Arsenal's transfer window so far isn't that bad
While Arsenal fans will always be hoping for that one world class signing to take Arsenal the extra mile and finally win a trophy, credit must be given to Arsene Wenger nonetheless, for his work so far this summer. While a star signing hasn’t been made yet, with Arsenal’s only incoming being 20 year old Yaya Sanogo, there has been a huge clear-out at the club – a long overdue one.
Fringe players are slowly leaving one by one, and while the likes of Sebastien Squillaci and Andrei Arshavin’s contracts ran out, Wenger has been ruthless with many other players – something we’ve not seen in quite some time, especially for a manager who likes to keep faith with his players.
Denilson – a player destined for huge things, but ultimately one who had been in the fringes since 2010, finally had his contract terminated.
Andre Santos suffered the same fate after just two seasons at the club (though the official website say he was transferred to Flamengo), while the big summer of 2011 signing, Gervinho - who wasn’t even included in Arsenal’s pre-season tour squad – also looks set to leave for Serie A side Roma.
Vito Mannone was sold to Sunderland while Johan Djourou has again been shipped out on loan – this time to German side Hamburg. Another player who has been loaned is Francis Coquelin, rumoured to be having attitude problems, and the Frenchman has joined Freiburg.
Meanwhile, it has been rumoured that Park Chu Young – one of Wenger’s most bizarre signings – will also have his contract terminated, while Nicklas Bendtner and Marouane Chamakh are also set to leave the club before the transfer window closes.
It is certainly a rarity to see Wenger so ruthless with his players, not only at the first team level but with many of the reserve players as well, with the likes of Craig Eastmond, Sanchez Watt, Conor Henderson and more having had their contracts run out and not renewed, making it 20 player departures – a record under Wenger.
Maybe it’s a new feature of Wenger’s game – after all, his ruthlessness with Wojciech Szczesny and Thomas Vermaelen back in March saw Arsenal go unbeaten in their last 11 games of the season, only conceding one goal in open play as they fought back to reclaim 4th spot from Tottenham.
Having said that, these departures have got the Gunners’ wage bill smiling again. Approximately over £235,000 per week in wages has been freed up from the wage bill, if you only count confirmed first team departures, which is a £12 million boost for Arsenal. Another £192,000 per week will be freed up if Bendtner, Chamakh, Park and Gervinho leave.
With most of the deadwood cleared out and all of Arsenal’s key players intact, this year’s ‘mercato’ is certainly a pleasant surprise in contrast to previous years. With over a month to go for the transfer window to close, there is still time for many signings. But even without a star signing as of now, this summer has already somewhat been a success for Wenger and his team.