Arsenal Transfer News: 10 Players the Gunners Should Sell This Summer
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With a raft of new recruits being run through the rumour mill, there could be the most activity in recent years at the Emirates in this window.
There is a whole host of players on loan that are still commanding high wages. Wages that could be used to bring in higher-calibre players.
Finishing fourth, on the last day this season, by pipping rivals Tottenham to the post, may have felt like a victory. But it was a hollow victory.
With the top three sides in the Premier League all going through managerial changes this summer, next season could represent Arsenal's best chance in almost 10 years of winning the title, but there are a lot of changes that need to be made.
Including getting rid of a lot of squad players at the club that Arsenal simply don't need.
All stats and facts provided by Arsenal.com.
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Having arrived in 2010 for a fee in the region of £4 million, Sebastian Squillaci looked as though he would be a decent acquisition.
Arsene Wenger went for an elder statesman who was entering the latter part of his career to provide cover for the back four if required. Normally favouring young, raw and malleable talent, this was out of the norm for Wenger, but it looked to be a stabilising move for a defence that had suffered in the previous season.
On the surface, and during the initial stages of the defender's Arsenal career, Wenger’s choice seemed to be vindicated. He made 32 appearances in the 2010/11 season, even weighing in with two goals.
But that was to be the end of any promise exhibited at Arsenal. In truth, it was a case of flattering to deceive—the mediocre Frenchman was horribly exposed to the frenetic pace of English football and, for the most part, he has been too far out of his depth.
In the ensuing two seasons, playing for the Gunners, he has made a paltry seven appearances—serving to highlight his ineptitude.
Getting him off of any wage bill is imperative as, at the moment, he is merely an exhaustion of funds.
The chances of recouping anything for him are slim, especially at his age, but getting him off the wage bill would be sufficient enough.
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It has to be said, really, that Marouane Chamakh was never a truly bad buy for Arsenal; he was just never a good one either. Coming in on a free transfer fresh from winning Ligue 1 (France), with Bordeaux, Chamakh had the potential to represent a shrewd piece of business by Wenger.
We’ve seen it time and again when Wenger has plucked the relative unknown out of the French (or other European) league(s) and turned them into superstars of the game, so he may have thought this could have been another of those times.
Furthermore, Chamakh’s physique and build was something Arsenal were crying out for at the time.
They had the diminutive ingenuity of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Theo Walcott et al; who could unlock a defence or race past them with blistering speed, but there was never a plan B.
Chamakh was plan B.
Admittedly, it never really worked for the Moroccan, he is too slow on the turn for the Premier League, and his distribution was less than desirable. He was given a second chance by West Ham, but it hasn’t really come to fruition. With a team that is more aerial and direct than the Gunners, he had an opportunity to make an impact but didn’t.
Much like several others in this list, the main objective is just to get him off the wage bill and free up cash for wages for better players. Any transfer fee Arsenal may accrue for him would be nothing short of a bonus.
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Ironically, it was the act of taking off his Arsenal shirt that pretty much signified the end of Andre Santos ever wearing one in the future for the Gunners.
The unforgiving act of swapping his shirt with Robin van Persie at half-time at Old Trafford earlier in the season was an act that Wenger could not, and did not abide by.
That all but confirmed the beginning of the end for Andre Santos as an Arsenal player. That game, in early November, was preceded by a howler at home against Schalke in the Champions League, where Santos looked distinctly out of his element.
When Nacho Monreal came in in January, Santos headed to his homeland of Brazil and signed on loan for Gremio. Having made only six starts this season, one would think it highly unlikely he will be afforded the opportunity to add to that tally.
The trickiest dealing in this situation is trying to make a profit from the £6.2 million outlay that Fenerbache received for the left-back’s services in 2011.
Chu Young Park
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One of Wenger’s strangest signings to date was this one.
Chu Young Park, although captain of South Korea, had no real merits or credibility in the lead-up to his signing.
Maybe it was a marketing ploy by Ivan Gazidis and Tom Fox?
Maybe it was a way of branching out Arsenal’s name as a global brand to the rest of the world?
It might be churlish to say, but maybe he was brought in to sell shirts?
Because certainly his exploits on the pitch only left Arsenal fans wanting. Park has played just six times for Arsenal, only one of those was in the league and he came off the bench, so clearly Wenger didn’t see much in him.
At the start of this season he was shipped off to La Liga to play on loan at Celta Vigo. Again he hasn’t really set the world alight over there either—he’s played 22 league games and scored only three times.
If the Spanish side were to come in with an offer that was in any way close to Arsenal recouping their initial outlay, then there is every chance he will be made surplus to requirements come the start of next season.
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The much-maligned Russian, Andrey Arshavin, offered a true frisson of excitement when he joined the Arsenal in 2009.
At the time he was a £15 million record signing, and after impressing in Euro 2008 the previous summer, it was the same feeling as when they signed Tomas Rosicky in 2006 all over again.
Gunners fan’s watched him explode to life in that summer tournament and waited with bated breath for his February arrival. The diminutive Russian wasted no time in endearing himself to the Arsenal faithful either—when he scored all four goals in a pulsating 4-4 draw at Anfield that season.
His winner at the Emirates against Barcelona in 2011, too, will live long in the memory as a goose bump-inducing night.
Since then, however, his performances have been subdued, to say the least, making the majority of his appearances from off the bench or in the lesser cup competition rounds. He even returned to his native Russia to play with his old club, Zenit St. Petersburg, on loan last season.
Arshavin has scored a total of 31 goals in his Arsenal career, 28 of those came in his first two-and-a-half seasons—there have only been three in the last two years, and his rapid decline has been noticeable.
Again he is a huge earner on the wage bill, and to have him sitting on the bench, or predominantly not even in the squad, is a flagrant waste of resources.
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An injury-blighted couple of years have probably all but ended Emmanuel Frimpong’s chances of breaking into the Arsenal squad.
It’s a shame, as he has been with the club since age nine and rose through the ranks alongside Jack Wilshere. The two complement each other’s styles in the middle of the park—which was evident in the club’s FA Youth Cup success in 2009.
However, whilst we all know what trajectory Wilshere’s career is heading in; Frimpong’s has been cruelly blighted by injury.
Having been awarded his chance in the first team at the start of the 2011/12 the combative midfielder made an impactful start.
After a red card on his full debut and a few over-zealous performances, he was dropped back to the bench. Finding chances limited, Frimpong then went out on loan to Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament—his season was over.
Frimpong returned to Arsenal for rehabilitation, and the injury was the second of its type in two years as he suffered the same injury while he was still in the Gunners’ youth set-up.
Frimpong has just finished this campaign on loan at Fulham, but with those severe injuries knocking his career back by almost 18 months, it seems like Arsenal have moved on without him.
If he were to spend another season somewhere on loan it might soon become a permanent deal.
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Gervinho, one could say, has been enigmatic since he joined Arsenal.
While some fans think he has potential and can just be profligate in front of goal at times; others seem to think he would be better suited to playing as far away from the Emirates as possible.
Either way he divides opinion, although there are few who come down on the side of Gervinho being a keeper and a mainstay in the Arsenal side.
Most strikers, particularly within the top four sides, tend to take a season to adapt and then really kick on with their career or conversely they take like a duck to water in their first season and then somewhat peter out the next before finding their level.
With Gervinho, though, Arsenal got neither in 63 appearances (44 starts) he has bagged 11 goals. That return is simply not good enough for a side with title winning aspirations in the coming seasons.
If used as an auxiliary winger then he may command a place in the squad, he has created 15 chances this season, but it looks like his audition time is up.
Should a decent offer come in for the Ivorian this summer it might well tempt Wenger in to letting him leave in the transfer window.
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It’s been widely reported that Wenger is on the lookout for a new ‘keeper to come and vie for Wojciech Szczesny’s No. 1 spot at Arsenal.
This may spell the end for Lukasz Fabianski’s reign as his Polish counterpart’s understudy.
Having been at the club since 2007 he has been a loyal, if not very well utilised, servant to the club. In those six years he has only made 67 appearances, admirably 20 of those have been clean sheets which actually represents a reasonable ratio.
The problem, though, is when he is not focussed, or on his game, he becomes somewhat of a liability. Having not been blessed with the height of most other ‘keepers, Fabianski was always reliant on his reflexes and agility, and when those traits abandoned him, well suffice it to say he put many an Arsenal fan and player on tenterhooks.
He was adorned with the not-so-endearing moniker of "Flappyhandski" when he came a cropper in games.
At 28 years of age, he is still entering his prime for a goalkeeper and should Arsenal bring in someone else to take over his mantle as No. 2, or drop Szczesny down and bring in a new No. 1, Fabianski may feel it is the right time in his career to make a move if he ever wants to have the opportunity of being the main man between the posts.
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Arsenal’s forgotten man in the middle of the park is another they desperately need to get off the wage bill.
Denilson showed much promise in the early part of his Arsenal career; with the likes of Mathieu Flamini and Lassana Diarra departing, it was left up to the technically gifted Brazilian to step up to the plate.
He did it with aplomb in his first two seasons with the main squad, playing 23 times (2007/08 season) then 51 (2008/09 season) before the eminence of one Jack Wilshere meant his appearances began to dwindle.
Denilson has captained his country at every level from U-15s right the way through to U-19s but at the start of the 2011/12 campaign he saw his chances of representing the senior team fading, if he was to stay on Arsenal’s bench.
He went back to Brazil, on an initial season-long loan, at Sao Paulo where he got some game time. The move worked so well for him, in fact, that he extended the loan by a further year and spent the 2012/13 season with the Brazilian side too where he has just won the title.
Denilson knows with the World Cup next summer, in his home country, if he has designs of playing in it then he has to be playing regular club football—something Arsenal can no longer guarantee him.
So making his loan move a permanent one might be the most amicable decision for both parties.
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The lanky Danish forward has always promised a lot and delivered little in his Arsenal career.
Having been at the club since he was 16, the last seven years haven’t really worked out for him in Gunners’ red. He possesses reasonable technical ability and often does well for his national side but lacks that extra cutting edge to perform on a regular basis at the highest level.
He spent the 2011/12 season on loan at Sunderland and the season just gone in Italy with Juventus—on the surface that may represent an improvement in his career but a shoulder injury cut his playing time short for the Old Lady.
He wasn’t getting much playing time before the injury either.
In 157 appearances for Arsenal he has netted 45 times which doesn’t sound bad, but spread over five seasons’ it isn’t too promising. His highest return for one season was 15 goals.
It’s also a strong indicator of a player’s strengths, or lack of strengths, when they have been sent out on loan three times by their parent club.
Wenger normally opts for sending a player for one season somewhere to gain experience and then integrate the player into the first-team squad. Alas, with Bendtner this hasn’t been the case.
On the plus side for Arsenal, he is capable of doing a job elsewhere in Europe, and there will be suitors interested in procuring the Danish striker. It could also reap a large profit if the club were to sell him whilst freeing up room to bring in a more clinical front-man.