On January 1, 2018, the winter transfer window will open and one Premier League side in particular, Arsenal, will be braced for a mass clearout.

Several of their players, for a variety of reasons, have been courted by rivals in the past few months and are said to be on the verge of making an exit from the Emirates.

While some are chasing first-team football, others are seeking a club that would be challenging for the league and justified or not, they look like they will get their move, one way or the other at the turn of the New Year.

The Statesman has picked the five Arsenal players most likely to leave the club in January:

Alexis Sanchez

Sanchez has had a miserable 2017-18 season, prompting many Gunners to slate him for his sub-par performances, with some claiming that the wantaway winger is simply counting his days.

While that would be harsh, there can be no denying the Chilean is in the midst of his worst-ever season since joining Arsenal as his tally of six goals and three assists (all competitions) attests.

Manchester City were rebuffed by Arsenal on deadline day as their move for AS Monaco man Thomas Lemar fell through, but will Pep Guardiola be denied a second time?

Premier League, Arsenal F.C., Alexis Sanchez
Where will Sanchez end up? (Photo: AFP)

 

Unlikely, for the 29-year-old is at the very least, free to sign a pre-contract with any club as his current deal finishes in the summer.

Manchester United are in desperate need of a winger and Chelsea could do with a quality wide-man as well.

Considering Sanchez will be available on a free once the season finishes, expect top sides to queue up to sign him a pre-contract with him, even if they don’t make a bid in January.

Interested clubs: Manchester City, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain

Theo Walcott

Walcott’s contract runs out in 2019, so he’s not in danger of becoming a free agent anytime soon, but with the World Cup barley six months away, the jet-heeled winger may have to force a move to boost his chances of making Gareth Southgate’s squad.

 

Theo Walcott, Premier League, Arsenal F.C.
Walcott (R) is still one of the fastest players in the Premier League! (Photo: AFP)

The 28-year-old is yet to start a single Premier League game this season, seeing playing time mostly in the UEFA Europa League, where Arsene Wenger has started all his fringe players.

With Alexandre Lacazette’s arrival, Walcott was always going to be up against it and a combination of niggling injuries haven’t helped his cause.

Once a prodigy and touted as England’s next big thing, it’s safe to say that the forward hasn’t exactly delivered on expectations.

Perhaps a change of scenery will give his flagging career a much-needed boost?

Interested parties: Watford, Everton, Valencia

Mesut Ozil

Reports of a move to arch-rivals Manchester United refuse to go away, for the German maestro is, like Sanchez, free to sign a pre-contract with a team of his choice in January.

In stark contrast to the Chilean, however, Ozil has been in delightful form of late and is certainly playing like one who wants a big move.

Arsenal F.C., Premier League, Mesut Ozil
Ozil in full flight is a joy to behold! (Photo: AFP)

 

At his best, capable of laying off sublime assists like perhaps no-one can, the left-footed Ozil needs fast, technical forwards alongside him to truly thrive.

Manchester United aren’t Real Madrid, far from it infact, but they do possess several top class talents and it would be hard to begrudge the 29-year-old from moving to Arsenal’s arch-rivals.

Robin van Persie did it in 2012, look how that turned out?

Interested clubs: Manchester United, Barcelona, Chelsea

Olivier Giroud 

Currently sidelined with a muscular injury, Giroud is expected to return to the pitch by February, by which time he may not even be contracted to Arsenal.

The Gunners shattered their club record to sign Giroud’s compatriot, Alexandre Lacazette, and the former Lyon striker has been an instant hit in North London, significantly reducing Giroud’s playing time.

Olivier Giroud, Arsenal F.C., Premier League
Giroud (C) has scored a number of invaluable goals coming off the bench for the Gunners over the years! (Photo: AFP)

 

Lacazette is clearly the main striker for Wenger and with competition to make it to Didier Deschamps’ France team already intense as a glut of Frenchmen ply their trade for some of Europe’s finest clubs, Giroud will simply not make the trip to Russia if he continues to play second-fiddle to his countryman.

According to several media reports, Everton are actively courting the 31-year-old, but his wife seems to be wary of a move to Liverpool.

The hamstring injury could scupper any potential move, but if Giroud can convince his better half and find an ideal club to suit his style of play, there’s no reason why the target man will stick around at the Emirates.

Interested clubs: Everton, AC Milan, West Ham United

Calum Chambers

Where is Calum Chambers these days?

A question on everyone’s lips, for the the 22-year-old defender has only featured in the UEFA Europa League and the EFL Cup this season.

Four games, both in what is effectively seen as second-tier competition, isn’t the ideal playing time the fullback had in mind after signing a two-year contract extension earlier in 2017.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the fullback isn’t going to get first-team action in the months to come, with Hector Bellerin having made the right-back slot his now.

While Chambers can play at centre-back as well, the Gunners have a plethora of options there, with even young Rob Holding more in favour than him at the moment.

Chambers isn’t a teenager anymore and he will need to be playing on a weekly basis if he is to to have even an outside chance of making Southgate’s list for the plane to Russia.

There are plenty of Premier League clubs, especially in the bottom-half of the table, that could do with a player of Chambers’s quality and while a permanent move in January is unlikely, there is a strong possibly he could depart on a half-season loan deal.

Interested clubs: West Bromwich Albion, Everton, Crystal Palace