THERE is positivity in the air ahead of the new season, that’s for sure.

The exciting new additions and an instant chemistry between Gabriel Jesus and his team-mates has got Arsenal fans relishing the curtain-raiser.

Nicolas Pepe has underdelivered after his £72m transferGetty

Hector Bellerin could leave if Real Betis stump up the cashGetty

But there is also some concern at the number of players not part of Mikel Arteta’s plans still at the club.

And some of those who are surplus to requirements will need to be shipped out before further additions come in.

Frustratingly, to myself and many other Gunners fans, these individuals were taken on the pre-season tour, which deprived us of the chance to see more Hale Enders impress.

So, who are the misfits Arsenal should shift before the transfer window closes to fund and make room for the desired central midfielder and another winger?



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Nicolas Pepe

The Ivorian has been a constant frustration to Arteta and he is certainly one who has been given chances to adapt to the way his coach wants him to play.

Pepe has amazing skills and an eye for goal, but his link play, work rate and speed of thought are simply not in tune with the rest of the

His plus points are far outweighed by his minus ones, and as revealed by SunSport, the club will have to sell him at a huge loss, if they can find a buyer.

His wages may well prove a sticking point and I can see a loan
with Arsenal having to fund some of his exorbitant salary, sadly.

Hector Bellerin

I think most fans see Bellerin as one of our own. His length of service, loyalty and inherited cockney twang will see him leave with all our blessing but leave he must.

The current right-back we have on our books is not the same one who lifted three FA Cups because he lost the devastating turn of pace which made him the player he was at his fabulous best.

I hope Betis can raise the funds to buy him after his successful loan there in 2021-22.


Pablo Mari

Arteta has to take this one on the chin as the Spaniard wanted his compatriot.

The manager obviously wanted a left-footed centre-back but Gabriel is far superior to Mari.

Mari is good enough in the air and his distribution more than adequate, but his lack of pace has been consistently exposed in the Premier League.

The Spaniard seems far more suited to Serie A where he spent last season with Udinese.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles

The irony of his manager now buying versatility players on purpose, when the popular Englishman seemed to be a victim of that attribute, will not be lost on AMN.

Neither loan at West Brom or Roma have led to anything and a team that buys him will first have to promise him a midfield role I suspect.

The arrival of Albert Sambi Lokonga and the contract renewal of Mohamed Elneny will severely limit game time for this frustrated player.

But as a homegrown player with undoubted ability, I hope a mid-table Premier League side might bid for him.

Lucas Torreira

After two successful loans in Spain and Italy, it is surprising to me that the tenacious midfielder has so few suitors.

There seems no way back for him under Arteta, who I sense sees the Uruguayan as simply not physical enough for the anchor role and also mistrusts his passing accuracy.

The player and his agent are both on record saying the player never truly settled in London so I hope we can get a reasonable bid for this popular squad member.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles could be moved on before the transfer window closesGetty

Reiss Nelson has not quite lived up to the hype despite his talentGetty

SplashMikel Arteta still wants to bring in more new recruits this summer[/caption]

Reiss Nelson

Nelson has never truly kicked on despite his obvious talent and flair – another one Arteta has never truly trusted.

I am sure that once the winger finds a home where he is loved and played consistently his career will reignite… but it will not be at Arsenal.

The club will have watched him last season in the Dutch top-flight and had they been impressed they would not have purchased Marquinhos and bid for Raphinha.

Alex Runarsson

With the arrival Matt Turner and the rise of Arthur Okonkwo, Arsenal need to simply rip up the Icelandic keeper’s contract and put it down as a reckless risk that failed to pay off.

Matt Smith

Despite having more medals than Harry Kane, it is time for this talented midfielder to be sold so he can flourish.

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Smith is 22 soon and he deserves to be playing regularly.

He was virtually ever-present for Doncaster last season in League One, but I would hope a Championship side will gamble on him.

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