Arsenal rumours: Arsene Wenger to axe ageing midfield trio?
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | November 3, 2015
Reports in the London press claim Arsenal are to axe ageing midfielders Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Tomas Rosicky at the end of the season when their contracts are up.
Coral make the Gunners 6/4 second-favourites to win a first Premier League title for a dozen years, but the contribution made by this 30-something trio has been limited at best.
Age before beauty
Club captain Arteta, who will be 34 before the campaign ends, has started just two games in all competitions this term so far, and is out until after the international break with a sprained ankle.
Fellow holding midfielder Flamini turns 32 next spring, meanwhile, and has played just 29 minutes of Premier League football under Arsene Wenger in 2015/16. Czech Republic centurion Rosicky, 35, has missed the entire season to date after undergoing knee surgery.
With injury problems and poor match fitness an increasing concern for Arsenal’s ageing engine room options, rumours they will be released can hardly be seen as surprising. Lousy luck when it comes to the treatment table is not confined to Arteta and Rosicky, however.
Could Gunners shoot themselves in the foot?
Homegrown British duo Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere continue to pick up injuries, with the latter enduring long-standing ankle problems. This situation does leave Wenger rather dependent upon playmaker Santi Cazorla, who turns 31 in December, and Gunners academy product Francis Coquelin.
In a bid to solve what is perceived to be a real need to spend on deeper-lying midfield options, Arsenal have been linked with powerful Poland international and Sevilla star Grzegorz Krychowiak, but no firm interest has materialised in him.
Arteta, who used to captain Everton, arrived at the Emirates in 2011, while Flamini was re-signed by Wenger after leaving AC Milan in 2013. Rosicky will rack up a decade of service, joining the Gunners from Borussia Dortmund following the 2006 World Cup.
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