When Mikel Arteta named his Premier League squad to travel to Anfield on Saturday, he made it over two months without selecting Calum Chambers or Pablo Mari.
Through the last couple of months, Mikel Arteta has been pretty consistent with his selection for Premier League fixtures.
We’ve grown accustomed to seeing the same players in the starting lineup on a weekly basis, and the same is generally true for the players on the bench.
The upside of this is that Arsenal have had more stability, which was translating into some good results until Saturday’s thrashing by Liverpool.
But for Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari, the fixed squad has meant they haven’t been involved at all.
Since mid-September, the duo have made one appearance each. Mari started in the League Cup against AFC Wimbledon, whilst Chambers came off the bench in the same competition against Leeds United. That’s it.
Mari’s last appearance in a Premier League squad was on September 18th against Burnley, whilst Chambers’ was on September 11th against Norwich City. Both are fit, but neither has featured since then.
A mention should also go to Eddie Nketiah, who did at least make the league squad to face Watford ahead of the international break.
That was his only appearance in a Premier League squad all season, and he hasn’t played a league minute.
Again, he has had more luck in the League Cup, making two starts and scoring two goals.
With the size of Arsenal’s squad, it was inevitable that some players would regularly miss out on the Premier League bench. It’s just slightly more surprising that it’s been the same few players every game for months on end.
There’s plenty of speculation around Chambers and Nketiah, whose current contracts expire at the end of the season. Mari’s situation is more difficult, as he still has a contract until 2024.
Arsenal will surely look to move all three of them on in January if this continues.