It’s safe to say all eyes will be on one club in particular when this season draws to a close, and that’s Arsenal. A lot will depend on where the Gunners finish come May, but there’s every chance we could be looking at a completely different squad come the opening day of next campaign.
Put simply, failure to finish in the top four would likely see plenty of players move on, with Arsene Wenger – whose future still remains unclear – likely to follow suit.
But would a potential exodus necessarily be a bad thing?
We take a look at exactly who could be heading for an Emirates exit, and some potential realistic replacements.
Let’s start with the boss. In short, if the Gunners fail to qualify for the Champions League next season and don’t win the Emirates FA Cup, it’s likely the Frenchman will call time on his 20-year spell with the club.
That’ll be music to the ears of some fans, while it’ll be a sad day for others. But moving forward, who would be best suited to the Emirates hot seat?
Potential candidates: Max Allegri, Eddie Howe, Thomas Tuchel, Diego Simeone and Luis Enrique.
Who tickles your fancy? Let us know in the comments section below!
All the attention thus far has been on the future of Arsenal’s forward players – but we wouldn’t be surprised to see a handful of exits at the back too.
While both Barcelona and Manchester City have expressed an interest in Hector Bellerin, we can’t see him heading anywhere soon.
However, the same can’t be said for fellow right-back Mathieu Debuchy, who will be eager to put an end to his nightmare spell in north London.
Moving to the left-hand side of the defence, lack of game-time could see Kieran Gibbs seek pastures new, while plenty are expecting this to be Per Mertesacker’s last season with the Gunners.
Calum Chambers’ return from a season-long loan should provide cover for Bellerin, while Gabriel and Rob Holding are reliable back-ups for Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi.
However, Arsenal should seriously consider adding Fulham prodigy Ryan Sessegnon to their ranks this summer. He’s already being dubbed the ‘new Ashley Cole’, he’ll have had a full season in the Championship under his belt, and he’s certainly one for the future.
Who replaces Ozil?
On his day, Mesut Ozil is simply unplayable. But the problem Arsenal fans have is that they’ve not seen enough from their World Cup winner.
He’s reportedly stalling contract talks in order to get a better deal, yet he’s currently doing very little to justify his apparent demands.
Do Arsenal give in to his requests? If not, there are plenty of alternatives available…
Potential replacements: Isco, James Rodriguez, Marek Hamsik
Who replaces The Ox?
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will have plenty of offers on the table for him at the end of the season were he to call it a day at Arsenal.
The question is, who do the Gunners replace him with?
In truth, they probably wouldn’t need to add anyone else to their ranks, with the likes of Danny Welbeck, Alex Iwobi and Lucas Perez currently on the books.
The Ox, although he’s featured in 22 Premier League games this season, is still considered a bit-part player in north London. That means his exit, sad as it may be, wouldn’t have too much of an impact on the first-team.
The Gunners have been strongly linked with forward Helder Costa in recent days though, with our traders making the Gunners 2/1 favourites to be his next club.
And finally, who replaces Sanchez?
Quite simply, a player of Alexis Sanchez’s quality comes around once in a blue moon, and thus the Gunners should do everything in their power to keep him at the club.
The Chile international’s influence on proceedings at the Emirates isn’t too dissimilar to Luis Suarez’s impact at Liverpool.
And look what happened at Anfield after he left…
This is a player the team should be built around, not one the club should be looking to cash in on.
We’ve had our say, but what do you think? Let us know in the comments section below!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing