KEY POINTS

  • David Bentley believes Arsenal should sell Luiz and Ozil
  • Bentley pointed out the needed improvement at back four
  • Luiz may not fit youth movement of Gunners

Arsenal FC did not exactly get off on the right foot when football action resumed after months of being held up due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though most clubs were expected to be rusty, the performance of the Gunners drew criticism.

The club dropped their first two matches against Manchester City and Brighton. Arsenal did manage to bounce back, winning over Southampton in the Premier League and then against Sheffield United.

The Gunners face an uphill climb in the Premier League table after landing at the 10th spot. The club's sputtering start has seen it drop from the standings and facing a tall order to at least reach the fourth spot. Chelsea FC is at that position with 54 points, 11 points ahead of the Gunners. Though anything is possible, the best Mikel Arteta can do now is ponder on things he must do in the summer.

Unfortunately, the Gunners are financially constrained after this season. They may need to sell off some players, and former Arsenal and Tottenham player David Bentley feels that half of the team may have to go. Specifically, he mentioned the names of David Luiz and Mesut Ozil as some of the players that need to be shipped out, 888 Sport reported.

The reason why Bentley is singling out Luiz and Ozil is due to their large wages. He believes that by selling either or both, Arteta will get a bit more flexibility pursuing other targets the club needs.

"I don’t know what the thinking is at boardroom level because Arsenal needs to ship out half the team and get a good core in. That’s difficult but can be done," Bentley said.

David Luiz, Thiago Silva Just days after suffering humiliation in the semifinals, Brazil will play for third place at the 2014 World Cup. Photo: Reuters

In a previous post, it was reported that Luiz had agreed to a one-year deal to stay at Emirates Stadium. The deal came as a bit of a surprise considering that before this, Luiz was asking for a two-year pact. The Brazilian's deal was set to expire on June 30. Aside from Luiz, Arteta also settled the loan status of Pablo Mari, Cedric Soares and Dani Ceballos.

Though keeping Luiz made sense, Bentley was surprised at the development. He is aware that Luiz is a technically-gifted player but questions how he fits in the youth and winning mentality that Arsenal is doing. For him, the real issue is to address the back four -- something, he says, that has always been the problem.

"If you have solid back-four and solid spine of the team it’s easier for the young players to step into that. Instead, Arsenal leak goals and look vulnerable," Bentley said.