Arsenal hero Charlie Nicholas says head coach Mikel Arteta must get rid of Mesut Ozil, Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi in the summer and rebuild his shaky defence.
Related articles Saka explains why he & Greenwood are starring for Arsenal and Man Utd Chelsea urged to avoid Arsenal mistake and sign John Stones Arsenal ended a dismal Premier League campaign on Sunday with a 3-2 win over Watford at the Emirates.
It means Arsenal finished in eighth place, a huge 43 points behind champions Liverpool.
Once again the defence was Arsenal's Achilles heel with 48 goals conceded, the second worst record of teams in the top half.
While David Luiz conceded five penalties this season, a new Premier League record.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has work to do in the transfer market (Image: GETTY) Due to their shortfalls, Arteta was forced to switch from his prefered system of four at the back to five.
Sokratis has fallen out of favour since the restart and Sead Kolasinac has been guilty of several errors.
It is hoped the arrival of William Saliba and the development of Kieran Tierney will lead to an improvement next season.
But they will start the new campaign without Mustafi, Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari, who are all out injured.
Will Mesut Ozil stay at Arsenal? (Image: GETTY) READ MORE Arsenal star dubbed 'bad business' in scathing transfer assessment Arsenal are short on funds to make major changes unless players are sold and Nicholas says Arteta should start the cull with three players in particular.
"This has been a tough test for Mikel Arteta, but I think Arsenal have realised they have got to go all out and sort the defence out," he told Sky Sports .
If the defence is sorted, they can start moving up the table. Some players need moving out of the door, Mesut Ozil, Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi - these players have to move on, and Arsenal need to freshen things up.
"The defence is key to the rebuild, they have been rebuilding for seven, eight years, this period in particular has been awful for Arsenal fans, but I think Arteta knows the right path to take."
Related articles Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta explains his approach for signing players Mikel Arteta singles out Emile Smith Rowe as one to watch next season Speaking on Wednesday, Sokratis' agent strongly dismissed claims Arteta wants to sell the Greek.
"He will stay," Sokratis’ representative, Konstantinos Farras said.
"I don’t see a reason to leave. I don’t know why everyone is writing wrong and fake news."