Wenger must leave Arsenal at the end of the 2016/17 season

Arsene Wenger needs to leave Arsenal at the end of the season if the club is to challenge for honours in the near future.

He will still go down in the history of the Gunners and he has done many great things for the club but both parties need a change of atmosphere.

Although the 67-year-old has brought silverware to the north London club, his reign will probably become infamously remembered for the number of times Arsenal has finished fourth in the English Premier League, which has happened six times.

He has been praised for his ability to work on a limited transfer budget, especially when the club had spent money on the Emirates Stadium, and he has turned a club once known for playing the most boring football in the United Kingdom into a team synonymous with entertaining football.

In the past the Gunners produced entertaining football and results but now there is style with little substance. He has become so focused on the aesthetics of football and his team are not very strong in the defensive phase of the game.

For the seventh season in a row, Arsenal was eliminated in the Round of 16 in the Champions League. Wenger lamented the refereeing in the second leg against Bayern Munich but when you lose 10-2 on aggregate, a controversial Laurent Koscielny sending-off is the least of your worries.

The Frenchman is also keen to highlight refereeing errors than on the flaws of his team. Regardless of how good or bad the refereeing is in a particular game, Arsenal has a history for not being able to cope with pressure and expectations.

Wenger has spent big money on players in recent seasons but it does not necessarily mean he has invested wisely. Attacking midfielder Mesut Ozil was bought for £42.5 million in 2013, winger Alexis Sanchez for £31.7m in 2014, and defender Shkodran Mustafi for £35m as well as central midfielder Granit Xhaka for £30m in 2016.

Ozil and Alexis have been great players for the North Londoners but the verdict is still out on Mustafi and Xhaka and they have not acquired a centre-forward with superior skills and a more prolific strike rate than Olivier Giroud.

Searching for out-and-out strikers has been a problem in recent seasons as the likes of Lucas Perez and Yaya Sanogo look like nothing more than bench-warmers.

Arsenal has gone 13 years without a Premier League title and it seems that the drought will get longer and longer. Fresh ideas are needed at the north London club if it is going to be a title contender. It may require a change in tactics or mental approach.

The squad from the 1997/98 double-winning season is gone as well as “The Invincibles” from 2003/04. The Gunners have also lost two finals in European competitions. Recent FA Cups don’t prove enough atonement for not winning more Premier League titles or performing well in Europe.

Arsenal needs fresh ideas as well as a fresh approach and it doesn’t look like Wenger will win more silverware with the Gunners. It is time to leave.