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The deadwood at Arsenal needs vanquishing

Tuesday 18th July 2017
Arsenal has quite a few players on their books who need to be given a new lease on life, preferably away from the Emirates. But who exactly needs to leave and where would they go?

Think of Arsenal and the last five years and there are a few names which have remained together. Despite the side winning three FA Cups, some players have hardly contributed and are in need of a move elsewhere. Some of which may be welcomed back and some need a longer absence, indefinitely.

Theo Walcott

The biggest candidate for leaving the Emirates has to be, Theo Walcott. The Englishman is that type of player who will win you every one in ten games, whether it's a critical last-minute goal, the opener or maybe even a brace. The problem is that in the Arsenal squad his opportunities to replicate his work on a regular basis is limited. He also does have consistency issues himself, even when he got all the time in the world in the squad he still struggled to produce any pattern of good form. It's a real shame because he is iconic within the club and always comes off well in press interviews as a positive player who actively wants success for the club.

The fact remains however that wants to be and is best suited to being a striker. In that department, he is behind Lacazette, Giroud and Sanchez. He can play wider, but there are so many better players available to us in those positions that it's hard to see where Walcott fits into a starting eleven.

The fans haven't always been receptive to him however, he's claimed a few times he wants more money and claims to support Liverpool. Which hasn't helped his stature within the club.

There are however options available to him. West Ham United are reportedly interested in the player. Whilst it's not the same level as Arsenal, it's almost a perfect fit for him at West Ham. The Hammers lack a prolific goal man. They create and take a lot of shots, but just don't score many of them. Walcott steps in, becomes a target man with or alongside Andy Carroll – and the goals should come with the likes of Ayew and Lanzini assisting them.

Other options could include Huddersfield, Brighton or Newcastle all of which may want Premier League experience going into the new campaign. That said, they might not be able to meet his wage demands.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (short loan)

I want to set everything crystal clear here, I like the Ox. I feel he's one of the fastest and most exciting players on the Arsenal roster. The problem is, he doesn't get a clear run of games. When we see him he's great, but surely he's more than a rotation player.

I've been waiting and waiting for him to be a first team player since that game where he scored his first Champions League goal against Olympiacos. It's just not happened. His record appearance count for a season was 17 games back in the 14/15 season. He's now 23 years old and needs some real time on the pitch.
The dilemma is, we can't give it to him. He can't stay here for much longer on the bench and fester. That will leave everybody upset; we'll not get the use out of him and we'll part ways on bad terms. A short-term loan should be utilised to see what he can do when he does get first team football on a regular basis. That way, it can be assessed properly what level he can contribute to Arsenal's future endeavours. The ideal situation would send him away ASAP but get him back in January. With a half-season of full football under his belt; we can then have him contribute the Arsenal first team.

An ideal move for the Ox, at least temporarily comes in the form of Stoke City. The Potters attacking-midfield is going through a bit of a revamp – Walters has already left. Arnautovic wants out. Diouf was pretty terrible last season; which leaves a real opportunity for Alex to sneak in. He'd offer the pace a lot of the older players at Stoke can't and offer a dexterity when in receipt of through balls.

Leicester City could also work just as well for the Ox on a temporary basis. Their wide, long and expansive play would encompass his own and allow him to work on the channels; and even cut into partner Vardy when necessary. The Foxes could reasonably be interested in the move with interest in Mahrez reportedly surging.

Jack Wilshere

I could write an academic essay on the highs and lows of Jack Wilshere. There was a point in time which Jack would play and you saw the future Arsenal and England captain in those eyes. They burnt with passion. Particular memories of an FA Cup replay game against Swansea comes to mind where he dictated play and scored an amazing winner.
Jack Wilshere, the former boy wonder of Arsenal.

The problem is that Jack has cereal for legs. You needn't but look at him and he's dissolved onto the floor: out for six months. That's not necessarily his fault. He's just susceptible to injuries. In today's game, he can't last a full season. In the days of Woolwich Arsenal and Dial Square, he would have been a legend by now.

He spent last season with AFC Bournemouth and for me, didn't perform like he should have done for the cherries. Finally exposed to regular football in the Premier League, it wasn't the amazing youth product I had seen years before. Oh and he still managed to break his leg whilst down on the south coast.

Despite a lacklustre season, Italian outfit, Sampdoria is reportedly interested in the player. Serie A would provide a new opportunity for Jack; he'd get to live in a hot country with infinitely better food than the UK. Sampdoria would allow him to grow within a squad as they strive to finish higher than mid-table next season.

Mathieu Debuchy

The Frenchman joined Arsenal back in 2014 but has offered very little to the squad. During his time with the club he's seen the side win two FA Cups, but his contributions have been too little for these accolades to go down as honours for him. He did, however, play in two community shields and was successful in both. Last season, however, he came back from injury, played 16 minutes before hobbling off again. That was his lone appearance of the season.

Given that he's a fullback and Wenger now opts to deploy wingbacks complementing a back three, it's a tall order to ask the 31-year-old to adapt his game now. He's also a long way back down the list of good defenders at Arsenal. He's been a non-entity during his time at Arsenal. So much that he hasn't even been included in the club's current tour.

This move just didn't work for either party. At his age, it's probably best that he leaves now so he can see out the last years of his football career, actually playing football. After all, nothing is really left for him at Arsenal. Maybe the reserves will have him.

His former club, Newcastle United, are back in the Premier League, maybe a polite email to Rafa would get him back in the Toon Army. He could even try his luck back in France given he spent ten years with Lille and a short loan with Bordeaux whilst with the Gooners. Should he want to stay in England, Leeds United is a full back light now that Charlie Taylor has left Elland Road.
Warren Smith

Yokohama F•Marinos supporter. Seen it all in the J.League, relegation fights and being crowned champions. Play five-a-side, pretty good too. Once scored an overhead kick.

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