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15,000+ Arsenal fans were given control of the club: This is who they would keep and sell (Part 2)

15,000+ Arsenal fans were given control of the club: This is who they would keep and sell (Part 2)

Big decisions

After over 320,000 individual votes from Arsenal fans across Arsenal’s entire first-team squad, the feeling on each and every player is determined.

In part 2, the focus turns to the midfielders. If you would like to see the breakdown of the goalkeepers and defenders, click here.

The midfield for Arsenal is arguably the most important area of the pitch needing attention this summer.

Uncertainties over Joe Willock, Granit Xhaka and Ainsley Maitland-Niles in addition to Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos returning to Real Madrid from a year-long loan deal.

Mikel Arteta and Arsenal will be looking to bring in reinforcements but who do the fans think should be kept and who should be sold.

Midfielders

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – Sell 

Maitland-Niles is difficult to put into a category as his best position, despite being 23, is still unknown. Arsenal fans on the whole have voted in favour of seeing him leave this summer which they may look back on a sizeable bid from Wolves in 2020 with a large amount of regret for the club not accepting now.

15,000+ Arsenal fans were given control of the club: This is who they would keep and sell (Part 2)

West Bromwich Albion’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles during the Premier League match at the Hawthorns, West Bromwich. Picture date: Sunday February 14, 2021. (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

A loan at West Brom has done little to salvage that level of value but he could and should still earn a decent fee. Young, homegrown, England international with Premier League experience with versatility. Fans will have to wait and see.

Matteo Guendouzi – Sell 

The Frenchman has been quite the controversial figure at the club since arriving from Lorient. Issues behind the scenes, throwing up 2-1 score lines at Watford only to draw 2-2 and seeing his last game for Arsenal against Brighton end with some unsavoury scenes.

Despite his huge potential, it appears many Arsenal fans have had enough of the man who spent this season away from the club on loan with Hertha Berlin.

Still, to see more than 65% of the votes in favour of his departure is a little surprising. Arteta’s decision supported?

Lucas Torreira – Sell

Who would have thought the impressive displays seen by the Uruguayan after he joined Arsenal from Sampdoria would see him leave the club for a minimal fee just a few years later.

15,000+ Arsenal fans were given control of the club: This is who they would keep and sell (Part 2)

Uruguay’s Lucas Torreira (L) and Edinson Cavani celebrate after an own goal by Ecuador’s Arturo Mina (out of frame) during their Copa America football tournament group match at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on June 16, 2019. (Photo by Luis ACOSTA / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUIS ACOSTA/AFP via Getty Images)

He spent this season on loan Atletico Madrid after falling out of favour with Mikel Arteta but has barely played in Spain and the recent loss of his mother has seen a call from the midfielder and his family members for Arsenal to let him leave and join boyhood club, Boca Juniors, in Argentina.

All of these factors combined obviously mean that the fanbase would prefer to see those wishes fulfilled.

Mohamed Elneny – Sell

Mohamed Elneny is the antithesis of a utility player at Arsenal. Comes in when called upon and puts in decent displays with safe passes and a disciplined position on the pitch. With the odd screamer now and again.

Elneny also seems content with this role and it is unlikely he will be sold this summer. Arteta appreciates what he adds to the side and with Ceballos going and further departures a possibility, holding onto the Egyptian may be the smart move.

However, it is the opinion of the majority that he should be moved on from the club. With Arsenal needing a ruthless summer, it appears Elneny has fallen victim to plenty of his fellow long-time servers of the club.

Granit Xhaka – Keep

Until a few days ago, the future of Granit Xhaka was seemingly assured. The midfielder has been an integral part of the club’s starting eleven.

However, reports suggest that he could be open to a move away from the club. This would go against what the majority of the fan base want however with 68.4% of voters preferring the player to stay at the Gunners.

Xhaka was deputising at left-back whilst Kieran Tierney was injured and the side looked much weaker in the middle with Thomas Partey tasked with both defensive and passing duties with Xhaka’s presence lacking.

This proved to be a decision that cost the club greatly in the end-of-season run. Could he now leave the club very soon?

Thomas Partey – Keep

 

The signing which inspired many Arsenal fans to believe that the season would be a lot better than it will eventually turn out.

Thomas Partey arrived from Atletico Madrid on deadline day after Arsenal activated his £45 million release clause. Partey was touted to become one of the best signings the club had made but a series of injuries in the first half of the season cost him regularity in the 11 and the chance to transition smoothly.

He has played much more in the second half but has looked to be trying too hard at times to make stuff happen, losing possession. However, there is no doubting his quality in comparison to his teammates shines through and a preseason may be all he needs to make the step up to his expected level shown at Atleti so many times.

It is unsurprising to see more than 95% of the fan base still wanting to see more from the Ghanaian.

PARTEY

Joe Willock – Keep

Joe Willock’s case is very interesting. The England youth international, had the poll been ran prior to his loan to Newcastle, may have seen some very different results.

However, as a testament to his success in the North East, the feeling has swung dramatically in his favour with 63.4% of supporters wanting Willock to remain with the club this summer.

15,000+ Arsenal fans were given control of the club: This is who they would keep and sell (Part 2)

Newcastle United’s English midfielder Joe Willock celebrates after scoring the equalising goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Newcastle United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on April 24, 2021. – – RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by CLIVE BRUNSKILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Willock has scored some huge goals for the Magpies which has highlighted how few strikes have come from the Arsenal midfield.

Could the 21-year-old be the man who Arsenal might need next season in the middle and could it be a huge money saver for the club in regards to focusing investment on the full-back and Partey partner positions?

Emile Smith-Rowe – Keep

The young Hale End graduate is seen by many to be the future of Arsenal’s attacking midfield and for good reason. Managing to score against both West Brom and Chelsea of late.

The end product has been the biggest criticism of his game and should this be a sign of things to come, Smith-Rowe could be on for a stellar first full season during the 21/22 campaign.

The fan base, unsurprisingly, love the youngster and it is shown in the vote.

Arsenal’s midfield is an area of great potential but in need of much organisation this summer. How successful that is, could have ramifications for the entire season.

15,000+ Arsenal fans were given control of the club: This is who they would keep and sell (Part 1)

Mikel Arteta outlines what Emile Smith Rowe must do to compete with Europe’s top midfielders


This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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