Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez are set to leave the Gunners for free next summer unless they commit to new deals in the near future.

Let’s look at who might be available on a free to replace them.

Obviously it’s going to be difficult to replace Arsenal’s top players without spending any money, but we’re going to look at the best options available next summer, based on those who have expiring contracts:

Juan Mata (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

1Juan Mata

Mata hasn’t yet been given a new Manchester United deal, and has enjoyed success with United and Chelsea in the past, so he could be a good Premier League-proven option unless rumours of a new deal are confirmed.

Ross Barkley

2Ross Barkley

Barkley isn’t as proven at the top level, but he’s a young player with potential, so he could be worth looking at if he finds form and a place in the Everton team again. He is still reportedly wanted by Chelsea.

Leon Goretzka

3Leon Goretzka

Özil’s compatriot, Goretzka, could follow Sead Kolašinac from Schalke to Arsenal on a fre. The midfielder has already been involved in five goals in his 12 appearances so far this season, scoring four and creating one. Unfortunately, he seems to be close to a move to Liverpool.

Mario Balotelli

4Mario Balotelli

Balotelli has always divided opinion, but with eight goals and an assist in 13 games, he could help the Gunners replace Alexis Sanchez’s scoring contributions, if can keep his head and be consistent, which is a big ‘if’. Arsene Wenger has considered signing him before, could he think about it again?

Arjen Robben
AFP / Christof STACHE /

5Arjen Robben

What better way to replace Alexis’ cut-inside-and-shoot tactic than by bringing in the master of that particular technique? Robben is unlikely to join Arsenal considering his Chelsea background and Bayern’s dominance over the Gunners, but it could be worth a shot as a short-term solution.


6Franck Ribery

A year older than Robben at 34, and injured, Ribery could be a bit of a risk. But again, he’s got the quality if he was at all interested and could offer another short-term option.

Hopefully the Gunners don’t have to replace both of their talismans, but if they do, a player or two from this list could be an affordable way to start.