Could these three players be leaving Arsenal as well as Alexis Sanchez?

It’s no secret that there is some trouble behind the scenes at Arsenal. Once again their fans are having to deal with mid-season struggles as well as some discontent in the squad. This summer could mark the biggest changes at the club in recent history, with the possibility of Arsene Wenger leaving and a number of players who could be departing the club.

There has been plenty of uncertainty over the future of Alexis Sanchez, the Chilean has looked a lifeless figure at times, not helped in part to his attitude according to fans and pundits alike. If the goal-machine does decide to ply his trade elsewhere it could spark an exodus from a number of other members of the Arsenal side. But a possible departure of Sanchez may not be the only reason these three players decide to knock their time in North London on the head…

Mesut Ozil

The German playmaker is one of the most talented players in the Premier League, whether or not he puts in enough effort and does it on a consistent basis is another question. He has appeared very happy since joining the club and has a good relationship with Wenger. If both Sanchez and Wenger were to leave Ozil’s mind may be swayed. He is 28 now and Arsenal’s chances of winning the league have all but passed for another season and they’re heading out of the Champions League barring an astonishing turn-around. Ozil is a winner and another season without the top prizes could prove to be too much for him.

If another high profile European club came in for his services Ozil could be convinced to leave the club. He will want to continue to compete at the top and there are no guarantees that Arsenal are going to finish in the top four in what looks like the tightest race for the European places to date.

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Santi Cazorla

Cazorla has made just 11 appearances in all competitions this season due to a long-term injury. The Gunners have definitely missed his influence on games and other players have suffered from his work-rate being absent from the side. The Spaniard’s contract is up this summer and a new one has yet to be confirmed.

While we’re not suggesting Cazorla is definitely going to depart, he may decide to call it time at the end of his 5th year at the club in favour of a change up and a better chance of silverware. At 32 he has a lot to offer still and many clubs would be interested in his abilities.

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Jack Wilshere 

When talking about Wilshere it’s already looking like a case of ‘what could have been’ – the Englishman has had absolutely no luck with injuries, but it’s worth mentioning his time at Bournemouth has seen him play on a more regular basis. The loan move to the South Coast was a bit of a strange transfer at the start of the season and although Wilshere hasn’t necessarily had the number of assists expected from him, he has looked happier playing week in, week out.

Whether Wilshere and Arsenal decide to part ways at the end of the season remains to be seen, but if he has any feeling that a return to club entails time spent on the touchline he may just fancy the chance at another Premier League club.

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Could Arsenal afford to lose all three of these midfielders as well as Sanchez? Is it time to revamp the squad in a bid to win the Premier League again?

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Stats: How important is Mesut Ozil to Arsenal?

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil is coming towards the end of his second season with the club now, yet many are still unconvinced with his performances and believe that perhaps he hasn’t lived up to his £42.5m price tag.

The German international helped the Gunners to their first trophy for nine years last season as they went on to lift the FA Cup and they’re currently third in the Premier League this time around, as well as having booked their place in the semi-final of the FA Cup once again.

Ozil has been hampered by injury throughout this campaign, which has meant the Gunners have played a large amount of fixtures without the services of a man who played in every game at Germany’s 2014 World Cup triumph.

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Arsenal have played 14 Premier League games with Ozil in the side (W8, D4, L2) at a ratio of two points-gained-per-game, compared to 16 league games without him (W10, D2, L4) and they amount to exactly the same amount of points-gained-per-game – two.

So in that regard, Arsene Wenger‘s side are neither better off nor worse off when Ozil plays, but how does he compare statistically to the other attack-minded midfield players in the Arsenal team? Here is an average-per-game breakdown of numbers:

Arsenal midfielders in the 2014/15 Premier League (stats via Squawka)

Arsenal midfielders performance per-game in the 2014/15 Premier League (stats via Squawka)

The numbers show that Ozil has the most number of assists, chances created and key passes per-game out of any player, while only Santi Cazorla has a better pass completion rate with 88% compared to Ozil’s 87% – a miniscule difference.

Alexis Sanchez plays in a slightly more advanced role and has been prolific this season so he tops the goals-per-game charts. Only Santi Cazorla has scored more goals-per-game than Ozil.

At the beginning of March, it was also revealed that Mesut Ozil had covered more ground than any other Arsenal player since returning to the side in January, according to the telegraph.

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The criticism aimed at the 26-year-old often comes from his relaxed style of play, combined with the way he moves across the pitch and he certainly creates a divide in opinion.

It’s likely that some may never agree on what to make of Ozil and his hefty transfer fee is probably one of the main reasons that some aren’t entirely happy.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Newcastle vs Arsenal

Competition: Premier League – Newcastle United vs Arsenal

Venue: St James’ Park – Saturday, March 21 – 15:00 GMT (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Newcastle 9/2 – Draw 3/1 – Arsenal 4/7

Match Preview

Newcastle battle Arsenal at St James’ Park on Saturday afternoon as both sides are looking for vital Premier League wins with the international break looming.

A win for Newcastle will push them closer to a position in the top half of the table, whereas Arsenal are now in a battle for second with reigning champions Manchester City.

Newcastle take to Arsenal having only won only twice since the turn of the new year – a complete contrast to their opponents Arsenal, who have lost only twice since then.

The Magpies are bouncing back from a crushing 3-0 defeat at Everton last week, which would have knocked the stuffing out of them as they only managed a measly four shots-on-target compared to Everton’s nine.

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Arsenal are coming off a superb win away at AS Monaco in the Champions League but have again failed at the last-16 hurdle for a fifth straight season.

A win for Arsenal would see them further grasp their hold on the top four position and with the form they are in at the moment, it’s easy to see why the Gunners are being tipped to finish in those all important Champions League places.

The reverse fixture at the Emirates Stadium in December saw Arsenal run out comfortable 4-1 winners over Newcastle with the red hot Olivier Giroud grabbing two goals along the way, with Santi Cazorla also contributing two.

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Team News

Newcastle United will still be without Papiss Cisse who is serving a suspension. Captain Fabricio Coloccini begins his three-match ban following his sending off against Everton last weekend, while Cheick Tiote, Paul Dummett and Siem De Jong remain long term absentees, hampering Newcastle of key players heading into this one.

Arsenal also have a few injury concerns of their own with Alex Oxlade Chamberlain out, along with other notable injuries to former magpie Mathieu Debuchy who could return to training in a few weeks. Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere are still recovering so will be unavailable, but they could both be back before the end of the season.

Key Points

Newcastle United’s last five in the Premier League: D/L/W/L/L

Arsenal’s last five in the Premier League: W/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Arsenal last lost to Newcastle in November 2010 thanks to a solitary Andy Carroll goal.

Key Player: Olivier Giroud – The Frenchman has five goals in his last five games against Newcastle.

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Score Prediction

Newcastle 0-3 Arsenal – Olivier Giroud will spearhead the attack as Arsenal heap more misery on John Carver’s Toon Army in their own backyard.

FA Cup Preview and Prediction: Manchester United vs Arsenal

Competition: FA Cup Quarter-Final – Manchester United vs Arsenal

Venue: Old Trafford – Monday 9th March – 19:45 GMT (14:45 ET)

Match Odds: Man United 7/5 – Draw 5/2 – Arsenal 19/10

Match Preview

Arsenal travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the final FA Cup quarter-final tie of the weekend on Monday night. With both sides fighting for a top four spot in the league, this tie acts as a happy distraction.

We’re expecting both Louis Van Gaal and Arsene Wenger to deploy full-strength sides as they both pursue the trophy. But both will be wary that any cup run must not affect their league form with just 10 games left.

Manchester United are the favorites heading into this one having won their last six meetings with Arsenal at Old Trafford in all competitions.

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With United not playing in Europe this season there really is no excuse for them finishing outside the top four. And with the size of the club, United should be challenging on all fronts.

This is the furthest the Red Devils have got in the FA Cup for four seasons and both sides know that a place at Wembley is in line for whoever can advance to the semi-finals.

But with the injury to Robin Van Persie, are United strong enough to beat an Arsenal side that has won ten of their last twelve in all competitions?

Holders Arsenal will see this as a free hit. With a poor record at Old Trafford over the years (including an 8-2 drubbing in 2011), Arsenal are the underdogs in this tie.

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Arsenal haven’t beaten Manchester United since May 2011, and will do well to break that run on Monday night in what will be a tough game, though a draw would earn the Gunners a replay at the Emirates.

Both sides boast some great attacking players, but can both be fragile defensively, so we’re expecting goals.

This will be the fourteenth FA Cup meeting between the two sides but Manchester United have dominated the most recent ties, winning the last two at Old Trafford without conceding a goal.

Team News

Manchester United: Luke Shaw (hamstring) and Robin Van Persie (ankle) are ruled out. Jonny Evans starts his six-match suspension so Phil Jones is likely to fill in at centre-back alongside Chris Smalling. Wayne Rooney is likely to continue playing as a striker in the absence of Van Persie.

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Arsenal: Jack Wilshere (ankle), Mikel Arteta (ankle), Mathieu Flamini (hamstring), Mathieu Debuchy (shoulder) and Abou Diaby (calf) are all out. Gabriel Paulista (hamstring) is a doubt while Wojciech Szczesny and Nacho Monreal will face late fitness tests.Aaron Ramsey could return to the starting lineup while Olivier Giroud is set to play as the lone striker once again.

Key Points

Manchester United’s last five in all competitions: W/W/L/W/W

Arsenal’s last five in all competitions: W/W/L/W/W

Key Stat: Arsenal haven’t beaten Manchester United in the FA Cup in normal time since February 2003.

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Key Player: Santi Cazorla – Since being deployed in a more central role, Cazorla has been sensational. Expect him to be key on Monday night.

Score Prediction

Manchester United 3-2 Arsenal – We’re expecting a high scoring affair and an instant classic that could set the tone for both teams going into the final stretch of the season. Home advantage should see United edge it.

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Arsenal: FA Cup Preview and Prediction

Competition: FA Cup Fourth Round

Venue: Amex Stadium – Sunday January 25 – 16:00

Match odds: Brighton & Hove Albion 13/2 – Draw 7/2 – Arsenal 4/9

FA Cup holders Arsenal face a short trip to Brighton & Hove Albion in the fourth round as they look to continue the defence of their title.

These two sides met at the same stage of this competition in the 2012/13 season and produced an entertaining affair in which Arsenal triumphed as 3-2 winners on the day, thanks to goals from Olivier Giroud and a late Theo Walcott strike after Ashley Barnes and Leonardo Ulloa had pegged the visitors back twice.

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Brighton were flying high in the Championship last time around, but they aren’t faring so well this season as they sit in 19th position despite three wins from their last four.

Brighton & Hove Albion’s home record in all competitions: Played 15 – Won 4 – Drawn 6 – Lost 5

Arsenal meanwhile, will be full of confidence after their defensive masterclass at Manchester City which resulted in a famous 2-0 victory and it extended their run of consecutive clean sheets to three games in all competitions.

The Gunners arrive on the South Coast as heavy favourites to progress to round five, but the magic of the FA Cup means that nothing is ever certain and the Seagulls won’t allow them to take it easy.

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Arsenal’s away record in all competitions: Played 16 – Won 7 – Drawn 4 – Lost 5

Wenger must ensure he fields a strong side to stay in the competition that many will argue represents his best opportunity of winning a trophy again in 2015.

Brighton and Arsenal have faced one another 14 times before, with the Gunners coming out on top ten times, and Brighton just twice, although it’s worth noting that both of Brighton’s wins came at home, so that’s the one positive they can take into this tie.

Brighton & Hove Albion’s last five in all competitions: W/W/W/L/W

Arsenal’s last five in all competitions: W/L/W/W/W

Key stat: Brighton have never beaten Arsenal in an FA Cup tie in four attempts.

Key player: Santi Cazorla – The midfield playmaker has been instrumental in the last few weeks and if he features at the Amex Stadium then he could be the difference.

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Brighton vs. Arsenal Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 0-2 Arsenal