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Arsenal set to cull ten over 21 players from the first team rosta..

By Tony Attwood

While most clubs have problems finding eight home grown players to fit into the list that makes up the 25 permitted players aged over 21, Arsenal’s problem this summer is in whittling down the number of over 21s to 25.  My earlier post suggested only a modest bit of pruning has to go on, but data supplied by Andrew, who keeps a track of such things, suggest that there is more of an issue than I thought.

In fact, as the list below shows, Arsenal now have 37 over 21 year olds.  I have set out the full list below and indicated in orange the players that I think could be removed from the squad.  Most I suspect will be sold but some may be loaned.

No  Player Contract Expiry International Registration Squad No Position First Team Squad Home Grown
1 Aaron Ramsey 6/30/2019 Wales 8 Mid Y Y
2 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 6/30/2018 England 15 Mid Y Y
3 Carl Jenkinson 6/30/2018 England 25 RB Y Y
4 Danny Welbeck 6/30/2019 England 23 Forward Y Y
5 Emiliano Martinez 6/30/2021 Argentina 26 GK Y Y
6 Francis Coquelin 6/30/2021 France 34 DM Y Y
7 Jack Wilshere 6/30/2018 England 10 Mid Y Y
8 Kieran Gibbs 6/30/2018 England 3 LB Y Y
9 Matt Macey 6/30/2018 England 54 GK   Y
10 Theo Walcott 6/30/2019 England 14 Forward Y Y
11 Wojciech Szczesny 6/30/2018 Poland 1 GK Y Y
12 Calum Chambers 6/30/2020 England 21 CB Y Y
13 Chuba Akpom 6/30/2019 England 32 Forward Y Y
14 Cohen Bramall 6/30/2018 England 85 LB   Y
15 Deyan Iliev   Macedonia 50 GK   Y
16 Glen Kamara   Finland 47 DM   Y
17 Hector Bellerin 6/30/2023 Spain 24 RB Y Y
18 Jon Toral   Spain 57 CM   Y
19 Rob Holding 6/30/2020 England 16 CB Y Y
20 Alexis Sanchez 6/30/2018 Chile 7 Forward Y N
21 David Ospina 6/30/2019 Colombia 13 GK Y N
22 Gabriel 6/30/2019 Brazil 5 CB Y N
23 Granit Xhaka 6/30/2021 Switzerland 29 CM Y N
24 Joel Campbell 6/30/2018 Costa Rica 28 Forward Y N
25 Laurent Koscielny 6/30/2020 France 6 CB Y N
26 Lucas Pérez 6/30/2020 Spain 9 Forward Y N
27 Mathieu Debuchy 6/30/2018 France 2 RB Y N
28 Mesut Özil 6/30/2018 Germany 11 Mid Y N
29 Mohamed Elneny 6/30/2020 Egypt 35 Mid Y N
30 Nacho Monreal 6/30/2019 Spain 18 LB Y N
31 Olivier Giroud 6/30/2019 France 12 Forward Y N
32 Per Mertesacker 6/30/2018 Germany 4 CB Y N
33 Petr Cech 6/30/2018 Czech Republic 33 GK Y N
34 Santi Cazorla 6/30/2018 Spain 19 Mid Y N
35 Shkodran Mustafi 6/30/2021 Germany 20 CB Y N
36 Takuma Asano 6/30/2020 Japan   Forward Y N
37 Saad Kolasinac 6/30/2022 Bosnia Y N

In that list I have removed two goalkeepers (Macey and Ospina), in the belief that Szczesny will return to the club.   With regret I’ve moved out Campbell as he didn’t seem to set the League alight last season with Sporting.  Takuma Asano doesn’t yet have permission to play in England.  Sadly I have included Chuba Akpom in the list of those leaving as I thought before his injury he was really coming on well last season – but unless he has come on leaps and bounds, he’s not going to force his way into the squad.

Of course all this does is get us back to 25 players of whom 11 are home grown, which means that for anyone new to join the 25 we have to get rid of someone on the list above, although we can exchange up to three home grown players for foreign players without any concern.

Then there are the under 21s.  All of these players are home grown, a good pointer for the future, and any of them could play for the club next season without any impact on the “25”.

Picking youth players who will step up is hard, but I would say that subject to injury, and assuming that they are not overcome by a desire to play in a first team regularly now, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Alex Iwobi (already there of course), Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Reiss Nelson and Chris Willock could all find a place.  The latter though has not signed a new contract however and might be off.

No  Player Contract Expiry International Registration Squad No Position Home Grown
 1 Ainsley Maitland-Niles England 55 CM/Wing Y
2 Alex Iwobi 6/30/2020 Nigeria 17 Forward/MF Y
3 Ben Sheaf England 65 CM Y
4 Chris Willock 6/30/2017 England 68 CM/Wing Y
5 Dan Crowley England 38 AM Y
6 Gedion Zelalem USA 40 Mid Y
7 Jeff Reine-Adelaide 6/30/2020 France 31 Forward Y
8 Krystian Bielik Poland 37 Mid Y
9 Marc Bola England 38 CB/LB Y
10 Reiss Nelson England 76 Forward Y
11 Stephy Mavididi England 57 Forward Y
12 Tafari Moore England 51 RB Y
13 Tolaji Bola England 39 CB/LB Y
14 Vlad Dragomir Romania 43 CM Y
15 Yassin Fortune France 45 Forward Y

So the betting has to be that of the 12 players who are highlighted in the over 21 list a fair number will be sold and the rest will be out on loan.

But of course that just takes us back to 25.  Bring in any more over 21 year olds and then more players from that top list will go.   I guess Per Mert might be next despite his brilliant performance in the cup final – if so let’s hope he stays as a coach to pass on his knowledge to others.

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17 comments to Arsenal set to cull ten over 21 players from the first team rosta..

  • Matt

    Just had a quick look down at the 1st team squad and 14 players are out of contract at the end of next year.

    Including some of our best players, that doesn’t look good to me.

    Why don’t we try and sign these players up earlier?

  • Gord

    If we signed them earlier, people wouldn’t have anything to complain about.

    Tony wrote an article about the England U20 winning the U20 World Cup. While it is true that Maitland-Niles was part of that team and came on in the final as a substitute, it seems that very few articles about the England U20 team and that final game actually mention Maitland-Niles.

  • Arkos Assuncao

    lucas perez is leaving…you and every other arsenal fan on the planet know this

    Might want to move Sanchez from there as well….

  • Matt

    Do they mention all of the of the other players that played? It’s not often players get a real mention in a report unless they contributed with a goal or an assist during the game.

  • Gord

    I didn’t look for that.

    Sometimes, you see an article on a tournament final, and it is just that game. Other times, it rolls in other stuff from the tournament.

    And then there are the odd articles, where the title talks about a particular game, but the article is only 3 sentences long and it summarises every game in the universe that day.

  • Arkos, your ability as a mindreader leaves something to be desired. I suggest you don’t apply for that sort of job at a fairground.

  • WilliamB

    Szczesny going to Juve but will need to be replaced by new 3rd choice keeper (possibly from within).
    Chambers required for cover at CB especially if sticking with 3 at back (given injury record – Gabriel still crocked)
    Perez (unloved) gone.
    Walcott & Wiltshire (big salaries & lost place/loaned so already deemed surplus to requirement) likely to be let go/pushed out once ‘big name’ (no giggling) new recruits have been secured
    Which with Kolasinac brings Wenger up to his magic 2-3 signings pa limit

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I think Rob Holding’s near excellent performance for Arsenal last season when he was called upon to play when there was shortage of centrebacks personnel in the Arsenal’s back three should be rewarded early with a contract extension by two more years. His current deal runs until 2020 i.e. in 3 years time before it will expire.

    By the way, Apart of Ashely Cole, which other Arsenal Under21 or youth player from the Arsenal academy schools has made it to the top level of the game and remained playing at the top save Jack Wilshere who looks he could be the second graduate Gunner from the Arsenal academy schools that made it to the top in recent times. But he hasn’t look he’ll stay playing at the top level for long due to his continuing picking up injuries unabated. Oxchambo who of recent scored a goal for England against Scoland in a world cup qualifier in Scotland looks to be another Arsenal’s youth school graduate that has made it to the top but he has to keep fit and remain fit and maintain consistency at the top level of the game to remain playing there at the top always. I think Theo Walcott is another Arsenal’s youth schools graduate who can be said has made it to the top level of the game at one time for country. But since Danny Rose of Tottenham Hotspurs gave him an ACL at the Ems in an FA Cup tie, he has receded from being top for country to become lowly top for club.

    Then, which next youth or Arsenal academy schools graduate should be counted on to make it to the top level of the game for club and country at the senior level? Iwobi? I don’t think he’s serious enough to be counted upon. For, he has appeared to have put enjoyment first before hard work to first make it before he can start flitring with enjoyment. He flopped for the Super Eagles of Nigeria at Uyo against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa last Saturday when Nigeria lost 0-2 to South Africa in an Afcon qualifier. Where as, the Super Eagles have never lost a competitive match to the Bafana bafana for the 25 years the Bafana Bafana started playing against the Super Eagles. I think the Nigerian football federation president, Amaju Pinnik and the Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr should all resign or be fired by the Nigerian government through it’s Sport Minister irrespective of any opposition to their sacking by Fifa if they fail to resign. Should the government and the Sports ministry fail to take decisive action on Amaju Pinnik and Gernot Rohr, Nigeria may not qualify again for the third time running to play in the next Fifa world cup tourney in Russia and in the Afcon tourney taking place in Cameroun.

  • OlegYch

    Gord, i think AMN had an injury in the third game and subsequently didn’t feature much

  • Gord

    Thanks Oleg.

    That would explain him only coming on as a substitute. It doesn’t explain why all the other young Lions are full of promise and worth writing about in terms of winning the final, and why he should be ignored.

    I hope his Mom doesn’t go beat up all the sports people. Not that they don’t deserve it. But she just might do it. I hope she is proud. Her son is doing well.

  • Rexington

    Hi Tony great write up but I think holding and Bramall still count as u21 as they only turned 21 after 1st January this year according to fa rules.

  • Leeroysgooners

    Why is my comment still awaiting moderation bs didn’t know we were in the US

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Gord – 12/06/2017 at 2:47 pm –

    ‘If we signed them earlier, people wouldn’t have anything to complain about.’

    Gets my vote for the best comeback retort of the close season !

    It fully , truly and properly encapsulates the stupidity that abounds in most of those moronic posters that tens to infest this blog.
    And I’m sure most of them are very , very poor poker players ! And obviously very poor negotiators.

  • Leeroy, if you read the comments page you’ll see that we do have fairly strict rules on what we publish and much of it is done automatically. I have checked back and looked, and yours was knocked out because you used an unflattering nickname for one of our players. This is something that is often done by supporters of other clubs who come on here with their anti-Arsenal message, and by members of the aaa who bring in an anti-Wengerian message. Anyone who comes on and debates without abuse or name calling is generally published, but because of the automatic nature of the system (given the huge numbers of comments we get each day) can always mean that you can get caught out.

  • saint

    Tony unless your name is menace who can get away with saying and abusing anyone he wants and gets away with it.

  • saint

    I have a sneaky feeling that maybe Tony and Menace are the same person. It would make perfect sense as why else would a poster who breaks all untolds rules gets to continue on here to abuse, ridicule and threaten other posters without so much as a warning. I suppose though someone who blames every defeat arsenal have ever had on referees and deflects the blame from our manager is someone who is valued on this tin pot site.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Always trust your ‘sneaky feelings ‘ -they often get you very far . Maybe not in the direction you would have wanted and probably not far enough for others !