Arsenal had a pretty extensive list of must-sells not more than a few weeks ago, but that list is only getting shorter with each positive result.
When Arsenal was at their worst, not all that long ago, there was so much talk of all the players we needed to sell. A cleanout of the defense was on the cards, the attack needed to be picked apart, and the midfield needed some careful extractions as well.
That’s changing. And part of it has to be attributed to Mikel Arteta. Given how successfully he was able to turn Granit Xhaka around, I have to believe that for a lot of these guys, Arteta laid down the gauntlet and told these players the situation.
In response, they have shaped up. By numerous reports and estimations, the list of must-sells at the club has included, at one time or another, Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil, Shkodran Mustafi, Lucas Torreira, Sokratis, and probably some more that I’m forgetting about.
That list is now down to two. Just two. Those two should be obvious—Sokratis and Mesut Ozil. The two guys we literally never see anymore.
Everyone else on that list has fallen from must-sell, either to an outright ‘keep’ or at the very least, ‘could sell.’
Let’s take it piece by piece.
Alexandre Lacazette has been my biggest must sell for awhile. I even said after his tremendous performance against Liverpool that no matter what happens, we should still look to sell him. But the more I see him at his best, the more I’m reminded that when he’s good… he’s really good. It’s the age factor that still gives me hesitation. Which is why I have him as a “could sell.”
Aubameyang has come all the way back to “keep” and I don’t think I need to explain that at all.
Mustafi? I have been so pleasantly surprised by Mustafi. While he has had some issues reemerge lately, I would happily hold onto him as a rotation option. No question about it.
And Lucas Torreira? If he wants to stay, which is always the question, then I don’t see why we can’t keep him on, much like it is for Mustafi. He doesn’t have to start. But seeing what he was able to do against Liverpool, I was impressed. The guy is still an engine.
Arteta is changing things, that much is certain. Good times lay ahead.