Mikel Arteta made an admission at the end of 2020 that Arsenal were ‘five or six players’ short from being able to deploy his preferred 4-3-3 formation.
For those players still at the club, Arteta’s comments were evidence as to where he sees the current squad and what his plans will be in the coming months.
Outgoings saw several players leave Emirates Stadium in January and further wholesale changes could occur this summer, depending on whether the right offers come in for certain players.
football.london takes a look at the futures of ten players at Arsenal who could move on this summer.
The 25-year-old arrived at Emirates Stadium last summer as a replacement for Emiliano Martinez.
Runarsson, who was identified by Gunners goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana, has conceded seven goals in five appearances for the club, with a calamitous performance against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup drawing widespread attention in December.
It’s expected that the Icelandic international will be able to leave this summer.
Ryan’s arrival on loan from Brighton in January took many by surprise.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has given no indication as to whether he’ll look to make the deal permanent in the summer, but a return to the South Coast for Ryan appears unlikely.
The Aussie international is a boyhood Gooner and wants to stay at the club beyond next season, with a decision likely to be made towards the end of the campaign.
The 26-year-old has been heavily linked with a summer departure after almost a decade at the club.
Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are the names being touted, with Bellerin reportedly open to a move away from north London.
He could be a player sold to raise funds this summer, as Arsenal look to pursue a deal for Martin Odegaard.
The 33-year-old will be a free agent in the summer and was expected to depart when his contract expires at the end of the season.
Luiz was handed an extra 12 months on his deal last summer after impressing Gunners boss Mikel Arteta with the impact he had on the younger members of the squad.
But an extension for Luiz – who turns 34 in April – makes little sense with the likes of Dinos Mavropanos and William Saliba returning from their respective loan spells.
The on-loan Real Madrid midfielder will return to his parent club this summer.
Arsenal are unlikely to pursue a permanent deal for the Spaniard who has previously stated he wants to fight for his place in the Los Blancos midfield.
With one year remaining on his current contract a summer exit would make sense for both club and player.
A concrete decision will be made on the Frenchman’s future at the end of the season.
Clubs in France, Italy and Spain have already made contact with Lacazette’s representatives ahead of the summer transfer window.
Arsenal are expected to allow Kolasinac leave for a nominal fee this summer following his loan spell at struggling Schalke.
Another loan spell beckons for the England youngster who has impressed whilst on loan at Newcastle.
Willock’s long-term future doesn’t appear to be at Arsenal and there is also the possibility that he could leave permanently this summer.
“I’m not really looking at Arsenal,” he said last month.
“When that time comes for me to make a decision to go back or not that will come but right now, I’m focused on Newcastle and I’m loving every minute that I’m here.”
The biggest issue with Maitland-Niles succeeding at Arsenal is that he sees his long-term future in midfield – something that Mikel Arteta clearly doesn’t agree with.
Currently on loan at West Brom, the 23-year-old has made a good impression with Sam Allardyce’s side so far and a permanent move this summer would certainly not be a surprise.
With his contract expiring at the end of next season, it’s likely that Arsenal will look to sell Guendouzi this summer.
The 21-year-old has spent time on loan at Hertha Berlin after falling out of favour at Emirates Stadium.
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“Next, we will sit down with my entourage and people at the club to discuss the future,” said the Frenchman.
“This summer will be a decisive moment. I belong to Arsenal for another year. From the moment that I am playing for Arsenal, I will give everything for the club, fans, team, and staff. I will work hard for the shirt as I have always done.”