After a long season and Champions League football secured for next season, Arsenal have the chance to make it a fantastic campaign if they manage to beat Hull City on Saturday.
The FA Cup final marks Arsenal’s best chance of ending their nine-year trophy drought, and the opportunity to lift the spirits around the Emirates stadium.
Saturday’s FA Cup final, however, could also mark the final game for a number of Arsenal stars. Here, we take a look at five players who could taste FA Cup glory before departing North London this summer.
29-year-old Polish international shot-stopper Lukasz Fabianksi could be handed the number one jersey for the final, and it will be no more than he deserves.
Arsenal’s designated cup goalkeeper has been fantastic when counted upon, and his heroics in the semi-final shootout against Wigan Athletic helped the Gunners reach the final.
The final, however, is expected to be his last game as his contract expires this summer. He is far too good to be a bench player, and he has options as Celtic, Southampton and Schalke are just a few of many reportedly taking an interest.
The Spanish international left-back is another who could be leaving this summer, following a rather disappointing campaign leading to his omission from Spain’s World Cup squad.
The 28-year-old has found himself behind Kieron Gibbs in the pecking order, and he has made just 13 Premier League starts this season.
Nacho Monreal may end up an FA Cup winner this weekend, but it may also be his last game as a return to La Liga looks probable.
Club captain Thomas Vermaelen is another Arsenal star out of favour, making just seven Premier League starts all season.
The excellent partnership of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker has made it almost impossible for the Belgian international to get a look-in, and an FA Cup winners medal could be a fitting way to end his five-year Arsenal stay.
Serie A seems a likely destination, with a number of Italian clubs showing an interest according to his agent Alex Kroes.
Spanish maestro Mikel Arteta is a surprise name on the list, and he may possibly move away from the Emirates as a result of a reported contract dispute.
The 32-year-old has a contract until the summer of 2015, though he appears concerned at Arsenal’s policy to hand out just one-year deals to players over 30. The Spanish press reported three months ago that Arteta was considering his options, and that situation may still be the case.
His importance to Arsenal is evident by his 27 Premier League starts this season, though without a long-term contract, his vulnerability in North London may pave the way for an early exit.
The most surprising name to be linked with an Arsenal exit is top goalscorer Olivier Giroud. The French international scored 16 Premier League goals this season – topping the club’s charts.
His future, however, remains uncertain following his off-field problems. The 27-year-old has had personal problems this season, and in a report published by The Mirror, the only solution to some of these problems was for Giroud to leave England this summer.
It remains to be seen whether the said reports are true, though should Arsenal lose their number one striker after the FA Cup final, they will have a big summer on their hands finding a suitable replacement.