Good morning all. Today I will discuss the attacking midfielders in our team ahead of next season and see if there is anything I would like to see us do this summer.
Yesterday I discussed the holding midfielders and today I will cover all of the more advanced midfielders. This will include Ozil, Sanchez, lwobi & Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Ozil for me has to stay this summer. A lot of people criticise his work ethic but ultimately he delivers. He may not do so on a consistent basis or against all the top teams but if you consider he has 26 goals and 45 assists since signing. you can’t consider that any less than productive. I also feel in the new formation he has been given more freedom and as such has benefitted by contributing more towards the end of the season.
Since the FA Cup Final there hasn’t been much talk of Ozil leaving and his recent interview with Arsenal Player where he spoke so willingly about having the summer off has given a lot of Gunners reason to feel confident he will be at the club next season, whether that means he will have signed a new contract or not is another matter entirely.
Iwobi is someone who suffered a bit from second season syndrome which is nothing to be surprised or worried about as almost all our young players do.
Following a bright start to the season, his flame died down a bit before the manager took him out of the spotlight for the last third of the season, which I think was the right thing to do.
Towards the end of the season he made a few appearances from the bench and based on very little, I think playing Alex in one of the two number 10 roles in our new system would suit him best.
The problem lwobi has is Mesut and Sanchez currently occupy these positions. Assuming we retain both they will remain undisputed starters in the Premier League. That means Iwobi will need to make the most of any game time he gets – most likely to be in Europe and other cup competitions.
This brings me onto Oxlade-Chamberlain. He was a hard person to pin down because last season he played right wing back, right mid, left wing back, centre mid and left mid. So I decided to list him here in the attacking midfield role.
The reason for this is that he has a lot of attributes that compare with Sanchez in that he is explosive, likes to dribble, turns the ball over more than the average player and always works very hard For the team.
Having said that, he isn’t as lethal as Sanchez when it comes to scoring goals but he also isn’t anywhere near the same age as Alexis.
I sincerely hope Ox signs a new deal because I feel last season he played reasonably well in a number of different roles and didn’t make a fuss, he just got on with it. I also feel that it is time the manager committed to Alex and told him he will play him more centrally next season on a regular basis. To my eye he is as ready as he will ever be without having played in the position for more than a handful of games.
Having Alex Iwobi and the Ox as back up to Ozil and Sanchez respectively seems like an ideal situation. I do not expect the latter two to be dropped for the former pair but to know that they’re available and ready to be used more frequently is something I think the manager should seriously be considering.
Finally that brings me onto Sanchez (saving the best till last). I don’t think there is much that needs to be said for the man. He got 30 goals and 14 assists last season having played majority of the season on the left wing. How he does it I do not know but he does and I would love to see him do it in an Arsenal shirt again next season, even if it is his last.
I feel that the club must do all that they can to keep him this Summer and then do all they can to convince him to stay beyond next season.
For some players that might mean offering them shit loads of money but what with Sanchez’ desire, hunger and love for the game suggests that ultimately winning trophies and more specifically the Premier League. If we’re unable to challenge effectively for the Premier League next season then I dont blame Sanchez if he chooses to leave on a free next season.
That’s all for today so lets me know what your thoughts are in the comments below.