Martin Keown believes Arsenal should make at least five improvements to their best starting XI this summer, with the former Gunners defender speculating that Bernd Leno, Hector Bellerin, and David Luiz may be among those let go. Mikel Arteta is putting together preparations for the next transfer season, weighing the pros and cons of potential incomings and departures. Read more Arsenal Transfer News here.

Martin Keown Words:

The Gunners already have a bright core of young talent to deal with, which gives reason for hope, but decisions must be taken on more senior stars who are either nearing the end of their contracts or aren’t contributing well to the team’s cause.

“Well, it’s a time for transition in terms of the players, management,” Keown said of the path he would take if stepping into Arteta’s shoes at Emirates Stadium.

“If you go down the squad from one to eleven, Leno isn’t signing a new contract by all accounts, Bellerin at right-back isn’t keeping down that spot, and the two central defenders, you’d think there’s some doubt over who will play there. The left-back [Kieran] Tierney is perhaps the only one who is a shoo-in as a defender.”

The ex-Arsenal defender went on to say: “You can see straight through the players, and the little kids are always the team’s backbone. This season, [Bukayo] Saka and [Emile] Smith Rowe have been excellent. I believe there will be at least five shifts. I think the front players are still fine, and I’d hold [Alexandre] Lacazette because I like him.”

Arsenal’s 2020-21 season, which began with a Community Shield victory, has been a mixed bag for the Gunners. They are hoping to end the season on a high note, having won three consecutive Premier League games, but European football could not be on the cards next season, making it more difficult to recruit new players.

Change is on the way in north London, and Arteta’s squad in 2021-22 could look quite different from the one that finishes the current season with games against Crystal Palace and Brighton.

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