Arsenal transfer news: Southampton FA Cup loss showed three stars Mikel Arteta should sell | Football | Sport

While Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe all slot into Arsenal’s senior side seamlessly, Nketiah still appears to struggle with the physicality of this level, although he scored in three Europa League group games.

Balogun, two years younger, has looked more dangerous in the sparing first-team minutes he has been given this season and is the one Arsenal should be backing to grow into a clinical No 9. If helping to realise his potential means Nketiah has to be sold, so be it.

The fourth and final player to disappoint against Southampton was Nicolas Pepe, whose valuation since his £72million switch from Lille has only plummeted downwards.

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Pepe created five chances against the Saints, per Opta, but yet still was not at the level expected of him in matches like this.

His overall statistics are not terrible – 13 goals and 13 assists in 65 games – but too often, Pepe does not take his opportunity to prove he can be a go-to player for the Londoners.

The Ivorian is not yet at the stage where he should be sold but he is in real danger of falling into that category, and must improve if he wants to avoid an early exit and the ignominy of being one of the biggest flops in Premier League history.

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