Arsenal fans identify players who must now go by hijacking squad photo

Arsenal shared their official first-team photo on social media – sparking a debate among fans over which players should leave the club.

After the team picture was posted on Twitter, one fan replied by circling 13 players he felt should be axed from Mikel Arteta's squad.

The reply was captioned: "I’ve circled all the players I don't think are good enough. I have 13 circles, do you agree with these or am I being too harsh?

The players marked out for the chop included forwards Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah, wingers Willian and Reiss Nelson, and midfielders Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny.

And there were plenty circled from Arsenal's glut of defenders, with Cedric Soares, Sead Kolasinac, Shkrodan Mustafi, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Sokratis all failing to find favour.

The hijacked picture sparked a frenzy of replies from Arsenal fans – with some calling out what they felt were harsh judgements, while others asked why other players hadn't been circled.

One fan said "Put also a circle for me on Pepe and Luiz" while another replied "No circle for Ozil? Big shout that!!"

And another fan jumped to the defence of three players, saying: "You got it wrong with Nelson, Elneny, Cedric and Willock."

And there was more support for Cedric, Willock and Nelson, as per this post: "Cedric is a great backup player, he hasn't done anything wrong whenever I watched him. Willock was average, I didn't like him but lately he was giving me Ramsey vibes so i would stick. Same goes for Nelson, he was average but lately he got so much more rapid and useful."

Ozil was a surprise inclusion in the picture, having not been included in Arteta's Premier League or Europa league squads.

His appearance in the snap left many wondering why he had been included, but not 20-year-old attacking midfielder Smith Rowe.

There was a simple explanation for his omission, however. On the same day the photograph was taken, Smith Rowe was starring in the under-23s' 6-0 win over Blackburn – in which he scored a brace.

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