Mikel Arteta has dropped other clues about a makeover of his Arsenal squad this summer, saying some players can ‘get to a certain level and you can’t push any further’.
Arsenal are set to go no European football next season for the first time in 25 years after crashing out of the European League last week.
The Gunners are also in ninth place in the Premier League ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Chelsea and Arteta has hinted that a team overhaul is needed.
When asked if the players have given their all this season, he replied: “With the majority of them, yes. “
Pressed to know how he is changing that, Arteta replied, “Find another way to do it, challenge them again, put someone next to them to try to push them again.
“Some of them can get to a certain level and you can’t go any further. If you want to evolve that, that is not possible. “
Arsenal still have an outside chance of sneaking into Europe this season if they manage to climb to seventh.
Spurs currently occupy that spot and are four points ahead of Arsenal with three games to go.
Everton, eighth, are three points ahead of Arsenal and have a game in hand against them and Spurs.
Finishing seventh guarantees this team a place in the new UEFA Europa Conference League, the third tier of European football.
And Arteta said: “If we have the opportunity to be in Europe, it’s always ideal for our club.”
No European football could impact the number of minutes Arsenal’s young players get, with Folarin Balogun and Miguel Azeez making their Europa League debuts this season.
“I think they will be in a different phase of development next season with what they have achieved this season,” said Arteta, responding to concerns about the chances of young players.
“To use the same criteria with other younger players who might be here, we’ll have to find a way in other competitions to accommodate that playing time that they need.
No European football would want to say that Arsenal don’t need such a big squad, with Arteta keen to cut them down anyway.
“Well, we already had a really great team at the start of last season. And not a very balanced team in certain positions either, ”he added.
“So obviously what we’ve been trying to do all this time is cut that down and present it in a much more sustainable and logical way for the qualities and positions that we need.”