3 Arsenal players the club should not have let go of

  • Had these three players been around, Arsenal's season could have panned out differently.
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Modified 08 Jun 2019, 15:10 IST

Arsenal v Manchester United - FA Cup Fourth Round
Arsenal v Manchester United - FA Cup Fourth Round

Unai Emery ended his first season in charge of Arsenal with a fifth placed finish in the Premier League and ended up as runners-up in the Europa League. Players such as Shkodran Mustafi, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil disappointed him towards the end of the season. They failed to live up to their respective reputations, and that has resulted in Arsenal's impending absence from Champions League football next season.

Far from his usual standard, Ozil only managed 6 goals and 3 assists in 35 games this season. Last time around, the German scored five times and laid 14 assists in the same number of appearances. Surely, if Ozil had stepped up, Arsenal could have done much better this season.

As Arsene Wenger's tenure at the club drew to a closure, a couple of key Arsenal players left the club in the winter and summer transfer windows in 2018. Out of the players who departed the club, three of them could still have been influential for the Gunners if they had stayed.

However, they are no longer with the club. Here is a look at the three of them who should not have left the Gunners.

Chelsea v Arsenal - Carabao Cup Semi-Final: First Leg
Chelsea v Arsenal - Carabao Cup Semi-Final: First Leg

#3 Alexis Sanchez

The Chilean left Arsenal in January 2018 after refusing to extend his contract. After joining Arsenal in 2014, Sanchez quickly became a fan favourite with his impressive performances. The forward was frequently at the heart of Arsenal's attack. Unfortunately, even with him, the Gunners could not lift the Premier League trophy. Soon after, he wanted to head to a bigger club when he could win more trophies.

Sanchez made 166 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal, scoring 80 goals and providing 45 assists. In his first season at the club, the 30-year-old also won Arsenal's Player of the Year award. Together with Mesut Ozil, the duo were at the prime of their careers.

Since the left-winger left for Manchester United, Ozil and Sanchez have suffered pretty miserable fates. The German midfielder no long puts up consistent performances and more often than not, he fails to exert his dominance. At times, Ozil is even thought of as a liability to the team.

Similarly, the Chilean may be earning a high salary, but United fans are not impressed with him. He loses possession far too often for fans' liking and the past season alone, he managed just two goals in 27 appearances. Often appearing as a substitute, Sanchez has a passing accuracy of just 74.6% and completed only 0.4 dribbles per game this season. Previously, he managed to dribble past players at least 2.1 times each time when he played for the Gunners.


Had Sanchez stayed, he and Ozil might have continued their incredible partnership at Arsenal. Now that the duo has split, their fortunes have not been great either.

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Published 08 Jun 2019, 15:10 IST
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