Cech & Coquelin out, Belotti & Rabiot in: How Arsenal must rebuild this summer

Roy Keane never held back against Arsenal as a player. He's been no different as a pundit.

"They have only got two decent players and the rest are average," the former Manchester United captain declared after watching Arsene Wenger's 'men' capitulate at the Allianz Arena.

Arsenal must purge Wenger & 'Yes Men'

"I'm not surprised. Did you think they would go to Bayern Munich and get a result? We have said it before – there is a lack of leadership, character, hunger and desire.

"At this level, this stage of the competition, they are just not good enough."

It was impossible to disagree. For the seventh successive season, Arsenal are set to bow out at the round of 16. The Gunners are good - but not good enough.

Roy Keane Arsenal PS

Of course, Arsene Wenger must carry most of the blame for persisting with players that would never have got near the side he led through an entire Premier League season unbeaten in 2003-04. His summer departure now appears inevitable.

Whoever takes over will have to then radically revamp a squad packed with passengers. How else could the new man be expected to end Arsenal's wait for a first European Cup success and first Premier League title in what would be 14 years? How else would he even have a hope of holding onto the two "decent" players at the club?

The candidates to replace Wenger

Of course, Alexis Sanchez and Laurent Koscielny are well above "average". The Chilean was the one attacking player to emerge from the beat-down in Bavaria with any credit, while it was significant that Arsenal's capitulation occurred after their French defender's injury-enforced exit. The Frenchman is not 'the new Fabio Cannavaro', as Wenger once suggested he might be, but he is, at least, a quality centre-half, one who holds Arsenal's otherwise brittle back four together.

Alexis Sanchez Arsenal Bayern Munich

Reinforcements are required, though. That was made painfully clear at the Allianz Arena, where Kieran Gibbs not only started but actually ended the game with the captain's armband, which represented a more damning indictment of Arsenal's lack of leadership than what was subsequently spat out by Keane's "most savage tongue".

Given Arsenal are only likely to have £85 million to spend this summer, trying to beat Juventus to the signing of Schalke's Sead Kolasinac would be a shrewd move, given the left-back will be available on a free transfer at the end of the season.

In addition, with Petr Cech's best days behind him, Kasper Schmeichel would represent an excellent cut-price addition to the goalkeeping department, with the Dane likely to leave Leicester, whether the Premier League title defence he has called "embarrassing" ends in relegation or not.

Alexis heads to Italy after Bayern loss

Significant investment will have to be made in midfield, though, as it remains Arsenal's weakest department, which reflects terribly on yellow card collector Granit Xhaka, signed at a cost of £35m last summer. At 24, the hope must be that he will learn to control his aggression and, in his defence, at least he tried to help his colleagues in Bavaria. The same could not be said of Francis Coquelin.

The Frenchman was meant to help protect his back four; instead he showed Arjen Robben & Co. the quickest route to goal. Coquelin made just two tackles in 77 minutes of a game in which Arsenal were under intense pressure for long periods; he should be jettisoned as soon as possible.

There have also been calls to offload record signing Mesut Ozil. The Germany international is clearly not a leader of men; if he has the right ones around him, though, there are few more creative attacking midfielders. Arsenal need to convince Ozil and, more importantly, the brilliant Alexis Sanchez to sign new contracts. Losing the Chilean this summer would be a hammer blow to Arsenal's chances from next campaign.

Neymar Adrien Rabiot Paris SG FC Barcelona UEFA Champions League 14022017

Regardless, with Arsenal unable to rely on Aaron Ramsey - even when fit - and the crocked Santi Cazorla's time at the Emirates drawing to a close (even if he extends his expiring contract by a further year), Arsenal need at least two quality midfielders.

As he so thrillingly illustrated against Barcelona on Tuesday, PSG product Adrien Rabiot boasts the requisite mix of technique and physique for the Gunners engine room, while converted right-back Fabinho has been doing an excellent job in front of the Monaco defence this season.

Rabiot has plenty of suitors and would demand a hefty fee but the ambitious 21-year-old would be open to a move to England, as evidenced by the fact that his representatives held very provisional talks with Arsenal last year. Fabinho's agent, meanwhile, has already confirmed that Arsenal are one of a number of clubs to have expressed an interest in his client.

Lucas Perez to leave Arsenal

Up front, Arsenal's long-standing interest in the excellent Marco Reus is well known but, these days, it feels like the injury-prone Germany international spends more time doing damage to himself than defences.

Besides, Arsenal would be a better served signing a proper No.9. Torino goal machine Andrea Belotti has been linked for months and is just what the Gunners need - having been labelled the most complete young striker in Europe. However, with Torino placing an £85m release clause on his head - Arsenal's entire budget - the north Londoners would have to make heavy sacrifices to sign him, though the possible sale of Alexis would help fund such a deal.

For this reason, Porto's striking sensation Andre Silva could fit the bill perfectly. Portugal supporters believe that he is the centre-forward that they have been waiting for; the 21-year-old could be the answer to Arsenal's prayers too.

Would the likes of Rabiot and Andre Silva lead Arsenal to Premier League or Champions League glory? Maybe; maybe not. The point is that they could be good enough to do it; Coquelin and Co. are most certainly not. Arsenal fans would take the uncertainty of success over the inevitability of failure right now.

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