Sitting third in the Premier League table, Arsenal aren’t in a disastrous position…until you consider the teams in second and first.
Leicester City currently top the table with just a few games to go and are being hunted down by Tottenham Hotspur. It’s hard to see the two of them above the Gunners and, before the season is over, it’s unlikely to change.
“It’s hard for me to say it but with Spurs playing with intensity, quality and determination, the power shift is certainly around there,” Arsenal legend Ian Wright has admitted. The disappointment of the season means an exodus may be on our hands this summer, with Arsène Wenger reportedly tired of relying on some of his players.
Some older members of the squad look set to be moved on as their contracts expire and Arsenal are allegedly willing to listen to offers for the likes of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs and even Aaron Ramsey.
All that and the addition of a new defender to phase out Per Mertesacker would signify a huge change but there are four young players Wright is eager to see Arsenal keep and build around.
“With young players like Iwobi, Welbeck, Bellerin and Coquelin, Arsenal have something to build on.”
Alex Iwobi has impressed hugely in recent weeks, as has Danny Welbeck since returning from injury. Héctor Bellerín has had an incredible first full season at this level and Francis Coquelin remains tenacious in midfield, even when Arsenal lack balance and control.
There’s unlikely to be a firesale to the extent that they are the only first team players left and others are just as young, if not younger. Coquelin and Welbeck, for instance, are already 24 and 25 respectively. They may not be the youngest players but they may be the elder players that the next Arsenal side is built around.
Spare a thought, then, for Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, among others. The midfield pair were expected to usher through the next generation at Arsenal as the leaders of the side but, for various reasons, have either stagnated or gone down in the estimations of fans and, possibly, the manager.
Will the next Arsenal team be built around the four aforementioned players? I guess we’ll find out Arsène Wenger’s intentions with this squad and this team before the summer is over.