Is the time right for Arsenal to sell Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan?

Arsenal’s need to generate funds for transfers apart, Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have become specimens of inconsistency and need to be sold.

Last season when there was friction between Unai Emery and Mesut Ozil, the fans initially sided with the German owing to his previous performances. In fact, when Ozil was finally given a start against Leicester City last season, he shined like a diamond, single-handedly destroying the Foxes at the Emirates. At that point, Emery was in the wrong over Ozil, but it only took so long for the honeymoon to last.

Ozil was back in his sphere of anonymity and inconsistency after that Leicester game. However, his lack of contribution was masked by a brilliant Arsenal run which was carried single-handedly by their forward stars. The cracks in Ozil’s gameplay were evident, yet not visible at that time, although it was only a matter of time before everyone realised the invaluable existence of the German in this Arsenal side.

The same cannot be said about Henrikh Mkhitaryan, as the Armenian performed way better than Ozil throughout the season. The Former Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund star did look out of sorts for most periods, but his explosive start to life during the season might have given out a different kind of promise.

Time to move on from Arsenal? (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty)
Time to move on from Arsenal? (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty)

In Arsenal’s second game of the season against Chelsea, Mkhitaryan produced a brilliant display to finish the game with a goal and an assist. Despite Arsenal losing that match, he presumably gave Emery an option to be considered an outlet from wide positions. Owing to his form in the first six months and in his career overall, Mkhitaryan was expected to play a prolific role among Arsenal’s forwards.

However, with 6 goals in the league and 7 assists across all competitions, last season does seem decent, but undoubtedly not good enough for a team like Arsenal. So considering Mkhitaryan and Ozil’s contribution, do they represent valuable assets to the club for the future? Let’s go further on what their future holds at the club and what might render the right decision from Arsenal’s perspective.

High wages and long contracts a problem for Arsenal

Leaving their form and influence from last season aside, Ozil and Mkhitaryan represent a different problem for Arsenal and Emery. Both the players are on very high wages and have a long contract at the club. While Mkhitaryan is believed to be on £200K-a-week until 2021, it’s Ozil who is the biggest problem for Arsenal with a deal until the summer of 2022 making him £350,000-a-week.

Ozil is Arsenal's highest paid star. (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty)
Ozil is Arsenal’s highest paid star. (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty)

Arsenal does not have too much money lying this time around to spend on potential targets. In fact, Emery and his entourage have been handed a meagre £45 million to spend in this window. If the manager wants to spend more, he might as well start selling his existing stars and add to the low transfer budget.

Ozil and Mkhitaryan are denting Arsenal’s wallet, and its effect is showing in Arsenal’s pursuit of Wilfried Zaha. In Zaha’s case, Arsenal are desperate to bring the attacker but don’t have the money to match Crystal Palace’s valuation of the player. Because if Arsenal are to sell Ozil and Mkhitaryan, they sure can make up for the remaining transfer fee with what they can save on the two players.

Low valuation and lost form

A loss of form for an entire season would gladly be understood by the club had the players been young enough to resurrect their status. But Ozil and Mkhitaryan are 30, and nobody would want to believe they will return to optimum form. You don’t find a Santi Cazorla every now and then, as he is a player fans would remember never losing his touch on the field. He even earned a new contract with Villarreal for his performances last season.

Inconsistency and a loss of form! Does Mkhitaryan has a future at Arsenal? (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty)
Inconsistency and a loss of form! Does Mkhitaryan has a future at Arsenal? (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty)

Well, the same cannot be said about Ozil and Mkhitaryan. The two stars had performed decently at times but disappeared in many games when it mattered. If reports are to be believed, the club is looking to sell these stars, but who is there to buy them. Even if someone comes up with the transfer fees for them, how or why would they pay what they are earning now.

At the wrong age in their respective careers, Ozil and Mkhitaryan do not have much of a market value today. The chances of Arsenal selling Mkhitaryan looks quite a doable task, but with Ozil, it seems very difficult. With both players well past their prime, Arsenal are going to have to find a solution in the market or just bite their teeth and play them on for another season.

Time to sell them on, but will it suit Arsenal?

Arsenal should not waste too much time with these players and their perceived valuations. If an offer comes in, Arsenal should look to persuade the players to move on rather than stick with them. We feel its quite clear Emery doesn’t fancy them and does not consider them starting-XI players anymore.

Zaha remains Arsenal's top-target but do not have funds to pay. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Zaha remains Arsenal’s top-target but do not have funds to pay. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

But given their situation, it’s not going to be a difficult task. Given our understanding, only sides from China can afford their wages, especially given their age and years left at the top of the game. But selling them would put a dent in Arsenal’s creative options for next season after Aaron Ramsey left the club at the end of the season.

Arsenal will have no player who could take up their roles in the side as things stand. The likes of young Joe Willock are viable options, but only for a few games, as those players do not have the experience to play exceptionally the entire season. Alternatively, Arsenal could sell them and bring in a single replacement, as they are linked with a move for Lyon star Nabil Fekir, who could fill the creative void.

As things stand, Ozil and Mkhitaryan are seemingly out of form and need to be sold as quickly as possible. Yes, Ozil has a long contract, but since he had signed that deal 18 months ago, his form has dipped considerably and does not fit in Emery’s system too well. Mkhitaryan, on the other hand, is sort of favoured by Emery, but his inconsistent form has led to Arsenal considering his exit imminently.

Most importantly, Emery could do plenty of business with the money he might get out of the two players in the current window. He could bring in the right players and crucially increase Arsenal’s transfer budget considerably to fund transfers. The likes of Zaha or anyone else could then be affordable, but until then, Arsenal cannot do anything in the market with their limited funds.

Should Arsenal immediately look to sell Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Ozil? Tell us what you think below.


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