The 2016/17 FA Cup final promised to be an interesting showpiece and it delivered. Premier League champions Chelsea were favourites to complete a domestic double by overcoming Arsenal, but the Gunners upset the odds to lift the famous cup for a record 13th time.
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding these two clubs over the previous ten months. The managers, Arsene Wenger and Antonio Conte, have both come under pressure at differing points in the campaign while several players’ futures remain in the balance.
The FA Cup final might have been the last time we see a number of players. We’ve taken a look at which Arsenal and Chelsea players may have been bidding farewell to their clubs at Wembley.
The Chilean’s future has been uncertain all season, as contract talks have dragged on and on.
Even though Arsenal failed to finish in the top four under Wenger, eventually ending the season in fifth place, Sánchez managed to escape with much deserved credit, having netted an impressive 30 goals and made 19 assists in 51 appearances.
Since signing for the club in the summer of 2014 for a fee in the region of £32million, the 28-year-old has made almost 150 appearances for the London-based side, netting an impressive 72 times. He has won two Community Shields and added a second FA Cup winner’s medal on Saturday.
Wenger intends to keep his star player, with new reports suggesting the club has made an incredible £270,000-per-week offer. Sánchez, meanwhile, in spite of his occasional petulance and his refusal thus far to sign a new deal, pounded the club badge on his chest furiously and pointed to himself and then the ground after scoring in his side’s 4-1 win away to Stoke City earlier this month, as if he were signaling his intention to stay at the club.
The likes of Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, and Manchester City seem keen to test that resolve, however, and the longer he takes to sign a new deal, the more likely it looks like he’ll be off.
Mesut Ozil is the perfect Arsenal Player… pic.twitter.com/R1PsajTa4C
— TheArseneView (@TheArseneView) May 27, 2017
The German became Arsenal’s record signing when he joined from Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 for £42.5million.
He has come in for much criticism, however, especially this season as he and the team in general struggled badly.
He has made 44 appearances this season, scoring 12 goals and assisting 12 more. While that is not too bad, the criticism has been about his lack of authority in big games and his lack of desire when it comes to the defensive aspect of the game.
Still, he remains a game-changer, and one Wenger wants to keep after seeing him make almost 160 appearances and scoring 32 goals.
Özil, like Sánchez, is yet to commit his long-term future to the club as he continues to stall on signing a new deal. But he seems likely to stay – at least for now. Should he leave, though, he would do so without a league title, having won a Community Shield and three FA Cups.
The Spaniard joined Arsenal last summer from Deportivo La Coruña for £17million but has barely featured this season for the Gunners.
The 28-year-old made made just nine stars across all competitions this season due to a lack of opportunity and injuries. Wenger himself admits he feels sorry for Pérez and accepts the forward may move on this summer.
He said ahead of the FA Cup final: “He’s a top quality striker but I couldn’t give him the games he wants and deserves, I confess that. I feel a bit sorry for him.”
A return to Deportivo has been reported and if he does leave the Emirates, Perez will do so having scored a goal every 118.5 minutes.
717 Chelsea Appearances
67 Chelsea Goals
— CarefreeYouth (@CarefreeYouth) May 28, 2017
Terry’s departure has already been confirmed having. While the captain’s 22-year stay with Chelsea hasn’t been without incident, with the latest being the substitution controversy in his last league game at Stamford Bridge, he leaves the Blues having established himself as a legend and easily one of his country’s finest ever central defenders.
Terry, an academy graduate, made his debut for the club back in 1998 against Aston Villa. He became a first-team regular in the 2000/01 season and went on to take over the captain’s armband from Marcel Desailly in the 2003/04 season.
He has hardly wore it this season, though, as he found himself marginalised under new manager Conte as the Italian guided his team to the league title. Should Terry feature in the final, it would be just his 15th appearance of the campaign, nine of which came in the league.
Overall, he has made over 700 appearances for the London outfit, scoring 67 goals and winning five league titles, three League Cups, two Community Shields, one Champions League, one Europa League, and five FA Cups.
As for individual honours, among others, he won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award once, the UEFA Club Defender of the Year award three times, and the club’s Player of the Year award twice.
As for what the future holds, Terry has mentioned retirement, though there a few clubs said to be interested in signing him.
Since signing from Atlético Madrid in the summer of 2014 for £32million, Diego Costa has brought much to Chelsea in the form of goals and controversy.
As far as goals are concerned, Costa has scored 22 this season in 42 appearances as he retained his place as first-choice striker under his Italian manager, keeping big money summer signing Michy Batshuayi out of the team. Overall, he has made over 100 appearances for the Blues, netting 59 times.
The title he helped take his team to this campaign was his second in his three years at the club. In each of those two title-winning campaigns, he netted 20 league goals, showing just how key he was to what his side achieved.
As far as individual honours are concerned, he was named Premier League Player of the Month twice and was named in the PFA Team of the Year in his debut season.
Reports broke earlier this season about a bust-up between him and manager Conte on the back speculation the former wanted a big money move to the Chinese Super League. Should he leave, that is likely to be his destination, although the new 100 per cent tax rule could yet prove a stumbling block. We would have to wait and see on this one.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 26, 2017
The towering Serbian has proven another key cog in Chelsea’s midfield following his return to the club from Benfica in January 2014.
He has made 40 appearances this season, scoring twice and laying on seven more as he formed a solid midfield partnership with Premier League Player of the Season, PFA Players’ Player of the Year, and FWA Footballer of the Year, N’Golo Kanté.
Matić isn’t quite as heralded as the Frenchman, but he has two league titles and one League Cup to his name. He was also named in the Premier League PFA Team of the Year in the 2014/15 season.
José Mourinho is a huge fan of the player and is said to be interested in a reunion at Manchester United. There has not been anything to suggest Matić wants to leave, though, so he will likely be lining up alongside Kanté again next season.
The Brazilian signed for Chelsea in 2013 from Anzhi Makhachkala and became a key player under Mourinho’s tutelage.
This season, though it started well, took a sour turn as his mother passed away last October. Understandably it affected his form and the Brazilian lost his place in the starting line-up to Pedro.
Willian has still managed to make 41 appearances this season though, scoring 12 goals, including a brace in the FA Cup semi-final encounter with city rivals and league runners-up, Tottenham Hotspur.
Overall, he has made 181 appearances for Chelsea and has struck 31 goals. He has won two league titles, one League Cup, and was named as the club’s Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year in the 2015/16 season.
Like Matić, Mourinho is a huge fan of Willian and is said to be keen on a reunion at United.
However, Willian has made it clear his intention to stay with the new league champions, feeling a great sense of gratitude for how he was helped by the club during what he described as the most difficult season of his career.
Cesc Fabregas was involved in a Premier League goal every 78.1 mins this season.
Playmaker extraordinaire. pic.twitter.com/lmEq6401tz
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 21, 2017
The Spain international signed for the Blues in 2014 for around £30million and has proven to be shrewd addition. He figured prominently under Mourinho in Chelsea’s 2014/15 title win but had to settle for a bench role under Conte this season.
Still, the 30-year-old played his part in helping his side to the title this season, making 36 appearances and even breaking an assists record, having laid on ten or more in six different seasons since 2010.
Because he is not an automatic starter, he has been linked with a move away, with United being one club linked.
⏱ 239 minutes
⚽️ 5 goals
?️ 1 assist
— Kristof Terreur ? (@HLNinEngeland) May 21, 2017
Signed from Marseille for £33million, much was expected of Batshuayi. But he took a while to adapt to the league and his manager’s demands and ultimately failed to do enough to dislodge Costa.
To date, the 23-year-old has made 28 appearances for Conte’s side, but he started just once in the league. Still, in those appearances he managed nine goals, the most important of which clinched the title for Chelsea in the game against West Bromwich Albion.
Whether the Belgian will remain at Stamford Bridge remains to be seen. It would be no surprise if he leaves as he may be unwilling to stay on the bench for a second consecutive season.