4 Arsenal Players Who Should Be Moved on or Sold This Summer Transfer Window
Arsenal have wrapped up fourth and a record 17th qualification for the Champions League and still have the FA Cup final and Hull City to look forward to before the season really reaches its climax. However, the Gunners' fans and Arsene Wenger and the team will also be looking toward the summer transfer window to see who comes in but also who leaves the club.
Arsenal, as ever, are on the verge of something special. They led the Premier League for 128 days only to drop off in spectacular fashion and eventually finish down in fourth. They are, however, not a million miles away from a real tilt at the title.
There is no chance that Wenger, should he stay with the club, will allow this team to break up, so no major stars are expected to leave in the summer. The club is also expected to sign a centre-forward, right-back and wide midfielder to bolster their title chances.
Five players are out of contract and will leave Arsenal at the end of June, according to Transfermarkt. They are: Bacary Sagna, Emiliano Viviano, Nicklas Bendtner, Kim Kallstrom and Lukasz Fabianski. None, with the exception of the world-class Sagna, will be missed.
Those defections leave the squad trimmed down to the basics with youth backup and there is very little deadwood left for Wenger to trim.
But here at Bleacher Report, we like a challenge. So read on as we offer four players Le Prof should move on in some way, shape or form this summer...
The most obvious place to start is with the superbly named Nacho Monreal.
The 28-year-old Spaniard is little more than backup for Kieran Gibbs. He joined the Gunners in January 2013 from Malaga for £8.5 million and has gone on to make almost 50 appearances across all competitions.
This season he started 14 matches and came off the bench 15 times.
Monreal is physically weak and timid and is positionally poor, both on and off the ball, although getting forward is, most definitely, his best attribute.
With Gibbs the first choice left-back at Arsenal, Wenger needs to move Monreal on, so as not to stifle the talent coming through.
At 28, Monreal is not the right age for a reserve, nor is he as important or as experienced as the likes of Tomas Rosicky. His contribution is minimal and if Wenger can take in a tidy sum and promote a player like Ignasi Miquel to act as an understudy to Gibbs, he should do it immediately.
At 22 and already an England international, Arsene Wenger will not want to sell Carl Jenkinson.
Nor should he.
Jenkinson has potential, but he is not ready to replace Bacary Sagna at right-back. If the Frenchman decided to stay or if Wenger was able to pick up a top-class right-back, he should consider allowing Jenkinson to leave the club on loan.
At this stage of his career, he needs first team football but not necessarily with Arsenal. The 22-year-old is a capable young player, but he is not mature nor good enough to play in a title-chasing team. Jenkinson would be ideally placed for a season on loan at a team like Southampton or even Stoke City, who under Mark Hughes play an exciting and enterprising brand of football.
The possibility of a loan move to Southampton is intriguing because Nathaniel Clyne is a far more accomplished player than Jenkinson at just a year older. If Wenger could sign the full-back he would have two of the best young players in that particular position in the league. It would also allow the Frenchman the ability to offer Jenkinson back on loan for a portion of the season.
That particular transfer merry-go-round is just one potential scenario, but Wenger must consider all bases regarding the development of his players.
Jenkinson needs to play, but is he ready for Arsenal and the highest level?
Football is a harsh and merciless sport and it is never more cruel than when you think you're at your happiest.
To say that Abou Diaby has battled back from injury would be an understatement of the highest order.
The Frenchman, with the club since 2006, missed the entire campaign with the exception of a 16-minute cameo in the final game of the season against Norwich City, due to an ACL injury.
Diaby started back into full training in March and did incredibly well to make the bench for the last game of the campaign.
However, in the cold hard light of football, Arsene Wenger should now move the 16-times capped French international on.
Diaby is notoriously injury prone and his entire Arsenal career has been blighted with set-back after set-back. He has never played over 30 games in one season and has only twice exceeded 20 games since 2006.
With the massive array of central talent that Wenger now has at his disposal, he seriously needs to consider moving Diaby on.
Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil are all superior players and the likes of Thomas Eisfeld and Gedion Zelalem are ready to make the break through.
Nursing Diaby back to health was the right thing to do. Releasing him is also now the right thing to do.
Of all the big names at Arsenal, Lukas Podolski is most under threat.
The German international enjoyed a decent end to his season. However, between dreadful form and injury, he was virtually invisible between August and April.
Valued at €23 million on Transfermarkt, Podolski, 28, is out of contract in 2016.
In March, the Daily Mirror's John Cross linked the German with a summer transfer to Inter Milan. talkSPORT also linked the striker-cum-wide man with a swap deal for Schalke 04's Julan Draxler, even though Podolski strenuously denied the claims to Sky Sports.
However, when all is said and done, Podolski is something of an anomaly at Arsenal. While the rest of the team is built for intricate tiki-taka style passing, Poldi is better as a direct runner and does his best work at the end of moves rather than in the build up.
He has neither the physical attributes nor the skill set needed to play as a lone centre-forward. This means that he spends most of his time in the most forward left-sided position. Here, he is neither a striker nor a midfielder and is something of a hodge-podge of both.
Wenger would be best suited signing a creative replacement for the German and selling him on. As a big name, he guarantees a decent transfer fee to which Wenger could spend elsewhere.
If he stays, it won't be the end of the world, but Arsenal would be better off with a specialist in that position rather than a square peg in a round hole.