The list of players who’s contracts are set to come to an end this summer was released recently by the Premier League recently. On the list contained 4 Arsenal stars who are set to be available on a free transfer. All are expected to leave this summer.
The highest profile Arsenal name on the list, the Little Mozart’s 9 year stay at Arsenal is set to come to an end.
Signed in 2006 as part of the new generation midfield of Hleb, Flamini, Cesc and himself, Rosicky’s Arsenal career never really got going, with mysterious long term injuries seeing him miss a lot of game time. Over 9 years, he failed to play over 30 league games and appeared in just 242 games in all competition. 35 in October, and with 99 international caps, we will be losing a bit of experience.
The issue with Tomas Rosicky is squad limits. With just 25 man squads in the Premier League and Champions League, a man who has started just 5 Premier League games this season takes up space that could be used elsewhere.
He spoke in January about being tempted to leave due to lack of game time. Things have only improved slightly since then, and he has not been seen for over a month in an Arsenal shirt.
For me, it comes down to a simple choice. Mikel Arteta or Tomas Rosicky. We have space to accommodate 1 senior player who will not play much. I come down in Arteta’s favour, for 3 reasons:
1) Arteta’s contract does not expire for another year, whilst Rosicky’s does.
2) Arteta is captain and does a lot of well documented work off the field with the young players and new signings
3) We have more attacking midfielders than defensive midfielders. Rosicky is battling with Ozil, Cazorla, Wilshere, Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain in attacking positions
With just 5 starts this season, Rosicky’s Arsenal journey has come to an end. He still has the talent to play week in week out (if his legs allow) for a mid-table Premier League, La Liga or Bundesliga side, or the semi-retirement of the MLS might tempt him.
Is there any player who has had 4 spells at clubs and never commanded a transfer fee? Marseille to Arsenal to Milan and back to Arsenal. He is now set to leave Arsenal on a free transfer for a second time.
Signed in desperation 2 years ago, it was originally reported that Flamini had signed a 3 year deal, it seems that the truth is a 2 year deal. His 2nd spell at Arsenal has come to a natural end, having lost his first team place to Francis Coquelin.
As this season went on, and as the development of Coquelin exploded, Flamini’s lack of quality was exposed. He is no longer good enough to play for Arsenal. He is still just 31, so has something to give to football, but it is something to give at someone like Stoke or WBA, not Arsenal.
A bit like in the Rosicky case, he would take up an important first team squad place if we kept him, and also like Rosicky, he must be compared to Arteta.
If we signed a new defensive midfielder, it will leave us with 4 players fighting for one spot. Flamini, Arteta, Coquelin & the new defensive midfielder. 4 into 1 does not go. And for the same reasons I would pick Arteta over Rosicky, I would also pick Arteta over Flamini.
For all intents and purposes, Flamini has already been replaced by Coquelin in the squad, meaning that we do not need to sign a replacement. Although we should be looking to get in a front line defensive midfielder.
Goodbye Abou Diaby. I mean you no ill well, and actually for sorry for you. You are 29 today, and your career has been stolen from you. You should have been one of the best central midfielders to grace our game. You would have been up their alongside Yaya Toure and Paul Pogba as the best power midfielders in world football. He would probably also be Arsenal captain.
He has had his career robbed from him. From Dan Smith to Paul Robinson, and a few others in between, I do not think there has been a single player in the history of our club who has had so many horrendous, gut wrenching, sickening tackles
Yes, he has earned himself millions, but I am sure that is scant consolation for his ruined career. I am also sure the mental damage he has suffered has been grand. It can not be easy, wanting to play, but continually being in the treatment. Hours, weeks, years, getting fit, only to break down again. And I wonder how much damage, both physically and mentally, has been done to him.
Personally, I think he should retire. He has made enough money out of the game to not need to work again. He is 29 now, why go through the mental and physical heartbreak of trying to get fit again. Cal lit a day Abou, put yourself out of your misery.
In the last 2 years, he has played just 1 Premier League match, the final game of last season against Norwich. He will not need to be replaced.
Our third choice goal keeper is also set to leave the club this summer. Some people will say he is talented enough to keep, and this is true, however, this will more likely be player driven than Arsenal’s choice.
As a 2nd choice GK, you can go years without playing a 1st team game. As a 3rd choice GK, you can go a career without playing. Like with Vito Mannone before him, he has managed to play a few games in his last season at the club. And like Mannone, that would have wetted his appetite to play more.
Now 22, 23 in September, he now needs to start to play games. He would have seen Mannone go to Sunderland and become 1st choice keeper last season. Whilst he might not yet be ready to play in a 1st team for another Premier League side, he has the talent to either step down to the Championship, or be 2nd choice at a Premier League side. Liverpool are rumoured to be interested in him replacing Brad Jones as 2nd choice goal keeper.
From Arsenal’s point of view, there is also no point keeping Martinez. From next season, he would take up a squad place. Is it worthwhile Arsenal using a squad place on a 3rd choice GK who would barely play?
Martinez will be wished well, and his place in the first team squad taken by either Dejan Iliev or Matt Macey, both under the age of 21.
The key factor of these four players leaving is that they do not need to be replaced. Between the 4 of them, they take up around £10.5m a year in wages. That equates to around £200k per week. That is a lot of money being freed up. It would basically give the club the ability to sign a world class player, without seeing an increase in wage bill. A good position to be in.
I wish the 4 players good luck. I will applaud each and every one of them if they ever return to the club as an opponent. They are part of Arsenal’s past, not part of the present or future.