Are Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez replaceable - if so, who with?
The futures of Mesut Özil, Alexis Sanchez and Arsène Wenger are a topic of conversation that has run virtually all season. If it had legs, every blade of the Emirates pitch would have been covered by now.
Currently it would be a shock if at least one of Alexis and Mesut didn’t leave before their contracts expire. While the final scores at SBAT are likely to reflect a comfortable away win on Teeside for the Gunners come Monday night, the loss of these star players will no doubt have a profound effect on Arsenal's scoring ability next season.
So, given the worse-case scenario of starting next season without the club’s two most prized assets, who could Arsène Wenger (or whoever else is in charge!) bring in to replace them?
Chilean forward Sanchez has been a standout performer for the Gunners with 18 goals in an otherwise disappointing campaign and would clearly be a tough act for anyone to follow. If the 28-year-old does decide his future lays elsewhere, Arsenal officials could do a lot worse than booking a flight to Napoli, home to three potential replacements in Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens and José María Callejón.
Any player who can score four goals in a top-level match, as Mertens did against Torino back in December, has got to be worth looking at. Failing that, Denis Suarez – no relation to his Barcelona team-mate Luis – wouldn’t be a bad choice.
While this may seem unlikely, especially given his agent’s recent dismissal of a move, the transfer window is still some time away. The system at the Nou Camp has not brought the best out of the 23-year-old ex-Man City player and a return to the UK may be in his best interests.
Suarez was still in his teens during his two-year spell in the north-west and he’d return a more mature player. Capable of playing centrally or out wide, he is small and nippy – the sort of player that could scare Premier League defenders to death given the right framework to operate in – and is only valued at around £15 million.
Monaco’s Portugese star Bernard Silva is another wide player who is attracting attention from Man Utd and Chelsea. He will no doubt attract plenty of attention from bigger clubs too in the summer.
Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus would be a superb acquisition. He is a class act who, like the players named above, has the versatility to play a variety of roles and his goal-scoring return – 23 goals in 46 games for the Bundesliga outfit - is every bit as good as Sanchez’s.
As for Özil, Real Madrid could be a happy hunting ground should the German international all time on his Gunners career. James Rodriguez is a quality player who’s far better than his lack of game time at Real Madrid suggests, while 22-year-old Austrian Mateo Kovacic is another who could prosper elsewhere.
A £26.4 million price tag accompanied Miralem Pjanic’s move from Roma to Juventus, and the jury is still out as to whether that represents value for money. The Bosnian’s ability is without question, though. He can pick up the ball from deep and run with it or spread play with his excellent passing game as well as being a bit of a free-kick specialist.
Who would your pick be? Leave us a comment below with your player wishlist.Tell us what you think! If you agree, or have a different view, please leave a comment in the comments section or why not write a response or your own article on YouWrite?
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