Fulham is one for the record books, and his performances on the left hand side are only going drive Martinelli on even further as they compete for places. He is also a viable option for Jesus as a striker, providing him some competition too.

William Saliba – Keep. William Saliba has been superb ever since his introduction to the premier league last season. Arsenal’s failure to get results towards the end of the season was mainly due to Saliba being out of the squad. His composure is immense and at such a young age, he could end up being one of the best centre backs in world football.

However, he is yet to sign a new contract and if not Arsenal may be forced to sell. With clubs across the globe interested in William Saliba’s signature, Arsenal fans are praying that he puts pen to paper for the club. If not, Arsenal will not let leave him to go on a free, so they will end up being forced to sell the player.

Arsenal are confident they will tie William Saliba down to a new long-term contract soon. [Image Credit: Getty Images]

Thomas Partey – Keep. When fit, Thomas Partey had put on brilliant performances in an Arsenal shirt with displays to impress all. But, the issue is keeping him fit. Partey has been prone to many injuries over the years and is another player who Arsenal can not rely, or depend upon. The quality is there, however his availability is a huge issue.

Personally, I would keep Thomas Partey however the Arsenal midfield however this area needs heavy investment. This is because Partey is not a player who I feel Mikel Arteta is able to rely on to start every week. Not to mention, the return of Champions League football means that there are plenty more games to be played for next season.

Nuno Tavares – Sell. When Tavares first arrived at Arsenal, it was clear that the talent was there but the player was just extremely raw and was not ready for regular first team Football. Especially, his notorious performance against Nottingham Forest and being substituted off before half time.

Now, it is unlikely that Tavares will get any minutes for the club again. Even after a reasonable loan spell at Marseille, the system that Arteta plays with inverted fullbacks is not a role that Tavares seems to be able to carry out.

Nicolas Pepe – Sell. With a price tag of 72 million pounds, Nico Pepe remains Arsenals most expensive signing in their history. However, after disappointing seasons he has failed to impress Mikel Arteta.

Despite Arsenal needing depth on the right wing, Reiss Nelson is rumoured to have signed a contract extension and will be occupying that side when it comes to depth in the position. It looks like it’s time for Arsenal and Pepe to part ways.

For the latest on Nicolas Pepe’s future CLICK HERE.

Sambi Albert Lokonga – Sell. This may be harsh, as Lokonga has not had much opportunity to prove his worth in an Arsenal shirt. However, even after a loan spell at Crystal Palace Lokonga failed to impress. Arteta may decide to loan out the player, as it was his decision to sign him in the first place but I personally just don’t see it with the player.

This will be an interesting one to watch out for, but I think that for Sambi Lokonga, it may be the right time to go.

Folarin Balogun – Keep. The forward has has an incredible season in the French league, and if let go it could end up being a huge mistake by Arsenal. Fans will be reminded of Serge Gnabry, a player who Arsenal let go and then proceeded to perform at a high level on the world stage.

Balogun is a fantastic finisher, and at a younger age than Nketiah it seems the right move to bring him in as a backup option for Gabriel Jesus. However, the player has publicly stated that he wants regular first team football which is something he is not going to get this season for Arsenal. This is another deal which will be one to watch.

Personally, I would be happy with another loan, but this would be without an option to buy. This move however would mean keeping Nketiah. Or Arsenal could do sell the player, but with a buyback clause. This would mean a set price for the player, that Arsenal could trigger at anytime. Almost like a personal release clause.

Folarin Balogun is expected to leave Arsenal this summer. [Image Credit: Getty Images]

Cedric – Sell. Even though I feel that Arsenal need depth in the right back position, Cedric is definitely not the player to carry the club forward.

Not only his age, but the drop in quality is too big of a gap to first team players. He has to go in the summer for me.

Marquinhos – Loan. Marquinhos did not perform to high enough standards during his time on loan at Norwich. However, the player is young and is going to improve over time.

For now, he is not good enough to play for the club but should be given another opportunity to show his talent. By this, I mean given another season on loan but if he fails to capitalise on the opportunity then it could be time he sees the door.

Auston Trusty – Keep. Aaron Trusty played 44 games this season during his time at Birmingham on loan. he scored 4 goals, averaging 1 goal per 11 games which is not bad for a centre half.

His ability to play as a left back, as well as a centre back could be something that Arteta could potentially like and make use of.

NEXT ARTICLE: Maurizio Sarri has made Arsenal midfielder his number one target this summer.

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