David Luiz and Mesut Ozil look to be on their way out of Arsenal this summer, so how could Mikel Arteta set his side up next season without the duo at his disposal?
David Luiz looks to be on his way out of Arsenal this summer along with Mesut Ozil – so how could Mikel Arteta lineup without the pair next season?
The Brazilian defender endured a nightmare return to Premier League action last night, with his mistake allowing Raheem Sterling to open the scoring in Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat away at Manchester City.
Nevertheless, things went from bad to worse when he was sent off five minutes into the second half for giving away a penalty, which Kevin de Bruyne made no mistake in tucking away.
With his contract set to expire this summer, it is highly unlikely Luiz will remain a Gunners player next season.
The former Chelsea man has made 32 appearances this term, nonetheless, and will have to be replaced by Arteta.
Ozil, too, is not expected to stay beyond the end of the campaign, having been left out of the squad entirely for last night’s defeat at City – despite Arteta’s ability to name up to nine substitutes.
If the pair do leave, Arsenal are likely to embark on a new era next season.
And if the club hierarchy manage to offload Ozil, as well as wantaway striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, there could be some cash to splash.
The Gunners could bring in RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano as a replacement for Luiz, slotting in at the back alongside William Saliba – who is due to return from his loan spell at St-Etienne next season.
Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey has also been linked with a move to north London, which would give Arteta the perfect midfield partner for Granit Xhaka.
If Dani Ceballos’ loan from Real Madrid is extended, the Spaniard could play further forward in the No.10 slot, sandwiched in between Gabriel Martinelli and Nicolas Pepe.
Aubameyang’s departure would leave Arteta in need of a replacement upfront, and Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard is said to be on the club’s transfer radar.
In the event Arsenal decide against bolstering their squad, however, Arteta would still have some alternatives at his disposal.
Aubameyang could be kept to see out the remainder of his contract, which is due to expire in the summer of 2021, and youngster Joe Willock could take Ozil’s place in the No.10 position.
Ceballos’ loan could still be extended, leaving him free to sit next to Xhaka in the middle of the park, while Pablo Mari is be capable of playing alongside Saliba at centre-back.