At this time of the year, all the talk at Arsenal are about players who are coming in. We're normally linked with almost every top footballer around, only to seemingly lose out at the last moment to some club with more money. None of this may be remotely true, but it makes good copy, doesn't it?
This season is somewhat different, though.
Arsenal have done some great business, nice and early for a change. We've bought Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud, world class strikers both, who will soon show the Premier League exactly how good they are. They have turned down Manchester United and Chelsea respectively, so there's obviously something there.
And with the specter of Financial Fair Play looming large, Arsenal, like every other top club, are searching for ways to trim the fat. Arsenal CEO, Ivan Gazidis, spoke recently about a move to restructure the Club's wage bill so as to be able to acquire and remunerate "top talent."
Our wage structure has been based around a flatter salary structure—that is part of a team ethos the manager develops, it's about interaction between players, not superstars. But we have looked at this carefully and we have to make adjustments for top talent. They are earning a lot of money and I don't think that will slow down. We have to adjust our model.
There are several fringe players that need to be moved on. Some, like Manuel Almunia, have come to the end of their contracts and have been released. Others, many of whom have been out on loan already, seem somewhat reluctant to leave. The reasons are many and varied.
Here are six players who need to be off the rolls at Arsenal. And soon.
It's proving, however, to be much easier said than done.