By 90Min
November 06, 2018

Tony Cascarino, a former Chelsea and Aston Villa striker, has hinted that Unai Emery will look to replace both Mesut Özil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the upcoming transfer windows. 

Whilst both Özil and Mkhitaryan have impressed in fits and spurts since Emery's arrival, neither have found the consistency necessary to strive in a top Premier League team.

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"Arsenal feel like a completely different club under Unai Emery and one of the main reasons for that is that the fans believe in the team now," the Irishman said in The Times.

He continued: “Under Emery, they have won more points from losing positions than any other team, so the fans stay with the players.

“But I cannot see how Emery can keep both Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Özil in his team, given that power and tempo seem so important to the way he wants to play. Alex Iwobi has flourished under him and he deserves a starting place.”

Having recently signed a £350,000-a-week contract with Arsenal, the Gunners may well struggle to find a potential suitor for Mesut Özil, who has not shown the form he once did at Real Madrid. Additionally, having signed Mkhitaryan just last January, it seems unlikely that the Arsenal board would sanction his sale so quickly.

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However, Cascarino is correct in saying that they both currently lack the physical attributes to play in an Unai Emery system. The Spanish manager urges his forwards to press high up the pitch when Arsenal lose the ball and both Özil and Mkhitaryan seem to lack the stamina necessary to achieve this. 

This is particularly evident in Mkhitaryan's case as the Armenian rarely manages to complete the full 90 minutes under Emery. 

Should Emery remain at the Gunners for the next few seasons, there is a good chance that the landscape of Arsenal football club will change as players with a strong work rate are preferred to those luxury players with wonderful natural ability but low effort. 

Arsenal next face Sporting CP in the Europa League before their home fixture against Wolves in the Premier League. Emery will be hoping that his side can get three points against Sporting, which would essentially guarantee their passageway into the next round and allow them to focus on the league for a while. 

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