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5 players that could leave Arsenal in January

5 players that could leave Arsenal in January

Arteta’s team takes shape

Mikel Arteta has set his stall out early in the season, having clear favourites while others struggle for game-time.

As such, unlike last season, Arsenal’s lineups are pretty predictable, barring perhaps one or two changes for injury reasons.

With the first XI picking itself more often than not, some players are stuck on the outside looking in, perhaps grabbing five minutes off the bench here and there but for the most part making up matchday, or squad, numbers.

This could change come January. With no European football, Arteta can continue to operate with a streamlined squad for the remainder of the season, knowing that at most he will have to play across three competitions (and with the FA Cup co-ordinated to accommodate the Premier League).

As such, there could be scope for players to depart in January. 101 looks at 5 players who may wish to take up that option.

1. Mohamed Elneny

Down to the last six months of his contract, first up is Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny. The 29-year-old defensive midfielder has played just 48 minutes in the Premier League so far this season. This is despite an injury to Granit Xhaka that has kept him out of action since September.

Mikel Arteta has turned to new signing Sambi Lokonga, and versatile Ainsley Maitland-Niles, ahead of the Egyptian.

Arsenal’s midfield will be limited come January, due to the Africa Cup of Nations, but Elneny will be one of those jetting off to take part, meaning that he will be unable to help. As such, it seems as though his playing time will be very limited, and Arsenal could consider getting his wages off the books before his contract is due to end in July.

With clubs in Turkey rumoured to be interested, could he be set for an early exit?

2. Eddie Nketiah

Another man short of game time thus far this season is Eddie Nketiah, with his time on the pitch limited to just Carabao Cup appearances.

It was thought that Nketiah was heading to Crystal Palace during the summer transfer window, but a prospective move fell through, and he has since struggled to make an impression at The Emirates Stadium.

Also with just 6 months left on his deal, the Daily Mail revealed that Nketiah has no intention of signing a new one in north London, meaning that any offer that comes in in January could well be considered by the Gunners. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaving for AFCON for a month from Boxing Day, however, it could depend on another transfer.

3. Folarin Balogun (loan)

In this case, it feels as though it is either he or Nketiah, not both.

Balogun has already spoken of his desire for a new challenge in recent days, revealing:

“I do feel like I’m ready for a new challenge but I’m not sure what that might be, it might be a loan or if I’m needed at Arsenal then I’m here & the gaffer knows that.”

The youngster has clearly outgrown the U23s, as the video below shows, where he has registered 10 goals and 2 assists in 8 games this season.

A loan move surely beckons, unless Nketiah departs, in which case Balogun could stay to play second fiddle to Alexandre Lacazette come January.

4. Calum Chambers

Calum Chambers has not played in the Premier League since Arsenal’s 5-0 defeat to Manchester City, and has not even been in the matchday squad for the last 7 games, but has appeared in two of three Carabao Cup ties.

5 players that could leave Arsenal in January

GILLINGHAM, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 10: Calum Chambers of Arsenal during the match between Gillingham and Arsenal U21 at Priestfield Stadium on November 10, 2020 in Gillingham, England (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images).

Now 26 years old, he is in the prime of his career and will surely be looking for regular minutes at his next club, should he decide to move on.

With six months left on his contract (as per transfermarkt), and the club yet to take up the option of an additional year, January could well prove the optimal time for Chambers to depart. Arsenal would receive a fee, Chambers would get regular game time, and Everton would get a competent Premier League right-back.

Everton are rumoured to be interested in the defender, and there would surely be other suitors should Arsenal make his availability public, as with both Cedric and Ainsley Maitland-Niles ahead of Chambers in the pecking order to backup new signing Takehiro Tomiyasu, his future in north London looks bleak.

5. Nicolas Pepe

To be clear, there has been little credible speculation linking Nicolas Pepe with a move away from The Emirates stadium in January.

However, should such a development be forthcoming, it would not be an awful time for Arsenal to cut their losses. The Ivorian has lost his place in the side, and seemingly Mikel Arteta’s faith, too.

5 players that could leave Arsenal in January

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 08: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on November 08, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Pepe has started just 5 times in the Premier League so far this season, and across Arsenal’s last three wins has only seen a combined 5 minutes on the pitch, left as an unused substitute for two of the games.

Having failed to live up to the £72 million fee that Arsenal paid Ligue 1 outfit Lille in 2019, Pepe will have just two years left on his contract come the summer. Should Arsenal get a suitable offer for their winger, they just might consider it.

Honourable mention: Sead Kolasinac

Sead Kolasinac’s chances of a move away may lie in ruins after he suffered a serious-looking injury against Finland while representing Bosnia and Herzegovina in the most recent international break.

The left-back has been little used this year, and with Nuno Tavares now ahead of him as Kieran Tierney’s understudy, the potential for minutes at the club had he been fit seemed scarce.

Now, however, ‘Kola’ could find himself forced to remain at Arsenal until his contract expires next summer, with suitors likely to avoid the defender in the case that he has picked up an injury as serious as feared.

Read more:

Everton target Arsenal outcast in cut-price January deal

 “Not yet closed” The latest on Arsenal star’s potential future at the club


This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 23 41 57
2 Liverpool FC 22 39 48
3 Chelsea FC 24 30 47
4 Manchester United 22 6 38
5 West Ham United 23 10 37
6 Arsenal FC 21 8 36
7 Tottenham Hotspur 20 2 36
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 21 3 34
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 22 0 30
10 Leicester City 20 -3 26
11 Aston Villa 21 -4 26
12 Southampton FC 22 -8 25
13 Crystal Palace 22 -3 24
14 Brentford FC 23 -12 23
15 Leeds United 21 -16 22
16 Everton FC 20 -11 19
17 Norwich City 22 -32 16
18 Newcastle United 21 -22 15
19 Watford FC 20 -17 14
20 Burnley FC 18 -11 12

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Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Maddison, James Leicester City 6