Ranking Arsenal centre-backs ahead of next season
Arsenal’s backline has been an ongoing issue for many seasons at the Emirates Stadium in recent years and manager Mikel Arteta is tasked with trying to fix the issue of conceding too many goals.
The Gunners appear to have a big job on their hands when it comes to their centre-back area ahead of next season.
They could have as many as eight players on their books vying for a spot in the heart of defence, plus supporters may even want to see a top-class signing in that position if one becomes available.
The Boot Room has ranked Arsenal’s centre-back options and whether or not they should be kept for next season.
David Luiz – Stay
Luiz may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but is realistically one of the few senior figures in the Arsenal dressing room right now. The 32-year-old has an impressive CV that demands respect and on his day is still capable of contributing to the squad next season.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos – Go
Sokratis has had a mixed time in North London since he arrived in 2018, but unfortunately the bad outweighs the good and he shouldn’t be considered part of Arteta’s plans moving forward. The 31-year-old is versatile and has pedigree, but can be too rash at times and is unreliable.
Shkodran Mustafi – Go
Mustafi, 27, may have had a small renaissance under Arteta, but unfortunately he has to be considered an Arsenal flop and has dropped several shocking displays since he joined the club in 2016.
Rob Holding – Stay
Holding is certainly a difficult one to assess, as he’s shown glimpses in his Arsenal career of real quality and has had some bad luck with injuries. The 24-year-old should be given one last chance under Arteta to try really cut the grade at the Emirates.
Calum Chambers – Go
It should be a straight shootout between Holding and Chambers for a position in Arsenal’s squad next season, but the former just gets the nod. 25-year-old Chambers is another Gunners star that hasn’t reached his full potential with them due to injuries and perhaps this summer is the right time to move him on.
William Saliba – Stay
Arsenal fans are excited to see what Saliba can bring to the squad next season, as he was signed last summer from Saint-Etienne and has remained with them this campaign to continue his development. The highly-rated 19-year-old needs to come straight into contention next season to see if he can improve the defence.
Dinos Mavropanos – Go (loan)
Mavropanos is perhaps the most unknown of Arsenal’s centre-backs, but he’s impressed this campaign out on loan in Germany’s second-tier with FC Nuremberg. The 22-year-old should be shipped out again next year on loan and perhaps some experience in England could be a real test for him.
Pablo Mari – Stay
Arsenal currently have Mari on loan until the end of the season, but have the option to make the move permanent (BBC). The 26-year-old has only played two senior games since arriving in January, but has potential and should be given a chance under Arteta.