It is three years since Arsene Wenger was replaced by Unai Emery as Arsenal manager.
Since May 2018, the club has endured its fair share of ups and downs, with an FA Cup triumph largely overshadowed by faltering form in the Premier League.
The Gunners have failed to climb back into the top four since Wenger’s departure and Mikel Arteta is set for a large squad overhaul this summer in an attempt to close the gap with the rest of the ‘big six’, having missed out on European football for the first time in 25 years.
Since their legendary French manager left, there have been some great signings, along with some questionable ones. But which are the mistakes that stand out?
Here football.london takes a look at the players who shouldn’t have been sold int he post-Wenger era, and one who may well be on his way out.
Aaron Ramsey went down in Arsenal folklore as he ended the Gunners’ painful nine-year trophy drought in 2014, scoring the winner in extra-time of the FA Cup against Hull.
For good measure he did the same again in the 2-1 defeat of Chelsea in 2017, joining Freddie Ljungberg and Alexis Sanchez on an exclusive list of Arsenal players to score in two different FA Cup finals for the club.
After Wenger departed the Emirates, Ramsey too left north London for Juventus in 2019 on a free transfer after Arsenal withdrew their contract offer for the Welshman, a decision that Arsenal may well have regretted since.
Even though Ramsey hasn’t hit the same heights in Italy, the Gunners have missed his knack for scoring goals from midfield.
In the two seasons since Ramsey’s departure, no Arsenal midfielder has managed more than a measly two Premier League goals other than Joe Willock, although he scored all but one of his when on loan with Newcastle.
Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno was injured in a 2-1 defeat against Brighton last season with backup shot-stopper Emi Martinez replacing him for the remainder of the season.
The Argentine ‘keeper showcased his impressive distribution skills along with a number of crucial saves to help earn the Gunners their 14th FA Cup triumph with eye-catching displays against Manchester City and Chelsea in the semi-final and final respectively.
However, with Arsenal raising funds for new signings they decided to part ways with Martinez in the summer, offloading him to Aston Villa for just £16 million.
It has been a decision that Arteta will rue as Martinez has been instrumental since his arrival at Villa Park, keeping 15 clean sheets with a number of critics arguing he has been the best ‘keeper in England this season.
Furthermore, football.london understands that Arsenal are now willing to listen to offers for Leno as the Gunners are interested in signing a new shot-stopper with the likes of Andre Onana on their shortlist.
It is a process that could have been far easier if they had decided to make Marinez their first-choice ‘keeper last summer.
By signing up for our Arsenal newsletter, you will receive a once-daily email, focused around goings-on at Emirates Stadium.
You won’t miss a thing when it comes to the Gunners – you’ll get all you need to know directly into your inbox.
We’ll also send out special newsletters with any big breaking news too.
And with the January transfer window now open there’s plenty of content to get your teeth into.
How do you sign up?
It’s easy and only takes seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article on the Arsenal section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.
And that’s it, you’re all set.
If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.
For more details, click here.
Matteo Guendouzi arrived in at Arsenal in the summer of 2018 and showed undeniable promise and potential throughout his debut campaign.
The young midfielder possesses impressive technique, a great eye for a pass and can also take the game by the scruff of the neck, as evidenced in comebacks against Spurs and Villa at the start of the 2019/20 season.
However, the Frenchman has fallen out of favour with Arteta since Guendouzi’s altercation with Brighton’s Neal Maupay last year and looks set to leave the Emirates in the coming weeks, a transfer that could prove to be a grave error from Arsenal.
Despite his flaws, Guendouzi is an extremely talented central-midfielder and with Granit Xhaka seemingly on his way out of north London, it could have been a good time to bring Guendouzi back into the team.
He has shown great promise with the France under-21 side and has even been made captain, a great achievement considering his nation’s wealth of talent.