Arsenal Needs to Clear Even More Roster Space (The State of Arsenal Part II)
While some might argue that the sale of those players was for the good of the club and others might argue that the sale of those players is proof that Arsenal is just a training grounds for Europe’s “bigger clubs,” nobody can argue that Arsenal has lost some world-class talent in the last few years.
Ironically though, Arsenal needs to offload, whether by loan or sale, a few more players before it can be one of Europe’s elite again. Removing these players from the roster would not only clear up more money for future transfers, but also the funds previously used to pay these players' salaries.
Emmanuel Eboue (Sold to Galatasaray)
Eboue came to Aresenal in the middle of the 2004-05 season. His first major contribution to the club was filling in for Lauren during his injury stint in the 2005-06 Premier League campaign.
While Eboue featured regularly for Arsenal, he was never considered one of Arsenal’s stars. This was solidified when Wenger tried to move him to the right-winger position following the acquisition of Bacary Sagna.
Despite never fully reaching his potential at Arsenal, Eboue has been a regular for his national team, Cote d’Ivoire. While some Arsenal fans were sad to see him sold to Galatasaray, I think the sale opens up a spot that can be filled by someone from Arsenal’s youth academy.
Almunia has served Arsenal faithfully since his arrival in 2004. He successfully succeeded Arsenal great Jens Lehman for a stint after Lehman experienced a rough patch at the Emirates.
However, even though Almunia was the No. 1 goal keeper after Lehman officially left the Premier League, a string of mistakes and weak games from the Spaniard would see him lose his spot as first-choice keeper.
Since losing the top spot, there have been many rumors regarding Almunia leaving Arsenal, but nothing has ever fully developed. I think it’s time we finally offload him so Arsenal can use his wages on a better player.
Many were excited when Arshavin arrived at Arsenal in January of 2009. His transfer fee was the highest ever paid by Arsenal for a player; for a lot of individuals it represented that Wenger may finally be willing to purchase world-class talent.
The Russian generated a lot of hype after his performance at the Euro 2008 competition. While he played well during his first few months at Arsenal, he never really reached the potential expected from a lot of fans. While he has not been a bad player, he is not the caliber player that needs to be regularly featured if they want to win trophies.
Many hailed Bendtner as Arsenal’s long-term world-class striker during his time at the Arsenal Youth Academy.
He had a successful loan stint at Birmingham during the 2006-07 season and returned to the Arsenal first team the following season.
While Bendtner has not fulfilled the potential that many thought he would, he has developed into a decent striking option. However, decent is not the way to win trophies. Bendtner has desired first-team action; however, Wenger has mostly used him as a substitute unless injury created the need for the Dane to start.
Recently though, there has been a lot of speculation about Bendtner exiting Arsenal—a move that needs to happen before the close of the transfer window.
Rosicky came to Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund during the summer of 2006. Initially, Rosicky’s play-making ability was vital to Arsenal. However, a hamstring injury kept him out for the entire 2008-09 season.
After this injury, Rosicky has been unable to recapture his form. While many might disagree with selling Rosicky, if Arsenal is to truly return to the top of European football, players who have constantly underperformed have to go—no matter how long they have been with the team.
The signing of Squillaci is a perfect example of Arsenal acquiring a subpar player to merely fill a gap.
Squillaci’s best years were far behind him when he arrived at the Emirates, and while he has made a number of appearances for the club, he is not the kind of defender Arsenal needs in order to win trophies.