5 Arsenal players who need to leave at the end of the season

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta (left) and Nicolas Pepe (right)
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta (left) and Nicolas Pepe (right)
Shambhu Ajith

Arsenal have been quite inconsistent this season. They've hit a couple of purple patches but have then followed it up with extremely lackluster performances. A lot of it trickles down to the unbalanced squad that Mikel Arteta has at his disposal.

Arsenal need to back Mikel Arteta in the summer

While the Arsenal manager is not short on options, he could use much more quality in a number of positions and better squad depth as well. One thing is for certain and it is that Arteta can get this Arsenal side to play some exciting football.

As such, he should be trusted to make decisions that are good for the club and he ought to be backed in the upcoming summer transfer window. Without further ado, let's take a look at five Arsenal players who need to leave at the end of the season.

#5 Cedric Soares

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Premier League

Cedric Soares seemed to have hit found some form over the past couple of months after getting off to a difficult start to the season. However, his performance last night (May 12) against Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby wouldn't have won him any new admirers.

Not only did he come off as second best in most duels but he also committed an error that led to Spurs' opening goal of the night. Arsenal would have secured Champions League qualification with a win but ended up losing the game 3-0.

Takehiro Tomiyasu will be the first-choice right-back for Arsenal now that he has returned from injury. The Gunners ought to find a younger backup for Tomiyasu. Soares should look to leave the club as the 30-year-old could be a first-choice full-back for an low-profile side.

#4 Pablo Mari

Brentford v Arsenal - Premier League
Brentford v Arsenal - Premier League

It is clear at this point that Pablo Mari is unlikely to be any more than a squad player at Arsenal. Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes have nailed down the starting berths at centre-back. With the potential return of William Saliba after his loan spell with Olympique Marseille this summer, Mari will fall further down the pecking order.

Mari is unlikely to force his way back into the starting lineup at Arsenal. Currently on loan at Udinese, the 28-year-old has turned in a few good performances in defence for the Serie A outfit in recent weeks. He has made 14 Serie A appearances for Udinese so far this term.

#3 Bernd Leno

Arsenal v Sunderland - Carabao Cup Quarter Final
Arsenal v Sunderland - Carabao Cup Quarter Final

Arsenal spent Β£25.2 million to sign Aaron Ramsdale from Sheffield United last summer. Initially, it looked like the Gunners had splashed the cash to strengthen a position they didn't necessarily need to. However, Ramsdale came in and pushed Bernd Leno out of the starting lineup with some impressive displays.

The 30-year-old has played and started just eight games for Arsenal across all competitions so far this season. Arsenal have also agreed a deal to sign New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner in the summer. Leno's current deal with Arsenal expires in 2023 and the Gunners are likely to cash in on him at the end of the season.

Regardless, Leno should try to secure a move to another club as he is an established goalkeeper and still has quite a lot to offer to a good team.

#2 Alexandre Lacazette

Crystal Palace v Arsenal - Premier League
Crystal Palace v Arsenal - Premier League

Alexandre Lacazette's current deal with Arsenal expires this summer. In an interview with Canal Plus in April, the Frenchman revealed that he is contemplating a future away from North London. He said:

β€œI am in discussions with a lot of clubs. I am open. I have never cut contact with Lyon since I left. I try to return to the club once or twice a year to see the medical staff because we are really close. Lyon knows that I am free, they have come to the information.

He added:

β€œIt’s a bit more complicated. I want to play in Europe, it’s been a long time since I played in the Champions League. I’m missing it. It’s a little more complicated, nothing is impossible in life, but it’s a little more complicated.”

Lacazette has failed to consistently score goals for the Gunners. He has scored just six goals and provided eight assists in 34 appearances across all competitions for Arsenal so far this term.

In response to Lacazette's comments about being open to leaving the club, Arteta said (via The Independent) that the club still plans on holding talks over a new deal in the summer. However, it looks like the best decision for both parties is to part ways at the end of the season.

Arsenal need a more reliable goalscorer more suited to their style of play and Lacazette could yet revive his career at a different club.

🚨 Arsenal remain interested in signing Dominic Calvert-Lewin from Everton this summer, with Alexandre Lacazette expected to leave the club at the end of his contract.(Source: Daily Mail)

#1 Nicolas Pepe

Arsenal v Sunderland - Carabao Cup Quarter Final
Arsenal v Sunderland - Carabao Cup Quarter Final

Nicolas Pepe is Arsenal's most expensive signing of all time. The Gunners roped him in from Lille in 2019 for a sum of Β£72 million. He has failed to live up to his price tag and has become a peripheral figure at the club.

The Ivory Coast international has started just eight out of 21 matches that he has played across all competitions so far this season, scoring three goals and providing five assists. With Bukayo Saka nailing down the starting spot at right-wing, Pepe has been reduced to the status of an expensive benchwarmer.

Arsenal could be open to selling him in the summer before his stocks fall even further. Pepe should also move to a club where he gets regular game time. He is still just 26 and has enough quality to add value to a side where he is a better fit.

🚨 Sevilla want to sign Nicolas Pepe on loan with an option to buy permanently. πŸ”΄ #AFC πŸ”΄ #SevillaFC

Edited by Shambhu Ajith
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