Arsenal Squad 2016-17. We urgently need to loan or sell eight players

by Andrew Crawshaw

Before we get carried away with the thought of buying a stack of new players, I thought it would be a good time to have a look at the players we currently have on our books.

As we all know the Premier league has a squad limit of 25 players over the age of 21 of whom at least 7 must be’ Home Grown”.

‘Home Grown’ essentially means either qualified to play for England or Wales or has been with a UK or Welsh club for at least 3 years prior to becoming 21.

So how many over 21 players do Arsenal currently have?  20?, 25?, 30?  No – according to my records we actually have 32, of whom 17 are homegrown.  Here is the list :-

International Registration Squad No Position DOB Home Grown
Mathieu Debuchy France 2 RB 28 Jul 1985 N
Hector Bellerin Spain 24 RB 19 Mar 1995 Y
Carl Jenkinson England 25 RB 8 Feb 1992 Y
Aaron Ramsey Wales 8 Mid 26 Dec 1990 Y
Jack Wilshere England 10 Mid 1 Jan 1992 Y
Mesut Özil Germany 11 Mid 15 Oct 1988 N
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain England 15 Mid 15 Aug 1993 Y
Santi Cazorla Spain 19 Mid 13 Dec 1984 N
Mohamed Elneny Egypt 35 Mid 11 Jul 1992 N
Kieran Gibbs England 3 LB 26 Sep 1989 Y
Nacho Monreal Spain 18 LB 26 Feb 1986 N
Wojciech Szczesny Poland 1 GK 18 Apr 1990 Y
David Ospina Colombia 13 GK 31 Aug 1988 N
Emiliano Martinez Argentina 26 GK 2 Sep 1992 Y
Petr Cech Czech Republic 33 GK 20 May 1982 N
Deyan Iliev Macedonia 44 GK 25 Feb 1995 Y
Matt Macey England 49 GK 9 Sep 1994 Y
Alexis Sanchez Chile 7 Forward 19 Dec 1988 N
Olivier Giroud France 12 Forward 30 Sep 1986 N
Theo Walcott England 14 Forward 16 Mar 1989 Y
Yaya Sanogo France 22 Forward 27 Jan 1993 N
Danny Welbeck England 23 Forward 26 Nov 1990 Y
Joel Campbell Costa Rica 28 Forward 26 Jun 1992 N
Wellington Silva Brazil 58 Forward 6 Jan 1993 N
Francis Coquelin France 34 DM 13 May 1991 Y
Granit Xhaka Switzerland 29 CM 27 Sep 1992 N
Jon Toral Spain 57 CM 5 Feb 1995 Y
Isaac Hayden England 41 CB/DM 22 Mar 1995 Y
Per Mertesacker Germany 4 CB 29 Sep 1984 N
Gabriel Brazil 5 CB 26 Nov 1990 N
Laurent Koscielny France 6 CB 10 Sep 1985 N
Calum Chambers England 21 CB 20 Jan 1995 Y

So we cannot possibly include (let alone play) all of the players we currently have on our books and a trimming down (sale or loan) of 8 players is needed before we can sign a single player.  Nine if we sign two, 10 for three newcomers etc.

In addition to the 25 over 21 players a club can have as many players under 21 as they wish.  My sheet lists a further 56 players down to schoolboy level who might appear for one of our teams from U18 level to the first team.  Obvious candidates are Iwobi and Gnabry but there are many more.

One thing is for certain – we aren’t short of player numbers.

Goal Keepers – 6 including three full internationals.  Three if not four will probably head out on loan or be sold.  Cech will definitely stay as our first choice; either Ospina or Szcz as No 2 and probably Martinez, Iliev and Macey either sold or loaned.

Right Back – 3.   Bellerin, Debuchy and Jenkinson.  We need two so I would expect Debuchy to leave.  We have cover for Jenkinson until he recovers from injury in the shape of two very able members of the U21 squad.

Left Back – 2.  Monreal and Gibbs.  Both good players although Monreal is getting older now and Gibbs hasn’t developed as much as many of us would have hoped.  We don’t have any obvious contenders from the U21 squad so I wouldn’t be surprised at a change in this position for next season.

Centre Back – 4. Mertesacker and Koscielny are 31 and 30 respectively and possibly  coming to the end of their carreers.  Gabriel is still a little unconvincing, Chambers looked better when I saw him at the end of the season.  U21 players a couple of years away from being able to step in so possibly a need for another player here.

Defensive Midfield – despite us not really having or needing a conventional DM we have three who would probably be classified as a DM in most other teams – Coquelin, Hayden and Elneny.  Hayden possibly a candidate for a loan spell with Newcastle

Box to Box Midfield – another position where we seem to have a wealth of talent – Ramsey, Xhaka, Santi, Jack, Toral (rumoured to be going on loan to Spain).  No space for any more.

Attacking Midfield – Özil, Ox, with Ramsey and Santi ready to fill in as required plus a wealth of talent from the U21s (Iwobi for one).

Forwards – 7 to choose from. Alexis, Giroud, Theo, Danny (later in the season when he recovers from injury), Joel Campbell, Wellington, and Yaya.  The future of the last two is certainly in doubt and they will need a stellar pre-season to impress sufficiently to keep their places in the squad.  Joel or Theo may find themselves under pressure if we make another signing.  Again a wealth of talent emerging from the U21s who we may well see later in the season

Whosoever we sign between now and the end of the transfer season, we should give our full support to the entire squad is each and every game.


The Untold Preview of the Under 18, Under 19, and Under 21 squads.

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42 Replies to “Arsenal Squad 2016-17. We urgently need to loan or sell eight players”

  1. thanks and hello Andrew!

    From that I think its clear we need a LB, Centre half, and a forward. I can’t see AW persisting with Sanogo, Silva or even Campbell )on the evidence of last year), Iwobi has a much better claim. Personally I also think Theo’s days are numbered and if the price is right I’d move him on. But ( as I think all but the most intransigent AAAs must realise) there isn’t a wealth of striking talent out there to choose from (at least not at anything approaching a ‘reasonable’ price).
    I’d like us to sign Draxler or Greizeman or Morata but its unlikely we will. Giroud is a very solid CF but too slow, Danny is excellent but injury prone, Alexis is a handful but is he the finisher we need?
    I agree that Gabriel is no angel (sorry) and perhaps not the player we hoped, but I’d give him time. Peopel doubted KOs at the start but look how central he is to us (and France) now.
    Gibbs is toast in my opinion and I would like to see his space filled by a newcomer (no idea who). Debuchey must go, he is a moaner – I’d sell him back to the barcodes for a sack of coal and a Lindisfarne CD
    P.s. Is Hayden’s move a loan or a sale?

  2. On attackers, it’s good to sell Theo and send Wellie and Yaya to loan and sign a World class striker.

  3. The rule is that you must be under-21 on 1 January 2016, not at the start of the season i.e. anyone born in 1995 is still under-21.

    For that reason, Iliev, Hayden, Toral and Chambers on your list are still classed as Under-21.

    Welbeck can be left out of the list until after Christmas. Two of the over-21 goalkeepers will leave. Debuchy will leave too, as will at least one of Sanogo/Wellington/Campbell, possibly two.

    That would leave room for two to three signings.

  4. 4 of your list bellerin, chambers, toral and chambers will all still be classed as under 21 for those coming season.

  5. I would register the following players if I were the manager: Cech, Ospina and Martinez. Meaning that Szczesny should be sold to Roma as he wants, Illeiv and Macey loan.
    Bellerin, Jenkinson as right backs with an under 21 as a cover so Debuchy should be sold and Chamber loaned for possible much game time.
    Per, Koscielny and Gabriel with a new signing as center backs.
    Monreal and Gibbs as left backs.
    Coquelin and Elneny as CDMs.
    Ramsey, Xhaka, Wilshere and Cazorla as box to box MF. So, Toral loan.
    Ozil and Iwobi as CAM.
    Ox, Campbell and Welbeck as wingers meaning Walcott should go. Iwobi can play as a winger too. Alexis can play as a winger too.
    Giroud, Alexis and a new signing as strikers.
    So, the rest can be loaned or sold.
    My Premier League 1st 11 would be as follows:
    Cech, Bellerin, Kosciely, New signing and Monreal as defenders.
    Xhaka and Coquelin
    Campbell, Ozil and Alexis.
    New signing upfront.
    Bench: Ospina, Jenko, Per, Gibbs, Ramsey, Iwobi and Giroud.

  6. Andrew
    Thanks for a thought-provoking article.
    Very useful when reading some of the more creative rumours about who we’re going to buy.
    For instance, why would we go for Goetze or Draxler, when we have a wealth of MF talent already. I know both have been used as forwards by Joachim Loew in the Euros, because of injuries, but they have hardly been a big success.
    If Theo leaves, that might be a different matter, but still unlikely.

    Around Europe, CF and CB are the two positions where there is a shortage of top quality talent, hence the sky-high valuations and release clauses, and the lack of desire by their current clubs to sell. This is the dilemma all managers have not just AW.

    Are Lukaku and Morata worth £50M plus? At least Romelu has EPL experience.
    Lacazette could be OK, but likely to take at least half a season to acclimatise to the Prem. But this is our Achilles heel – I like Ollie despite his lack of pace, but we need another good striker to give us different options.

    I would give Campbell another season – he performed well in the middle of the season – but would ditch Sanogo and probably Wellington. Gnabry and Akpom may have a fight to get game time, but could be used in League Cup.

    It will be Gabriel’s second season so he has the chance to get rid of some of those rough edges, and Chambers should also be given more chances at CB where he could be a good prospect. I would also like to see Bieliek get a chance in the League Cup alongside Merts or Kos. But I would also like AW to get another good quality CB, as we are vulnerable if Kos gets injured.

    Debuchy and Gibbs should go, so we probably also need an additional LB like Rodriguez and if Szczesny is loaned (or sold) to Roma, then we should not sell Oooospina.

    Looking forward to an “interesting” transfer window and the new season

  7. Isn’t it 8 players that has to be “Homegrown” from the 25-man squad?

  8. Players to keep:

    Petr Cech
    David Ospina
    Matt Macey (HG)

    Héctor Bellerín (U21)
    Carl Jenkinson (HG)
    Per Mertesacker
    Laurent Koscielny
    Nacho Monreal

    Granit Xhaka
    Mohamed Elneny
    Francis Coquelin (HG)
    Aaron Ramsey (HG)
    Jack Wilshere (HG)
    Santi Cazorla
    Mesut Özil
    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (HG)
    Jeff Reine-Adelaide (U21)

    Alexis Sánchez
    Olivier Giroud
    Alex Iwobi (U21)
    Danny Welbeck (HG)
    Theo Walcott (HG)

    That’s 20 Players, 12 Foreign & 8 Homegrown. (leaves room for 5 new players)

    Players to be sold or loaned out:
    Wojciech Szczesny (HG) – loaned out
    Emiliano Martínez (HG) – sold
    Calum Chambers (U21) – loaned out
    Isaac Hayden (U21) – loaned out
    Mathieu Debuchy – sold
    Kieran Gibbs (HG) – sold
    Gedion Zelalem (U21) – sold
    Jon Toral (U21) – loaned out
    Serge Gnabry (U21) – loaned out
    Yaya Sanogo – loaned out
    Joel Campbell – sold
    Wellington Silva – sold
    Chuba Akpom (U21) – loaned out

    Players to buy:
    Neven Subotic (Borussia Dortmund) – £14m.
    Rob Holding (Bolton Wanderers) – £2,5m.
    Ricardo Rodríguez (VfL Wolfsburg) – £23m.
    Julian Draxler (VfL Wolfsburg) – £43m.
    Álvaro Morata (Real Madrid) – £58m.


  9. Very helpful article and comments. This explains why Arsene limits the number of players he intends to buy. I think most of us agree that the priorities are CB and Striker. If we can bring in two very good players we have a well- balanced squad. My preference would be to move on Walcott, Debuchy, Martinez, Chambers ( on loan) , Sanogo, Gnabry, Akpom and Toral on loan and maybe Gibbs

  10. My concern Andrew, and I am sure it is Wenger’s as well, are the number of aging players who will be retiring or need to be sold on, in the next few years:

    1) Debuchy, Cazorla,Monreal,Cech, Giroud,Per and Koscielny.
    2) We have excellent options at RB,,midfield and GK but could need new faces for LB and CB.There are good youth players coming up but we may need more experienced players for LB and definitely CB.

    Wenger is always hesitant to bring in a temporary fix when he can experiment with our youth and reserve players pre-season. However, when he sees a bargain, or when he sees a masterstroke (Ozil,Sanchez,Xhaka) he is prepared to spend so I am NOT at all concerned about him replacing the LB and CB positions with transfers. I would love to see him try and convince Atletico to let Griezmann go (not likely) or get Himmich from Dortmund (more likely) or even Hector but I am sure of one thing, he’ll pleasantly surprise us all once again!

  11. It’s not a numbers game. It’s about quality. We do not have a single world class striker and we have one world class centre half. Urgently need a striker and center half. Plenty of reasonably priced, Umtiti and Musa, for example. We just have a sloppy scouting and transfer team that does not know how to identify talent. Fans are not interested in mourners complaining that Morata and Lacazzette are over priced. Why did you not buy Musa or Nolito or Janssen. Wenger should go. He sounds tired and is not nimble enough.

  12. XX
    Lacazette didn’t make the french team for the Euros where’s Giroud did I get the feeling you wouldn’t value him at €50m.

  13. An interesting review of the present player situation. Thank you.

    I would think that Arsene went to the Euro Championship knowing exactly the position and the type of player he wants for the team.

    A factor driving his decision on player purchase would be the tactics he wants to employ.

    Also he will be looking for players that he thinks will gel well in the squad.

    Another factor that is often talked about here and else where is the players like Walcott who did have the best of season. Only he and those who assist him can best decide what action to be taken.

    We can only view from a distance. For all we can see our knowledge of reality of the team needs might as well be viewed from planet Jupiter.

    Therefore in Arsene we trust.

    I have learnt that a brother of George Graham died this week. Our condolences to George and his family

  14. Sorry typo it should read
    ‘did not have the best of seasons’.

    My apologies for the confusion I have caused.

  15. Welcome back Andrew.

    We only need one player to be able to compete fairly in this league. Any one from Clattenberg, Taylor, Atkinson or Dyke. The latter being drum major for the band.

  16. Interesting article.
    2 points in response to various comments;
    1) If Wellington is sold on then it will be for ‘off field’ reasons, not for his footballing talent. He’s had some outstanding games for Bolton although his consistency is a bit hit and miss, but nothing more than can be expected for a young player.
    2) We’re looking for a CF not just any forward. Yes, some wingers could be converted (as Henry was, but you should remember that his conversion wasn’t an overnight success).
    But many wingers would have major problems converting in the PL. The pressure is on all 38 games unlike every other top league where they get at least half their games at a much lower level of pressure. Add to this the very defensive nature of most teams we play against, plus the officials preference for watching our players being kicked black & blue, and it could take an awful long time for them to learn the position to a decent PL standard.

  17. Menace. I thought Dyke had abandoned ship. I could be wrong, I usually am on these matters!

  18. Great analysis. I suppose there’s two parts to buying to improving the squad. One, 90%, is about planning, and the other opportunism. What we can never account for is someone coming available that is simply much better than existing options, however good and deep they may be. Ozil probably such an example. What chance that next game changing acquisition being no-one from the Euro’s, but someone from South America?

  19. Goodge and Atid,

    I have 01 Jan 2016 as the qualifying date in my spreadsheet, I’ll have to re-check the formulae, thanks for pointing out my mistake. Brain still on the boat going across Germany.

  20. One thing I will say for Arsenal is that we play as a team. We do not carry any “I am’s”. Our approach has always been to score goals, but not always making it easy. The players that we have can all play within the team & the only aspect that needs refinement is the technique of kicking. That being both dead ball or crosses & shots. It is not a complex problem to make a ball swerve, dip or rise. It is a complex problem when an individual is paid obscene amounts of money & misses the goal from a free kick or skies a shot rather than hit it somewhere within the goal posts.

    However, it is not an aspect that Mr Wenger is concerned about as he has sufficient coaching staff. It is annoying to see that nothing has improved over the last 5 years despite efforts to get a solution.

  21. XX…….thanks for your ever so professional insight into how bad AFC’s scouting network is! Why what a disgraceful performance when they got Sanchez, Ozil, Cech, Xhaka, El-Neny, Gabriel, Campbell, and Welbeck!!! None of them are fit to wear the shirt!!! Wenger out…..any ass like you in to manage the team since you are such an expert in BS! Back to LeGrovel where your kindred spirits wallow in the cesspool that gives them such spirit!

  22. An interesting article. I agree that we will have to move some players on, but I don’t think the moves need to be described as urgent – there is plenty of time before the end of the transfer window.

    Also, I don’t feel that Kos is nearing the end of his career – usually center backs peak slightly later than players in some other positions & with Kos’s pace I think he will be around for quite a while.

    I am not sure about Chambers – the reason is that although he will certainly develop as a player, he is not the quickest & against the many teams that now play the “park the bus” game combined with leaving a quick striker up front for the breakaway, he could on occasion be caught out.

    But basically we have an excellent squad to build on.

  23. bjtgooner, Chambers was caught out by a couple of very quick wingers when he played RB but he is actually quite quick. Certainly quick enough to match most other PL DMs or CBs.

  24. Andy, I understand the comparison you are making, but what I prefer is our CBs being able to match the pace of the quickest PL strikers, otherwise they can be vulnerable.

  25. We are living in times where Raheem Sterling is worth £50 million then Sanchez is easily worth double that amount.

    I’m really concerned about our transfer business. It’s all relatively quiet right now. We know that many of our players like Giroud, koscielny, Ramsey possibly even ozil and Sanchez with his injury might not be available from the start of the season. Considering that we have a tough run of fixtures at the start of the season it’s always better to do the business early,so that the new players get enough time to settle in. I don’t want to have the scenario where we have a bad start and are playing catch up. Or we rush players like Giroud, koscielny, Sanchez etc in the team early without a proper pre season only for them to get injured.

    One would’ve hoped that the club would have learnt the lesson from previous windows and be a bit more pro active. It’s disappointing to see clubs like man utd and city who are in worse shape than us be much more ambitious and forceful in the way they are approaching players like pogba, mkhtiryan, bonucci making offers which are very hard to refuse for the current clubs of these players. Something for us to learn over there.

  26. No need to panic lads and lassies, AFC has everything well in hand and has brought in 2 excellent options, one even before the transfer window opened. Average Joe IS a plagerizer and need NOT be taken seriously.
    Reports that we will be short on players for the season opener are highly exaggerated: Ozil, Ramsey and Wilshere will all be back in time for our first EPL game and well rested. Giroud and Koscielny will have had 5 full weeks rest before the Liverpool game on the 14th of August and Sanchez might have fully recovered by then as well.Everyone else are now fully fit and will sharpen up in the various exhibition/training games arranged by the Arsenal. We will also use a lot of our youth and reserve talent so maybe we’ll see another few potential first teamers before the start of the season.

  27. Taf Moore is a very able Left back and has gone up through the England levels, he would certainly be able to deputise for games here and there.
    Jon Torol is not a box to box midfielder his best positions are further forward either as a winger, no ten or out and out striker.
    Wellington, I thought, has already gone back to Fluminese.
    It is also worth remembering that Maitland- Niles was ahead of Iwobi before he went out on loan.

  28. bjtgooner, I don’t think there are any CBs in the world that can match the pace of the quickest strikers. That’s why positioning and experience are so crucial in the CB role (together with team work and using a pair with ‘complimentary’ skill sets).

  29. Andy, yes positionong, teamwork and experience are all essential – but I can see no reason why a CB should not be as quick as any striker – certainly it is a desirable attribute.

    We are fortunate that Kos and Gabriel both have a fair turn os speed.

  30. bjtgooner,
    That’s where the myth takes over from fact.
    Chambers is as quick as Kos and Gabriel.
    As I said, he got skinned by a couple of very quick wingers.
    Kos and Gabby would have been beaten as well.

  31. bjtgooner, As a fullback, Yes he’s as quick as Kos (or close enough for there to be little difference). As a CB, ultimately the answer is Yes on pure speed as well but Kos has the experience to see things a moment earlier than CC.
    CC is not a particularly slow ‘runner’ but he was skinned by 2 very fast wingers and the aaa suddenly have a myth to repeat. It’s true that Bellerin wouldn’t have been shown up so badly in those cases but he’s an exceptionally quick player, so it’s wrong to compare the 2 like that, but the aaa will do these things whenever possible.

  32. Andy, we will have to agree to differ. I don’t think Chambers is as fast as Kos.

    At least we can agree that Chambers is vulnerable as a full back when faced by a quick winger – bearing in mind most wingers have a fair turn of speed.

  33. If you want to sell players, you know which player will have inmediately offer if Wenger decide to sell Arsene Wenger.
    This year, athletic bilbao is in the best economic situation of his life and has a lot of money and we need to reinforce urgently the left-back is it possible to sell us Nacho Monreal??
    According to our reports, our president has ready 20 million euros to buy Azpilikueta or Monreal unless 1. So is it possible?

  34. bjtgooner, Chambers is no more vulnerable as a fullback than Kos is.
    As CBs they’re very similar but one has a world of experience in that position.

    athletic_bilbao_fan, I do not believe that selling Monreal would be a good idea when we are possibly short of experienced cover in the left back position.
    Your club could make offers for some of our youth/under 21 players to come to you on a loan though!

  35. Sorry, Ander. Athletic Bilbao only sign Basques and in England there are only three players that fulfill this requirement.
    -Ander Herrera.
    There are no more.

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