Arsenal had one of their biggest transfer windows in years as club chiefs worked tirelessly to improve the squad while deflating the ballooning wage bill.
Among their incoming arrivals included record signing Nicolas Pepe – who joined from Lille for £72m.
As well as the Ivorian, Dani Ceballos, David Luiz and Kieran Tierney were also just a handful of new faces at the Emirates.
In the process, the Gunners also axed a number of players Unai Emery deemed unnecessary including Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mohamed Elneny and Carl Jenkinson.
But Arsenal could not get one player off the books – despite Emery publicly telling him to go.
Shkodran Mustafi must now be reintegrated into the squad after his manager said it would be best if he left.
It comes despite the club’s best efforts to get rid – though The Sun have reported that they could not find any suitors for the German.
Juventus had a late enquiry for the 27-year-old in a shock loan move after the serious knee injury sustained by Giorgio Chiellini.
But the Old Lady’s move fell through, leaving the former Valencia man in north London.
Mustafi has two years left on his £90,000-a-week contract – something Arsenal were keen to scrap after the arrival of Luiz.
The former Chelsea star has knocked the Germany international down the pecking order at the Emirates.
The defender has not played a single minute of action this season and it comes after Emery told him to go.
A week before the European transfer window was set to shut, the Spaniard said: “We have some players and they know their situation. For example, Elneny and Mustafi, they know their situation in the squad.
“I want the players to be happy here, I want the players to be protagonists here, and last year, for example, with Mustafi and Mo, when they didn’t play, they weren’t happy.
“I spoke with them a lot of times last year in this position and I think it is positive for them to leave and to sign for another team where they can be protagonists, they can be happy and can continue their careers as players.
“They are very big players but here for one circumstance or another circumstance they are going to have less chances to show their capacity or to be happy with us taking minutes of playing matches.”