Arteta could axe Lacazette, Aubameyang and Ozil as unimpressed boss plans major Arsenal shake-up



Posted Thursday, February 06, 2020 by Thesun.co.uk

Arteta could axe Lacazette, Aubameyang and Ozil as unimpressed boss plans major Arsenal shake-up
Lacazette, Aubameyang, Ozil are all at risk as Mikel Arteta plans an Arsenal shake-up

MIKEL ARTETA is planning a major Arsenal shake-up to kickstart his stalled Emirates revolution.

And senior stars including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil are all threatened.

New boss Arteta has been disappointed by the team’s lack of progress since he was appointed seven weeks ago.

Now he believes his underperforming squad needs major surgery after assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the players he inherited from Unai Emery.

With the team in serious danger of failing to qualify for Europe for the first time since 1996, Arteta accepts he might have to sell a number of the club’s highest-paid players to finance a summer spending spree.

Six senior players, including top earners Ozil and Aubameyang, are out of contract in less than 18 months’ time.

And head of football Raul Sanllehi has made it clear to Arteta that no one will be allowed to run down their deals then leave as a free agent next year.

Arteta is eager to keep captain Aubameyang and still hopes his top scorer will sign a contract extension.

But all negotiations have been put on hold until the end of the season, when the club will have a clearer understanding of their financial situation.

Aubameyang, who turns 31 in June, does not want to spend another season outside the Champions League and is aware of Barcelona’s interest.

Arteta acknowledges that a player who cost them £60million two years ago cannot be allowed to leave for nothing.

And it is a similar situation with Ozil, who has not scored all season and has managed just one assist in the league.

The 31-year-old has been substituted in six of his eight games for Arteta but insists he is happy at the Emirates and plans to see out his £350,000-a-week contract.

French international striker Lacazette has also struggled to impress Arteta and has failed to score a Premier League goal in two months.

If Aubameyang can be persuaded to stay, then Lacazette, 28, could find himself surplus to requirements and suddenly on the market before his resale value plummets.

Arteta also faces some big defensive calls, with Sokratis, David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi all in the final 18 months of their contracts and uncertain of their place in Arteta’s long-term planning.

Arteta’s men fly to Dubai this evening and he hopes four days of warm-weather training can reinvigorate his struggling team.

They have managed just eight points from seven league games under the Spaniard and are currently closer to the relegation zone than the top four.

With Champions League qualification looking unlikely, Arsenal are now pinning all their hopes on sneaking into the Europa League for a fourth successive season.

But failure to secure a spot in Europe would create a £50m black hole and have a huge impact on Arteta’s summer spending plans.

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