Jun 8th, 2019 by ‘holic
The official announcement of the players released this summer contained no real surprises. Petr Cech had already announced his retirement from playing before the season is out. It seems likely that he wasn’t prepared to continue as a cup tie goalkeeper. A return to Chelsea as director of football is rumoured.
He signed a four year deal in 2015 for a reported £10m and in his first season he won the FA Community Shield and the Golden Glove. Injury denied him a place in the FA Cup winning team against his old club Chelsea, but in the following season’s opener he was back for our penalty shoot-out win against Chelsea and a second Community Shield win with The Gunners.
Petr remained our number one until he was injured against Watford at the end of September, but in his role as cup tie goalkeeper he was instrumental in us reaching the Europa League Final. We wish him well in the future.
Stephan Lichtsteiner was an interesting signing last summer on a free transfer from Juventus. If he was perhaps no longer at his best his arrival had one massive positive for the club. Genuinely feeling his place was under threat Hector Bellerin returned to the player we had seen prior to his injuries in 2016/17 and prior to picking up another bad injury this season. That meant that Stephan made 23 appearances for the team this season.
Aaron Ramsey will be a big miss for the club after devoting a decade to the service of The Arsenal. Regardless of the reason for his departure on a free transfer to Juventus his performances in his farewell season were worthy of the highest praise. Professional to the end, we will remember his goal at Wembley against the neighbours and his subsequent celebration. His comeback from a broken leg at Stoke should inspire many who suffer serious injuries in the future.
Danny Welbeck too has been allowed to run his contract down although a serious injury restricted our options to make any money for him in January. I’m told the club did make him a new contract offer very much on a pay as you play basis, but Danny has better offers on the table. Fair enough. The goals he popped up with against his former club, Manchester United, and in the 2015/16 season against Leicester, will stay with us.
Thank you all for the memories you gave us.
Three young Guns were also released. Julio Pleguezuelo has signed for FC Twente in the Netherlands. Charlie Gilmour and Cohen Bramall are now free agents, and hopefully the club are still active in seeking clubs for the youngsters they let go.
It is safe to assume there will be further departures as Unai Emery seeks to take advantage of his third transfer window with the club. After just one season at the club it already feels as though this will be a critical season for his Arsenal future. As supporters we have to hope that he returns success to the club next season.
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Original article: https://goonerholic.com/2019/06/the-first-departures-announced/