A lot of the talk these past few months has been regarding which new players will be brought in by Arsene Wenger but what of those who are very likely to stay? Many will have their own thoughts on who should remain, many will agree that some players should stick around, but who? The conversation at Footybunker.com went on for much longer than expected but it did bring some interesting opinions – here’s our five that we feel are very likely to stay this summer.
Robin van Persie
Despite interest by AC Milan van Persie looks to be one of Arsenal’s most loyal players, a decent man that is only concerned with one thing, playing football. For us we soon discovered that we believe him to be Arsenal’s most important player and yes that includes the Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas. If Robin van Persie ever remains fit for a full season you can quite easily expect him to net 25 goals plus. That is perhaps key for him, his injuries do tend to pop up every year at some stage and should it happen again during the 2011/2012 campaign it will be important for Wenger to make sure he has a player in place that can score the goals when RVP is away. To us the Dutchman will be Arsenal for life. You can see him still making an impact when at 35 years of age.
Considering he is just 24 he has done pretty well this season, of course he has made mistakes but you need them to learn. Djourou will have learned a lot this season and the majority of his comments post season seem to represent those of the club. He has expressed his disappointment and his frustration at every opportunity and you can just tell that the Swiss defender really means what he says. With some quality centre-back apparently on the way this summer Djourou may not play as much next season as he did this year but when he does we believe there will be much more improvement and experience from what has been quite a tough campaign for the international. Certainly a player who should remain.
As the player puts it himself, “do not listen to the gossip”. Should that be true then what the Frenchman means is that he will stay and that contract talks are just at one of those stages. You could expect the headlines next month to be “I was always going sign, it was just small details”, however we get the distinct feeling that he may wait to see which players are purchased first. The right one or two players will give the whole area a boost, let alone the squad. It’s certainly not about money for the 23 year old, if it were he would have gone already. Nasri wants trophies and many feel that with two or three key players Arsenal can offer that to him next season. Realisticly we believe that when Wenger’s signings trickle through the Emirates doors a new deal for Nasri will quickly follow.
A strange one with the Russian winger/playmaker. When he came on against Manchester United recently you could see he really wanted to work for the team whereas some games he looks to just impress other clubs that may be watching him. He’s been linked with a move back to Zenit but both he and Wenger have suggested it will not happen – at least not this summer anyway. His laziness at getting back to help Clichy out is one of the main reasons many feel he should go but if he were to take a good look at himself and play for the team instead of himself the results will be so much more positive. No one likes to play at Wigan on a cold Monday night but a player like Arshavin will have to get through that if he wants a winners medal. A change in attitude will see him remain until he retires but should he not put the effort in then a move as soon as next January could be on the cards.
Koscielny has received his fair share of flack this term and perhaps rightly so but the truth of the matter is that he is a squad player and not really one for the first eleven on a regular basis. If we have a brief look at Manchester United they would have had the same problems with John O’Shea and Wes Brown constantly at the back. As things stand, with Vermaelen to return and a quality centre-back likely to be on their way, Koscielny will make a good back up centre-back. He showed some good strength and let us not forget it was his first season and to be chucked in at the deep end does mean he should be given some slack. Depending who Wenger brings in will have a baring on who of Arsenal’s centre-backs leave the club but personally our money is on Squillaci.