As Arsenal head into the 2021/22 season, there are a lot of questions that will be asked of them. When a club of this stature finishes eighth two seasons in a row, it does not reflect well on them.
To improve this situation, some of the players in the squad have to step up and make themselves counted. We want to take a look at the players who did not do particularly well in 2020/21 and would be itching to achieve some kind of redemption.
This is probably the name that you most expected to see on this list as the captain failed to deliver last season. A return of 15 goals is decent but not for someone who has won the Premier League Golden Boot in years gone by.
A large part of this can be put down to the lack of creativity for the Gunners, especially in the first half of the season. Despite that, there were many occasions when Aubameyang was simply not as clinical as we have known the striker to be.
But with a more settled midfield behind the Gabonese, there is a good chance that the captain will hit the heights we have already seen him reach. And if that happens, the north Londoners have a good chance of finishing higher in the table.
Despite reports emerging that the Brazilian could be on his way out the club, there has been no movement regarding that. But the winger’s debut season was so bad, that the bar to redeem himself is quite low.
If the former Chelsea player were to stay, he does have the capability to better his return in the upcoming season. What Willian should look to do is contribute on an occasional basis and that should be good enough.
Fans will be hoping that if the veteran midfielder were to stay, he wouldn’t block the path for younger players. Being a bit better would be sufficient for the Brazilian to redeem himself and it will be interesting to see if the 32-year-old can do so.
You may be surprised to see the top scorer from last season on this list but there is a reason behind that. Since arriving from Lyon in 2017, the Frenchman has never hit the magic mark of 20 goals in a season.
Last season was the striker’s best chance as the poor form of Aubameyang gave him more opportunities to play. But Lacazette had an inconsistent campaign as there were moments of brilliance along with moments that left you scratching your head.
If the forward had been more clinical, there is no telling what could have happened to the Gunners’ season. The former Arsenal player of the year will be hoping to do better at finding the back of the net.
It may be a bit harsh to have the youngster here, but last season can be categorised as a disappointment. A large part of this was due to the forward returning from an injury and that affected his sharpness.
But towards the end of the campaign, Martinelli showed glimpses of the energy and skill we have come to expect from him. If the Brazilian plays in the same way, we would get to see the player go to a higher level.
The forward has been called up to the Brazil squad for the Olympics in Tokyo and this gives the 20-year-old a chance to shine on a bigger stage. A good outing with the national team and the youngster will return to north London raring to go.
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It is important that these players step up and show why the club have put their faith in them. Three of the four mentioned here are senior members of the squad and the scrutiny on them will be more if they fail to deliver.
Next season is a chance to right some of the wrongs that happened in 2020/21 and manager Mikel Arteta will hope that all his players are ready to fire. At the very least, Arsenal should look to get European football and do well in the domestic cups and it will be possible if those mentioned complete their redemption arc.
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