Wenger reveals team news for Leicester City clash – Ozil, Kos, Cazorla updates

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Arsene Wenger has provided the latest team news update ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League clash at Leicester City.

The Gunners take on the Foxes still looking for a first away point in 2018, and after Sunday’s celebratory atmosphere at the Emirates, this is bound to be something of anti-climax.

Speaking to the press this morning, the manager updated on the latest injury and availability news when it comes to his squad.

“Well, we have four players who are out. If you count Cazorla, we have Ozil, Koscielny, and Elneny.

“We’ll check everybody today, we had a rest day yesterday. Will I leave one or two out, maybe? We play again on Sunday.”

The manager also reported that a ‘devastated’ Laurent Koscielny would be out of action for 6 months as the seriousness of his Achilles injury was confirmed.

Any hopes that we might get to see Santi Cazorla in an Arsenal shirt again were dashed, as the Frenchman said it was too risky to use him at this point of his recovery.

“No, he will not be ready to play in the final game,” he said. “He is doing quite well, but the medical staff tell me it’s too risky.”

He also touched on the Mesut Ozil situation, and insisted the German international was suffering from a back problem, and not picking and choosing his games as reported by one of the most noxious tabloids.

“Football players are not like that,” said the Frenchman. “He wanted to play on Sunday, but hurt his back at half-time in the Madrid game. I can understand it, but overall no, he’s injured – he’s injured.

“It looks like that sometimes a player can go over the pain for one game, but they inflame the injury.”

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Runzac
Runzac

Özil haters need to see a doctor. Doctor Zhivago might pop them some uppers

Belfast Gooner
Belfast Gooner

I’m not an Ozil hater but he needs to up his game big time!
If the new manager sticks with 4-3-3, how does Ozil fit into that long term? Play him on the wing? Xhaka or a specialist DM behind him and Ramsey/Wilshere?
We would get overrun in midfield just like we have against the bigger teams for the past 3-4 seasons.
Either we set up to give him a free role with the midfield defensively set up, he ups his game defensively or we look to sell and bring in someone who will do what is needed to win.
I really hope he stays but for the wages he is on, he needs to contribute much more!

fluff
fluff

Get him to contribute much more? Is the margin between him and the second most assisting player in the whole of Europe not big enough? Haven’t we just retired the reason we constantly get overrun not just in midfield, but defense as well? Maybe not eh? Defo Ozil’s fault, you can see that just by looking at the mess the German national side is having to carry such a lazy performer. We don’t bloody deserve him.

Belfast Gooner
Belfast Gooner

We deserve more actually! He goes missing in the big games. He doesn’t track back, doesn’t get stuck in. I never said he isn’t brilliant going forward!
But sure its ALL been Wengers fault or ‘the reason’ as you put it!
FFS

A Different George
A Different George

You sound a little (well, more than a little) like one of those commentators who say things like “in my day that would have been a good tackle; yes, he went in with both feet and broke his leg, but he got the ball, didn’t he?”

It doesn’t matter how many statistics you are shown about Ozil and big games (when, by definition, we play quality sides that know that stopping Ozil is the key to winning), it doesn’t matter if he creates chance after chance.

I would say Ozil’s main fault is that he should try to score more often himself; I doubt if he will. But he will be brilliant with Aubameyang and Lacazette in front of him.

Belfast Gooner
Belfast Gooner

I just like players to play with 100 percent effort and not let someone run past them with the ball.
At one stage during the match on Sunday. Aubameyang spotted a gap in defence and ran 60 yards to put the ball out at his own corner-flag. That’s all it takes – to be switched on, and willing to put in a defensive shift when needed.
I am old fashioned too!! I loved the midfield of Morrow, Hillier and Selley that helped win the ECWC Cup in 1994! Pure graft and defensive nous in that team kept Parma at bay!

A Different George
A Different George

Yes, but Aubameyang had given the ball away in the first place and chased back to atone. (I like Aubameyang, just pointing it out.)

An example of what I meant by statistics: you like players who give 100 percent effort, implying that Ozil does not. And yet, he regularly runs more than anyone else on the pitch. There must be a complicated explanation for that.

Belfast Gooner
Belfast Gooner

Fair enough, I just think he could do more and especially last week. For the money he is on he should be at the level of griezemann or De Bruyne and he simply isn’t.

shaka
shaka

please for heavens sake….stop moaning. Its been this incessant whiny noise for years now…..please take a break….you have caused players to leave, manager to go, fans to stop coming to forums and matches and arsenal becoming a laughing stock. please stop. stop the whining. stop. stop. stop.

Chinaman
Chinaman

let’s sell Ozil and replace him with Milner, Shaqiri or Herrera. That’ll surely be take us to the next level…. and if not then we can always pretend we loved Ozil and didn’t drive him out of the club

David
David

4 tackles out of 4 vs Madrid, others?

David
David

Hating only hurts the hater. See a shrink man!

But sorry, why on earth would anybody hate Ozil! Can we not introduce some civility to Arsenal, it used to be such a classy club. You might not appreciate him as a player, I accept that, but hate is a very strong sentiment.

Viv
Viv

Don’t understand why Ozil is being so heavily criticized.Thought he produced 2 cutbacks but none of our strickers could latch on though,missed Giroud big time

Belfast Gooner
Belfast Gooner

Its not just Athletico last week but he has a fair amount of matches where he is virtually anonymous. I just think for what he has been and is being paid he could do a lot more.
When I think of a player who can grab a game and really change the outcome, I think of Pires, Henry, Bergkamp et al. I don’t think of Ozil and he needs to do more in big games.

adgonner
adgonner

Ozil has given us so many memorable performances! He absolutely destroyed the Barcas and the Bayerns in our big CL encounters.. Who cares if he missed the penalty against Bayern in 2014 during the first 20 mins which was probably our most productive 20 mins in the CL over the past 5-6 years. How breathtaking he was in these games! almost won us the games single handedly.. Players considered to be in a similar league like David Silva, Eriksen, Coutinho, Modirc, Kroos are so overrated.. All they do is produce week in week out. Anyone can do that.. Real talent is picking and choosing games and putting in great performance at home and in games against Albanian farmers.. so kudos to Mesut Prince Ozil.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Sarcasm really doesn’t become you…clashes with your eyes!

Pedant
Pedant

Last chance to see Santi on the pitch for us, I’m afraid of that.

Ozil – so many fabricated stories of how he is avoiding playing when he is one of the players that plays the most games for us, season after season. I think he is a good guy.

gunnertron
gunnertron

Good point and some of the players that have played the most over the last few years have had their bodies fail at the demand. Take Santi and Koscielny in particular, up until their major injuries they played nearly every game. Xhaka and Bellerin do too but I guess their youth is helping them. Also Santi’s and Kos’s injuries are seem to stem from that part of the body working more than it wants to I think.

Ozenal
Ozenal

Yes we need to find a way to prevent overplaying our players. Our best 11 can compete but the rest of the squad is poor.

Winger's Coq
Winger's Coq

Let’s win the remaining matches.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

I wonder how Ozil hurt his back? Not with a beautiful blonde, I hope!

The Ozil situation stinks. How come he just happens to be injured every other game? How come the games he misses tend to be the ones against the minor sides?

The worst thing about all this is that Ozil is the highest paid player at the club. For 350k a week he should be turning out at every game. Maybe he has a recurring injury, but if so why did he play for the full 90 minutes against Athletico?

I wonder how the rest of the squad feels about this. The problem now is that the new manager won’t be able to get rid of him. His pathetic performances in the big games and these disappearing acts mean that no top club will touch him – especially with the stupid money he’s on.

Sad news about Kos.

Maybe he's born with it, maybe it's Bellerin
Maybe he's born with it, maybe it's Bellerin

Well i agree with the last part…..

Da Boss
Da Boss

There is so little about this comment that makes any sense whatsoever…..it’s actually mildly impressive that you managed to concoct that much crap into so few words. Kudos.

Monkey Nuts
Monkey Nuts

Ozil has been a complete waste of money to Arsenal. He has never played well in games that matter for us and for 350k a week! Think on folks not one club came in for him when he was available on a free. Apart from us.

Martin
Martin

Yes a total waste of money. The most creative player of n the Premiership with more assists and chances created than any other player. It is a total fallacy that he never turns up for big matches, that he is lazy and he misses so many games through injury. He was never on a free transfer and is a great signing. Looking forward and to see him next seasonn

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

For me Ozil should have gotten a highly incentivised deal like Jack. That may have turned him into an impact player. Cesc was as much creative as him and was also a big impact or big moment player. At age 18, Cesc was picked by Spain to play the last PK in a final. He was also played in CF position because that allowed Spain to perform even better.

ForeignGooner
ForeignGooner

Yeah, we would’ve been better off without all his goals and assists.

Chippys chip
Chippys chip

Weve got ozil he’s always ill i just dont think you understand hes paid 350 grand he doesnt give a damn.

gooner
gooner

The rest of the squad feels ok with it because they are not sold that line. They know firsthand he’s not 100%

But well, let’s believe Keown and his stupid articles because he has a link with the club so he knows more than the medical team.

A Different George
A Different George

For all of you who want to believe Martin Keown, I remind you of what Mertesacker said to him, after winning the FA Cup for us: “don’t write me off, Martin.”

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

But hasn’t Mert written himself off afterwards?

Anthony
Anthony

Maybe Per has written himself off.

Maybe he hasn’t.

The point he was making to Keown was that he should be given the merit of his performances. Yes he’s been in the twilight of his career for the last few seasons. But he knew that. Firstly by retiring from international duty, and subsequently taking on less and less of a playing role.

That said, we can see that keeping him around has improved players like Chambers and Holding.

I’m actually really happy he’s going off to coach the academy. Keeps him around the club and who knows, in the future, maybe he will take up the hot seat. For all the newspaper guff about Ancelotti to come in and ‘Groom’ his successor. Seems like a load of nonsense, we could have kept Arsene on to do that.

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down

Keown who said he was a fan of Mertesacker but struggled to see how he could pull out a big performance having not played for a year ? You mean the same as all of us then ???? We all prayed BFG would pull out a bit performance but if you try to say you saw that coming you are 100% a liar.
Have a go at Keown by all means but having a go at a perfectly reasonable comment he made is just silly & has no relevance to the Ozil comments.

Neil Bhalla
Neil Bhalla

If Oil had been fit on Sunday I think he probably would have been on the bench against Burnley anyway.

As for why he played the full 90 mins in Madrid, perhaps because at half time we were 1-0 down and he felt he ought to stay on and try to help the team rescue the situation.

If he had gone off, I’m sure you would have been on here criticising him for hiding at half time and wimping out of helping his team, etc.

Something tells me he can’t win in your eyes.

Uba Ngenegbo
Uba Ngenegbo

What people fail to understand about the Ozil situation is that it is not just about Sunday’s game.

The amount of “sickies” the guy has thrown in this season is absolutely ridiculous and the conclusion that he is cosseted and treated differently by Arsene is not far-fetched.
Very good player but he needs to up his game, do more! A strong manager will have very little time for him if his attitude to his job does not change.

Chippys chip
Chippys chip

AND they want superjack to sign for peanuts in comparison!!!. I wonder what theyre offering rambo!!!!

Man Manny
Man Manny

If I had an opportunity to ask the board for one favour – just one favour, it would be to give Santi Cazorla a contract extension.
Oh! Arsene would do it…certainly.

Greg
Greg

I’m sure he’s more than welcome to stay on a pay as you play deal

Rotty
Rotty

When will some Arsenal fans realize that all the tabloid press is in for is the money … and part of this is creating a narrative that’s easy to write and capable of delivering an irresistible headline.

Just take a step back and think for a moment.

He’s foreign. He’s Muslim. He has a funny name. He looks odd. Did we fight two world wars so that he can come over to our night clubs, take our women, and STEAL a first team place at Arsenal from one of our own.

Now think of other Arsenal players (vilified in the press) who might fit this template. And some people fall for it time and time and time again.

Arseblog put his finger on this very same thing with Xhaka the other day. The press creates a narrative that he’s an overrated expensive mistake, the intellectually-bereft pundits latch onto it, and suddenly we’re all gas-lit into ignoring what our own lying eyes interpret.

Ozil, as far as I truly know is an honest, exceptional player that we are fucking lucky to have playing for us. Let’s not fuck it up for ourselves, eh?

Martin
Martin

Thank you Rory I agree with every word you say. The rubbish written about Ozil and Xhaka is so sickening

Martin
Martin

Sorry Rotty. Preemptive text strikes

Greg
Greg

Fuck me. It’s embarrassing you write that 3rd paragraph

There are minorities everywhere who are wrong and don’t speak for us all. You imply everyone is racist. Christ generalisations like yours is like saying everyone in labour is antisemitic and all Muslims hate gay people

ForeignGooner
ForeignGooner

He never implied that “everyone is racist”. He was talking about the tabloids, think of Sun and the Daily Mail.

Greg
Greg

Don’t forget the mirror or does that not fit your agenda?

ForeignGooner
ForeignGooner

Ok the Mirror too.
I have no agenda.

PB70
PB70

So stand up against those ‘minorities everywhere’ instead of pointing out the obvious – that they don’t speak for us. Weird how some people get awfully defensive when the topic of racism or bigotry is mentioned – it’s embarrassing. Thou dost protest too much.

Greg
Greg

Thanks Jeremy Corbyn/John McDonnell

PB70
PB70

Greg, I am neither. Whatever fits your agenda, though.

Rotty
Rotty

Greg, these weren’t meant as generalisations, but you’re spot on that it’s embarrassing that in 2018 anything like this gets to be written at all. That said, I cannot see how I imply that everyone is a racist if the demographic I’m having a go at is the gutter press penning garbage that they hope will sell.

Again, step back and think for a moment.

Look at our first team. The majority are foreign. At least Ozil, Mustafi, Xhaka, Elneny, and Kolasinac could well be Muslim (not that I know, care to know, or think it’s any of my business), several have ‘funny’ names, some impossibly ‘funny’, more than a few look odd, and who-the-fuck-knows how many know all the words to Deutschland Uber Alles …

Accepting any one of these labels as an indicator of ‘otherness’ doesn’t mean you accept all of them. My point was in a system of ‘us and them’, even though being at AFC he’s ‘one of us’, his qualities as ‘one of them’ is great bait to sell both ideas, clicks, and newspapers. Words matter and so does hate.

Greg
Greg

It is sad agreed. But it isn’t just the tabloid press is it? The guardian the times and the telegraph have all been critical of ozil this season. They have all been critical of arsene Wenger too. If ozil was called Smith and was English he would still deserve criticism and questions asked of him. Because he’s not shouldn’t give him a layer of protection.

Rightly or wrongly he is one of the highest paid players in the world and so expectations are very high. He can be incredible but he needs consistency

PB70
PB70

You are awfully worried about people ‘getting a layer of protection’. No one on this thread is asking for that. He should not get additional criticism because he’s not English and named Smith. Nothing the OP said is invalided because he didn’t list out every new organisation. You’re grasping at straws to ensure you validate your world regarding ‘others’ and how they deserve no special treatment – which no one asked for. But if it gets you off, have your last word.

A Different George
A Different George

Oh for chrissake–look at the exaggerated praise for people like Milner or Henderson, for “honest” players like Carrick, for Eric Dier. Then go watch Ozil.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Tabloïds are not criticizing Mohamed Salah though. They didn’t criticize Mahrez two years ago.

Hank Wankford
Hank Wankford

Excellent comment, what the fuck is wrong with people

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Your argument about racist subtext might be more valid if the tabloids weren’t creaming themselves over Mo Salah (you know, that foreign Muslim that plays for Liverpool?).

Could it not just be that they’re scummy, two-bit journos that appeal to the lowest common denominator (i.e. because he doesn’t “run araand a bit” he must be a work-shy slacker)?

A Different George
A Different George

Sometimes a player is so good–and so popular with the actual supporters–that the tabloids have to get on board. That’s the case with Salah but, even there, there’s a lot of absurd praise for people like Milner or Robertson or Alexander-Arnold (scorched by every good winger in every match I have watched Liverpool).

Football, and especially the Prem, is genuinely international. My favourite players next year, I think, will be a German of Turkish background, and a Gabonese/French/Spaniard. I also have lot of admiration for a Welshman, an Englishman or two, and a couple of French guys.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Here’s the thing about Salah, Milner, Henderson and Alexander-Arnold: they all play for the media favourite, Liverpool.

On top of that, they play a high-intensity, high impact (but not entirely subtle) brand of football that sits well with the average British football fan’s sensibilities.

Arsenal and Özil on the other hand, do not.

I don’t disagree that it’s lazy and sensationalist, but it doesn’t have to be racist. Plenty of people can quite easily be horrible without it being because of racism. Jose Mourinho buys and plays a lot of non-white players and he’s a cunt, for example.

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down

Are some (most) of the gutter press racist ? Obviously. Does that lead to some of their criticism of Ozil & others? Possibly. Where Rotty’s comments annoy me is this presumed link between how the gutter press treat a player (in this case Ozil, and often others) & anyone on here who criticizes him. It’s total horseshit. Whenever Gooners criticise a player, it cannot possible be in your mind that they have simply formed their own opinion. Nope, forming your opinion is only for the positive commenters. You know, like the hundreds who posted about Ospina & his ‘calm presence’. They all obviously came to that conclusion all on their own watching him flap around, it couldn’t possibly be them all desperately hoping to find something to differentiate him from ‘hothead’ Chesney (he smoked in the showers – boooooo!!) & then weighing in behind the first person who posted such a comment as if their lives depended on it. No sir, all independent thinkers the positive posters. The negative posters not an independent thought between them. 100% the truth…..and yet the same people are utterly confused as to why Gooners have become so bitter towards each other ? Such is the modern world sadly….

Winterburn Wanderers
Winterburn Wanderers

Do vaguely remember seeing him go down holding his side after getting clattered against Athletico. Admittedly weighed in when the pile-on was happening…

We all know he’s World Class…and his numbers are astronomically good week in week out…and he’s played a crazy amount of minutes since he joined…and he’s 29 now and our star player and we should protect him…

…it’s just, he doesn’t show enough pashun.

A Different George
A Different George

Doesn’t get stuck in.

shaka
shaka

he played his lungs out against ATM….was in the zone….trying ..trying…recycling…trying…moving always……just didnt come off.

Greg
Greg

Which paper? The one that posts a tweet of aw falling over as a major point in his time in charge?

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter

Seems like the virus is attacking the back now. He needs some very strong antivirals

Rotty
Rotty

One of the many things I loved about having Arsene Wenger as our manager was pride. I was proud he was one of us, that he was ours. Even when we were building rather than winning. Wenger was special. He was unique.

The same is true of Mesut Ozil.

Fuck. One minute people are screaming that he’s not signing contracts and committing to the club. The next, that he’s an overly-sensitive/sickly/indolent/waif that’s not worth a place in our team. WTF?

All because someone wrote something unsubstantiated in a newspaper renowned for its vileness and disconnection with actual facts? Again, I say, WTF?

shaka
shaka

i think some people want to destroy the pride of Arsenal. Its just a full fledged assault on the norms of decency and fairness that this club is known for. It seems we all will be assaulted by trolls, till we yield and become valueless screaming bigoted incel trumpsters.

DulwichGooner
DulwichGooner

I saw the back page headline in that noxious tabloid ( it was shown on BBC football page). Written by a total sh!tstirring scumbag. How these parasites can earn a living off the back of talented hardworking footballers is beyond me. Is there no censure for writing this sort of crwap?! Grrr ?

Hantal
Hantal

I’m ok with ozil missing the occasional away game against teams like stoke where he isnt going to deliver but I do worry about his general health, he’s had a lot of colds and flus for a guy with his fitness levels.
When he plays his running numbers are one of the highest in the team despite appearances

Greg
Greg

Why should he not deliver though?

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Now that Arsene is leaving, the tabloids need to stir up more trouble at Arsenal and what better way than to pick on the highest paid player. I was a little disgusted at Martin Keown’s outburst the other day and the fact that Jermaine Jenas a Sp*rs guy stuck up for him tells you everything you need to know. I get that Martin is a passionate Arsenal man and a real winner but I wonder how he would have responded to such criticism of him when he was playing?

Greg
Greg

What criticism would you have had of Martin? I think he would know himself and would take any on board if there was to be any. He gave everything in games and he doesn’t believe ozil does, what’s disgusting about that?

shaka
shaka

you think a player gets 350k pw, a worldcup medal, 3 trophies and 3 shields with Arsenal ( ending the drought) and the #10 position at Real Madrid without giving everything in games?

and btw…cant u see with your own eyes?

Vonnie
Vonnie

Keowns cuntery (it can never be justified as punditry) is what agitated this whole argument about Mesut. I don’t understand how anyone can be allowed to spew personal and poisonous vitriol against anyone, without anything to back it up except that he was once a bit part player in the invincibles season. After the way he insulted our BFG I lost any respect for Keown that I ever had, the way he speaks about Mesut is a disgrace. Mesut is not the biggest, strongest person, every time he plays he puts in a massive effort, if you can’t see that then you need to start looking and not listening to some attention seeking troublemaker on the television. It seems that there will always be the divisions and toxicity between Arsenal fans because when people like Keown, the red top papers and idiots on Arsenall “fan” TV stir the pot there are so many negative people out there that fall for it every time. We don’t all like the same players, there are some that I think have underachieved, and Mesut isn’t one of them, I absolutely love him. I also don’t see what the problem is with him missing a few games, all our players should be rested now and again, and he plays a lot more than many of the players.

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down

‘I don’t understand how anyone can be allowed to spew personal and poisonous vitriol against anyone, without anything to back it up except that he was once a bit part player in the invincibles season.’

Oh, the irony…….

santori
santori

As I have mentioned before –

1) Santi : We all love him. BUt any feature of Santi next season (if he should be around) will strictly be bonus. To plan with him in mind would be suicidal. Strictly, Wenger failed to move on and replace Santi for 3 seasons with detriment to midfield and overall balance of the team.

With Granit a massive improvement, Elneny a utility player with also good improvement, we have to cast an eye on Jack. I felt (as I have said for some time) that Iwobi propspered in the central role carrying the ball for us through traffic.

He has the strength and skill set to protect the ball but also drive forward with it. If Jack should leave, we will need one more of Iwobi’s quality whilst Granit (with Elneny as back Up) hold deeper and Ramsey can come in as another option (AMN strictly to Rback but with utility back up in midfield as well)

2) Ozil : I like Keown but I think he has let his passion get to his head and is a bit too carried away with criticism of Ozil.

I didn’t see Ozil shirk from his effort or responsibilities against Athletico. He put in a lot of running and went back to recover some tackles for us.

BUT by nature he isn’t RVP, someone who will dig you out of a hole. He plays in general brilliantly when the machinery is also on cue and we tend not to get the best out of him when we struggle.

Its just the way it is. Do we want to keep him? Of course. He is a massive asset.

BUT I suspect Mhkitaryan was also as much brought in as an insurance policy bc Ozil’s tenure with us is likely dictated by whether there is an attractive enough offer elsewhere. There wasn’t one in January but despite the new contract, if a suitable interest comes in (and without Wenger protecting him), the German may leave.

Which is why we have Mhkitaryan and Ramsey in similar role (if anything somewhat overkill and not the best option in terms of balance this second half of season). If he should leave, I would keep an eye on possibly promoting the Jeff into the middle as a different sort of weapon to employ since we already have Rambo/Mhkitaryan in the pass and play role.

If Ozil, stays the new gaffer does need to give him a bit of a push but I think the lack of effort call by the media and ex players has a modicum of reality but generally is over exaggerated.

3) Le Boss Koscielny – Many inexplicable voices call for Mustafi to be dropped instead of Koscielny even when it was the old stalwart that made the fundamental error first leg against Atheltico. Your usual armchair statistician will cotnrived some sort of blame to apportion to the German instead.

Worse, they will conveniently forget Rob Holding (Signed by Dick LAw) and now trumpet the merits of Mavropanos.

Not denying the Greek defender holds plenty of promise but they will conveniently cast a blind eye to him say losing out in an aerial duel to Volkes right in front of the goal where if it were Mustafi, all hell would break loose.

Foggy thinking.

If anything, we have flattered to deceive bc we have entrusted too much faith in young players developing before they have showed return on promise (consistency in performance)

We cannot afford to lose Mustafi unless we are willing to bring two into defense from market (and I mean experienced players not more 21yr olds)

That’s unlikely to happen as we need to invest in other areas of the squad.

But the Cback we do need to replace IMO is Koscielny.

He is wrong side of 30 and like Santi is starting to show effects of wear and tear. Reliance on him for another season is too much to ask of him.

Either he takes a retiring role next season ala Per (with Bonus as a back up/mentor to our developing younger Cbacks) or he gets sold if there is a suitable offer.

Meanwhile with Chambers quietly improving, I would say one of Mavropanos/Holding stays to compete and push the older players and the other will strongly benefit from a good loan.

Set aside the passion have some clarity of thought.