I difficult to think beyond Thursday as the fixture in Prague is huge for Arsenal. A good old fashion ‘one nil to The Arsenal’ would be enough but Arsenal seldom win 1-0 and nor do they keep a clean sheet very often. Sunday was an exception rather than the rule. I doubt the online bookies favour Arsenal keeping a clean sheet against Slavia.
Thinking ahead though is something Arsenal should be doing and I’m sure they are. At least I hope so.
Next year, four Arsenal player’s contracts expire. I’ve nicked the below from TransferMarket.
Alexandre Lacazette. 30 next month – £31m valuation.
Eddie Nketiah. 22 next month. £16m valuation.
Calum Chambers. 26 and valued at £10m.
Mo Elneny. 29 in June and valued at £9m.
Dejan Lliev. 26 and valued at £250k
For all five it’s a new contract or be sold this summer in my opinion. I know the above valuations should be taken lightly after a Covid hit couple of seasons but even so, Lacazette appears to be the best option to raise funds, certainly out of the senior players. I know he’s played really well at times this season but next month he’ll be 30 years old. Had his form been consistent over his time at Arsenal then maybe I’d feel different about him staying but in my opinion, awarding him a new contract would be foolish.
It’s probably a good time to say thanks but goodbye to Mo Elneny this summer. Nketiah and Chambers are the tricky ones. If Balogun has agreed to stay, I think Eddie’s chances of first team football will lessen. I like Eddie, he’s the poacher kind of striker I’d just love to see succeed at Arsenal. In hindsight, he would have benefited from going out on loan to a club who played him regularly. As is often the case, it’s a chicken v egg situation because he needs to play to gain confidence but unless he’s scoring frequently, he’s unlikely to keep his place in any team. I’m on the fence about him.
Calum Chambers. I’ve no idea whether he’ll stay or go. Can he cement a place in the back five? I’ve no idea but he’s at an age where I suspect he wants to be playing first team football for the majority of a season and not just sit on the bench waiting for his chance. Similar can be said about Dejan Lliev. It’s a shame his career seems to have stalled because I don’t know about anyone else but I’d love Arsenal to have a 6’ 5” keeper who is very good.
Anyway, there’s my thoughts, see you in the comments.