At least, 4 Arsenal defenders need to be sold if Arsenals want to improve for next season. Arsenal, for the first time, will not play in any European competition via the league standings as they finish 10th in the English Premier League. The only route left for the Gunners is if they can win Chelsea in the FA cup final, which would allow them to play in the Europa League.
This shows the decline in the club as it refused to spend money to get talented players. Arsenal finished the 2020 premier league in the 8th position on the table. If they keep the same defenders for next season, they may become a relegation zone club.
While the level of Arsenal defenders is nothing compared to those of their rivals as each of the top teams has at least one world-class defender in their squad, but Arsenal seems to be lacking that, a significant reason why the club has performed woefully this term is due to its defensive frailty and lack of quality players in key defensive positions. Despite scoring 54 goals, Arsenal has conceded 48 goals, which is the highest amongst the top teams this season as they concede a goal on average every game.
Futballnews takes a look at some players the Gunners have at their disposal, as we look at the London team’s defensive scorecard.
David Luiz, 33, (will play as 34 next April)
The Brazilian was brought in from London rival Chelsea in a transfer worth £8m in the summer of 2019. David Luiz was expected to bring his defence experience, leadership quality to the team. But has been error-prone since he arrived from Stamford Bridge.
His latest been the penalty he gave away against Watford on the final day of the season, which was the fifth penalty he has conceded, setting a new league record as the player with the highest number of penalties conceded by a single player in a single season. Injury has been another major problem of the Brazilian this season as he has been absent during important matches.
Luiz will turn 34 by next April, and it looks like is performance is on the downward trend, despite just signing a new contract, it would be wise for Mikel Arteta to get back into the transfer market for a top-class defender.
Sokratis papastathopoulos, 32, (will be 33 next June)
Sokratis was bought from Borrusia Dortmund for a fee of £17.5m in July 2018, as an established centre-back. Despite early signs of his quality, Sokratis made 44 appearances this season, scored 3 goals and 2 assists but could only manage 9 clean sheets all season as his team conceded almost every game. The Greek defender is always an injury concern for his manager has he spends most of his time on the treatment table. He has forced the manager to look to other options even when he is fit.
The defender was also responsible for one of the goals scored by Watford on the last day of the season. Sokratis has been involved in some of the 14 major errors for his team and has to lead to goals since the start of last season.
Sead Kolasniac, 27 (will be 28 next June).
The Bosnian full-back was bought from Schalke 04 to improve the depth and cover at the left back position. He was brought in on a free transfer, so there’s isn’t much of a complaint about any money spent on him. He showed a glimpse of what he could offer as he scored on his debut against Chelsea in the 2017 Community Shield match and has also given some man of the match performance.
However, this season level of play has dropped drastically with injuries and errors some this season, he only managed to make 26 full appearances this season and hasn’t scored a goal since the 2017/2018 season, not that it’s important.
Shkodran Mustafi, 28 (will be 29 next April)
The German defender is one of the longest-standing players in the defensive line up as he was bought from Valencia in 2016 for a reported fee over £35m. Mustafi seems to be the only stand out player in the defensive line, but the team’s failings are beginning to take a toll on him, he was able to make a total of 17 appearances with 2 of them coming as a substitute. Surely, something is not right as there is an urgent need to get quality and reliable defender.
Cedric Soares, 28 ( will be 29 by August)
The German-born Portuguese right-back joined the team on an initial loan deal in January from Southampton and later joined permanently after the end of his contract with Southampton. The attacking right-back has been inconsistent this season making just 7 appearances, and 2 of them were from the bench, managed 1 goal, but due to injuries and poor form he played little part in his club’s season.
Arsenal has a tough task of finding the right fit for the club’s defensive woes as Pablo Mari that was brought in on loan only managed 2 appearances; also England defender Calum Chambers is still very much inconsistent to be a regular starter, young defender Maitland-Niles is still trying to find his fit in the squad. The only good news in the Gunners defence is the emergence of Scotland defender Kieran Tierney who has put in an excellent performance in the second half of the season with 1 goal and an assist in 15 appearances and he is just 23.
Hopefully, Arsenal manager would make some new addition to the team to allow them to compete close to the likes of Chelsea, Man United, or City, maybe Leicester for a start.