By Tony Attwood
After a summer in which we were told by the blogs and newspapers that every single player in Arsenal’s first team squad was leaving, we’ve found that, not surprisingly, that was not true.
Now I know this might come as a bit of a shock – that something predicted so strongly by the media could turn out to be a load of turnips, but there it is. It didn’t happen.
However there is a salvation line left for those who did all that wild predicting for the club seems to have decided that two more can go.
But, and there is the twist, it appears that rather than Arsenal going out and finding a new club for the players, they are being invited to do the job themselves! Yes indeed. Shkodran Mustafi and Mohamed Elneny have been told to do the job the club normally does, and find themselves a new employee. A similar position may well have occurred with Monreal, who is currently rumoured to be leaving today.
Shock horror, Arsenal make another cock-up of the transfer window. But actually this summer having players you don’t want has become somewhat more common than normal. Take Juventus for example. Their manager Maurizio Sarri recently said, “We need to cut six players from our Champions League list – and that puts us in difficulty. It’s an embarrassing and difficult situation. We risk having to leave some really high-level players off the list.” [Italy does not impose a 25 player limit on clubs’ domestic squads.]
Of course going out and seeing what’s on offer is what most of us do when looking for a job, so maybe this will be the new norm. We look at the job adverts on line, pick the ones we fancy and knock out a quick application, writing a jolly witty covering piece about what lovely people we are, outgoing, sense of humour, hard working, innovative but not rocking the boat, and so forth, all the while hoping that no one else was copying that self-same job application letter from “How to write job application letters that really work” written by Sir Hardly Anyone published by the Rutland Independent Publishing and Boat Hire Corporation.
But there is a twist in this tale, for this development by Arsenal suggests that not only does the manager want the players to depart, his transfer team have not been able to find a new club for the players. If they had, Arsenal would have been able to pocket the transfer fee.
But now here’s the thing. If the players are negotiating their own transfers, who decides on the fee? Or are Arsenal are willing to let them go no matter what price they get for them? What the manager actually said was, “They are very big players but for one circumstance or another they are going to have fewer chances to show their capacity or to be happy with us and the minutes they play in matches. But they know the situation and really I am wishing the best for them. I think now the best for them is to be protagonists in another team and to get another challenge for themselves.
“Last year with Mustafi and Mo, when they didn’t play they weren’t happy and I spoke with them a lot of times last year and this pre-season. I think it is positive for them to leave and sign for another team where they can be protagonists and be happy and continue their careers.”
As for the reports (which as we know are wrong 95% of the time) after Monreal, they have Elneny heading to Galatasaray while Roma have expressed an interest in Mustafi.
But all this raises the question of what happens if they don’t go – do they get positions in the 25 man squad, or not? Our calculations thus far suggest there is room for them to be given squad numbers, and that would mean they could be used as players in League Cup and Europa games if need be and as back up players in case of multiple injuries.
But two problems remain. Mr Emery has only had one season of seeing how other teams are encouraged to cut Arsenal players down without any whistle blowing activity from the referee. That will increase if Arsenal start challenging in a competition. There might look like being a full squad out there, but they can be reduced very quickly. Just because the defenders will be coming back to the first team in the next two months, it doesn’t mean that other members of the defence won’t be chopped to bits with impunity in the days ahead.
On the other hand it suggests that Arsenal are hardly likely to demand a high fee for either player.
We await developments.
Original article: https://untold-arsenal.com/archives/76822