Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky need to move on from Arsenal

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By Shay Awosiyan
College Contibutor Network

Loyal, ardent and dogged are a couple of words that describe Arsenal's Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky. Both players have given Arsenal all they have since their first day at with club, but the group has moved on and so should the players.

Arsene Wenger has packed his roster with multiple top midfielders, leaving little room for the two veterans, though a couple of seasons ago both players were integral pieces of Wenger's plan. Arteta, 33, was the leader of a relatively young midfield and sacrificed his love of bombing forward and causing chaos in from of the opposition's goal by acting as the protector for the backline. He wasn't always the best defensive midfielder in the world, but it was clear that Arsenal were a better side with him on the pitch.

Rosicky, 34, acted as Wenger's impact substitute. Whenever the team looked complacent and predictable, the Czech Republic midfielder was sent in. His pace, willingness to track back, inventiveness and versatility often proved to be the game changer for the Gunners.

However, injuries, the arrival of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil and Franklin Coquelin's return to form pushed Arteta and Rosicky down the depth chart. Arteta played 12 games and Rosicky started eight times and made 16 substitute appearances in all competitions last season.

Even though both players will still get some games under their belt this upcoming season, now is the time to join teams that can promise them regular first team football.

Although they are on the wrong side of 30, the experienced midfielders can still find success in the top five leagues, albeit with smaller teams. Certainly teams like West Brom, Schalke 04 and Lille will benefit from having players with UEFA Champions League experience on their rosters.

By looking for new homes, Arteta and Rosicky can prolong their careers. If they elect to stick with Arsenal, it's almost certain that the London outfit will not renew their contract or they will hang up their boots within a year or two.

While they are still considered top players with three to four years of productive football left in them, both players can also join a developing league like MLS or the Australian A-League. They'll help grow the leagues, improve their up and coming talents and receive huge paychecks.

If they do elect to join new teams, Arteta and Rosicky will open the door for Arsenal's talented youngsters to move up the ladder or break into the first team. Gedion Zelalem and Krystian Bielik are currently listed as part of Arsenal's first team, but they'll barely get to see the pitch ahead of their more experienced teammates.

If a spot opens up in Arsenal's midfield, the club's supporters might not have to wait too long to see highly rated 17-year-old Daniel Crowley strut his stuff in a competitive game. The England youth international was included in the 27-man squad for Arsenal's Asia tour, but without something drastic happening, he will either be sent back to play with the club's Under-21 side or join a lower division side on loan.

Arteta and Rosicky's exit could also convince Wenger to splash some cash on a top midfielder – preferably a deep-lying midfielder – either before the start of the season or when the January transfer window opens. Who knows, the manager might use his French connection to usurp Paul Pogba from Juventus.

Shay Awosiyan is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism at the University of Oklahoma. He played soccer for 13 years and hopes to one day become a commentator. Follow him on Twitter: @THESHAY11
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