Willian sold, Pepe to stay – Arsenal fans name Mikel Arteta’s 2021/22 squad before transfers


After a tumultuous 2020/21 campaign which saw Arsenal finish 8th and leave them without European football for the first time since 1995, Mikel Arteta is looking to overhaul his squad in an attempt to drag them back to the summit of the table.

The Spaniard is looking to sign at least five new players, most notably in midfield, as well as shifting some players on to raise funds and balance the books.

With that in mind, football.london recently asked Arsenal fans to partake in a survey for who they would like to keep, sell or loan and now the results are in.

The ones to keep

It’s fair to say there weren’t many surprises with who fans want to keep, with Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith-Rowe, Kieran Tierney, Gabriel, Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli all receiving well over 90% of votes to keep.

There were some players where opinion was a little more split, such as Rob Holding and Calum Chambers, but still received a majority of votes to be kept in the squad.

Folarin Balogan has been giving the blessings of Arsenal fans, as 79% of voters want the youthful striker to be given a good chance in the side next season.

The tightest debates were with Alex Lacazette and Mohamed Elneny. Lacazette received a split of 58% of fans wanting to keep, with 41% wishing to sell, whilst Elneny was 55% wanting to keep and 41% wishing to sell also – so perhaps names that fans wouldn’t mind being used for raising funds.

The ones to sell

Though there weren’t many players a majority of fans wanted to sell, there were perhaps some obvious ones.

91% of voters want the club to move Willian on, by far the biggest majority, after a disappointing season after switching the blue of Chelsea to the red and white of the Gunners.

Hector Bellerin has seemingly lost favour with the Arsenal faithful as well, with 80% of voters believing it’s time for Arsenal’s longest serving player to be moved on, having been at the club since 2013.



Hector Bellerin looks set to end his 8 year stay at Arsenal
Hector Bellerin looks set to end his 8 year stay at Arsenal

The other two that fans clearly want to cash in on were back-up goalkeeper Alex Runar Runarsson and academy graduate Eddie Nketiah – with the latter recently being offered a new contract perhaps in an attempt to increase his value, as only 12 months remain on his current one.

The ones to loan

Fans mostly voted for young guns to be sent on loan, such as defenders Joel Lopez Salguero and Tolaji Bola.

One name that fans picked to be sent on loan however was Reiss Nelson. The 21 year old was unable to make a mark on Arteta’s team last season and has previously enjoyed a loan spell in the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim. It is however reported that Nelson wishes to move on elsewhere, as he is not signing a new contract amid interest from Olympiakos and others.

But, despite not being able to make an impression last season, the results show he hasn’t lost fan favour yet, though it was a very close vote, with 35% voting to send on loan, 31% to sell and 34% to keep in the squad.

The summer window is officially open, and it’s going to be tough to keep up with the comings and goings in and out of the Emirates.

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Full results

Bernd Leno – Keep
Runar Runarsson – Sell
Karl Hein – Loan

Hector Bellerin – Sell
Kieran Tierney – Keep
Gabriel – Keep
Calum Chambers – Keep
Rob Holding – Keep
Pablo Mari – Keep
Cedric Soares – Keep
Tolaji Bola – Loan
Joel Lopez – Loan

Bukayo Saka – Keep
Nicolas Pepe – Keep
Mohamed Elneny – Keep
Emile Smith-Rowe – Keep
Thomas Partey – Keep
Willian – Sell
Reiss Nelson – Loan

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Keep
Gabriel Martinelli – Keep
Alex Lacazette – Keep
Folarin Balogan – Keep
Eddie Nketiah – Sell

So what do you think of the results Gunners fans? Who would you replace the ones you wish to sell with? And do you agree with the players to go on loan? Be sure to let us know in the comments what your thoughts are.





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