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7 central defenders—who stays and who goes?

Arsenal (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

It’s strange that in Arsenal’s weakest position on the pitch, we have the most players. It’s undoubted that a fair few of them need to be moved on this Summer. But who should stay, and who should go?

Provisionally, at the beginning of next season, there will be seven central defenders in the Arsenal squad. David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis will all be entering the final year of their contract at Arsenal.

Alongside these three, William Saliba and Pablo Marì will be launched into their first full season as Arsenal players. Then, the English duo of Rob Holding and Calum Chambers will also be hoping to prove their worth to Mikel Arteta. To be frank, it’s impossible to keep them all. At least 2 will have to be moved on this Summer.

If you take a look at the two best teams in the Premier League right now, they both rely on 4-5 central defenders. One mainstay and a few rotational players. For City, Laporte is the main starter alongside the likes of Otamendi, Stones and Fernandinho. Meanwhile, at Liverpool, Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip all compete to play alongside Virgil Van Dijk. One would imagine Arteta will want to create something similar at Arsenal.

So, all the signs point towards a major defensive clear out. This combined with the fact that Arteta would reportedly like to add 2 new central-defenders to his squad this Summer infers that up to 5 defenders could be shown the way to the exit door in a few weeks’ time. It’s doubtable that any more than 3 will leave during the transfer window. But still, it’s not an impossibility that more could go. So, how should Arsenal approach this issue?

We start with one of our newest additions.

Pablo Marì

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(Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

With regard to Mikel Arteta’s first central-defensive acquisition, there is really no debate. Although, Marì didn’t come across as a first-choice defender during his limited minutes in an Arsenal shirt, It’s probable that once he returns to fitness he’ll be part of Arteta’s back-up brigade.

Verdict: Keep

Next up, the German.

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