The great big Arsenal departure lounge

Much of the attention when it comes to summer and transfers is who is going to be brought into the club. Already we’ve made one signing, the Bosnian defender Sead Kolasinac, and there are obviously all kinds of rumours about Lacazette, Lemar, Mbappe, Seri and others who are reportedly on our radar.

But after Arsene Wenger described the squad as ‘heavy’, who are the men likely to be on the way out? There are a lot of players sitting anxiously in the Arsenal departure lounge right now. Let’s look at the men who could – and in some cases should – be playing football elsewhere next season.

David Ospina

Reports yesterday say that talks between Arsenal and Fenerbahce broke down after a last minute price hike from us. Considering the price quoted for him was around £3m and he’s worth a lot more than that, I don’t think it’s unreasonable. When Jordan Pickford is going for £30m (I know the English + Premier League team tax applies), selling Ospina for that little would be bad business. I still think he’ll be on his way though.

Verdict: Depart

Wojciech Szczesny

The Juventus talk rumbles on, Gigi Buffon is talking as if the deal for the 27 year is as good as done. Again, I think £14m is far less than he’s worth in this current market, and as I’ve written a number of times – including this week – I believe we should keep him. I don’t think we will though.

Verdict: Depart

Mathieu Debuchy

Just eight appearances in the last two seasons, and in the last campaign he played for just 16 minutes. Obviously his career here hasn’t worked out the way he would have liked, in part due to injuries, but when he prioritised the 2016 Euros over staying with a team that was, at that stage, top of the table and fighting for a title, he made his position pretty clear.

Verdict: Depart. For free probably.

Carl Jenkinson

He didn’t play particularly well when he deputised for Hector Bellerin last season, but considering he was coming into the team off the back of a long injury absence I didn’t think he was as poor as some people said. He’s always willing and will give you 100% every time because of his love for the shirt, but it’s been clear for some time now that his future lies elsewhere.

Verdict: Depart

Kieran Gibbs

The signing of Kolasinac is the final nail in Gibbs’ coffin. For at least 18 months he’s been considered second best to Nacho Monreal and his career has hit something of a plateau. At 27 he’s still got something to offer in the Premier League, and I’m pretty sure he’ll have clubs interested in him. Perhaps not at the £15m mark, but I’d be shocked if he were an Arsenal player next season.

Verdict: Depart

Calum Chambers

The 22 year old had a good season at Boro, despite the fact they were relegated, and if Arsenal continue playing three at the back then there’s real depth required there. It feels like this system would suit him pretty well, certainly more than playing him at full-back, and it’s worth remembering he was a very exciting prospect when he joined. It’s too soon to call time on his Arsenal career, in my opinion.

Verdict: Stay

Jack Wilshere

I thought the move to Bournemouth was a foolish one really, a player coming back from long-term injury demanding a loan after not getting into the England squad didn’t really demonstrate clear thinking. However, a successful season there might well have helped his cause, and although he stayed fit for most of it, his performances weren’t really convincing and right at the end the injury curse struck again. There’s no mention of Arsenal in his social media profiles, he didn’t say a thing about the FA Cup win, and I suspect some bridges have been burned.

Verdict: Depart, if we can find someone willing to take the risk on such an injury prone player.

Lucas Perez

The Spaniard wants out and understandably so. Arsenal want a sale, valuing him at around €14m, but at the moment the only offers have come from Spain and they’ve been deemed unacceptable. We don’t want to loan him, but considering we paid £17m for him last summer if we have trouble offloading him at a price close to that then it’s our own fault. I think there’s almost no chance he stays either way, but it might be one that runs throughout the summer.

Verdict: Depart

Joel Campbell

The Costa Rican will fly into London then look for a connecting flight elsewhere. An underwhelming loan spell at Sporting Lisbon will have done nothing to convince Arsene Wenger that he’s a man who can contribute the way he would like, and I think a £4-5m sale to someone is inevitable.

Verdict: Depart

Theo Walcott

If Arsenal stick with the three at the back system, then it’s hard to see where exactly Walcott fits in. He’s got some resale value now, but we’ve been down this road with him before. He’s clearly a player the manager likes, he got 19 goals last season – an exceptional return from wide midfield – and given the other departures, I suspect Wenger will hang onto him.

Verdict: Stay (probably).

Olivier Giroud

There’s talk of him being used as part of a swap deal for Alexandre Lacazette (unlikely, swap deals are pretty rare), and of interest from West Ham. He’s been vocal about his desire for more playing time, but considering he signed a new deal last January, and his effectiveness from the bench – despite how much he might dislike the super-sub tag – means he’s unlikely to be allowed to leave unless there’s a ridiculous offer.

Verdict: Stay, but if he’s not playing much by January he’ll agitate with a World Cup on the horizon.

Of course there are other players linked with moves, like Hector Bellerin and Alexis Sanchez, but I’m really only touching on those players the club and the manager might be viewing as dispensable in some way. Those two are certainly not. The job of hanging onto the Chilean is one of the big challenges of this summer, but it’s one that’s unlikely to be resolved until he’s finished with the Confederations Cup.

Kudos to the Romanian Supporter’s Club who had this banner at Chile’s friendly with Romania yesterday (Romania won 3-2). It says: Alexis, stay at Arsenal and you will become a legend.

It’s unlikely to be the deciding factor, of course, but fair play!

Finally for today, the Premier League fixtures are being announced this morning at 9am. We’ll have coverage of that and all the day’s other news over on Arseblog News.

Have a good one.