With just one win in our last 6 games, Arsenal’s disheartening end to a turbulent season has gifted Manchester City the opportunity to claim their free pass through to the Champions League group stages at our expense.
The re-emergence of Liverpool as a potential top 4 threat for next season, and the equally high threat from Spurs may mean that the Gunners could be fighting for a top 5 finish next year. Champions League football is never guaranteed and Wenger needs to bring in some world-class players who can really deal with the pressure and grind out results towards the end of the season.
Ian Wright makes a good point – the same point that I made to some of my friends only a few days ago. We have a lot of players out on loan, who simply aren’t good enough to play at the club. Yet Wenger keeps hold of them, in the hope that they may one day suddenly develop into the players that we have been missing.
“We hear a lot about all the players Arsenal now produce and you cannot argue that Jack Wilshere is one hell of a prospect. But I am not sure about all the others.
“Arsenal have a lot of players currently on loan — but I am unsure how many will make it.
“Some of the younger ones need to be given a chance.
“As for some of the older ones, I wonder whether they will ever be Arsenal first-team regulars. My guess is probably not.”
It is clear from the example set by Jack Wilshere, Cesc Fabreags and Aaron Ramesy that there are some young players that Wenger believes are ready to play first-team football on a regular basis from a relatively young age. If by 20/21 you have not featured regularly for Wenger’s team, the chances are that you will spend the majority of your time at Arsenal on loan and making the occasional appearance in the Carling Cup.
Examples of players who may struggle to make it into the Arsenal first-team:
Traoré has made fewer than 40 appearances at the club despite joining from Monaco 5 years ago, and has spent the whole of this season on loan at Juventus. The French left-back is currently behind Gael Clichy and Kieren Gibbs, and does not stand much of a chance of making it into Wengers squad for next season. The only way I can see him making the first-team is if Clichy leaves and Wenger refuses to spend money on a replacement. He has got some great attacking qualities – his crossing is probably superior to that of both Gibbs and Clichy, but his slight build may prevent him from becoming a top Premier League defender. That said, there are plenty of small Premier League players who have a great impact in the league.
Vela is one of the most frustrating young players to watch at the club. It is clear that Wenger, who in the past admitted that he predominantly views Vela as a striker in the Eduardo mould, believes that the young Mexican does possess some talent. However, scoring 3 league goals in 30 league appearances for the club simply isn’t good enough (although admittedly many of these appearances were as a substitute). Vela was loaned out to West Brom in January and is unlikely to be replacing RVP as our star striker any time soon.
Nordtveit was an up-an-coming talent within the reserve team, yet never made a single competitive first-team appearance (not even as a substitute) during his 3 years at the club. It was reported that Arsene Wenger was reluctant to sell him, but conceded that he must play first team football. Nordtveit moved to Borussia Mönchengladbach for £800,000 in January.
Despite all the hype we hear about Lansbury, he is 20 years old and has only made 6 appearances for Arsenal (spending seasons on loan at Scunthorpe, Watford and Norwich). With the likes of Ramsey and Wilshere ahead of him (both of whom are younger), there is little-to-no chance of Lansbury playing many games as a central midfielder in the first team, no matter how talented he may seem. Perhaps he should have had chances ahead of Denilson and Diaby, but Lansbury himself probably wants to get a chance at first team football sooner rather than later.
Other players who might not make it at Arsenal: Jay Emmanuel Thomas, Craig Eastmond, Sanchez Watt, Kyle Bartley, Francis Coquelin, Pedro Botelho (just to name a few).