Clear indications of who will be dropped from the “25” on 1 September and the youngsters on the rise

Revised at 2.50pm

Tony Attwood has now been taken to lie down in a darkened room, and the revisions are produced by Dr Billy “the Dog” McGraw

Squad details for the friendlies before the season begins won’t tell us everything that is going on in the manager’s mind, but they give us a few clues which can be unravelled.  And these are interesting because they are the first indications of what we will see in the remaining 40 days before the transfer window makes the sound of tinkling glass and Sky Sports try to fill up eight hours with mindless pap.

Some of the factors revealed are fairly obvious:

Olivier Giroud is in the squad, so there is no immediate transfer to Everton, Marseilles or come to that West Ham or any other location that has been invented for him in recent weekis.

Mesut Ozil is also on the plane.   The new men Kolasinac and Lacazette are also going.

And the Ox is going.

Thus we can conclude (up to a point of course) that Mr Wenger is being true to his word in not wanting the Ox to leave, and feeling that there is a most regular place for him in the team.

So from this we start to get our first list of players who are going to be leaving Arsenal, or are going out on loan.  These seem to be…

  • Kieran Gibbs who has been tipped to be leaving all through the summer
  • Carl Jenkinson who failed to regain his place after the injury gained while playing for West Ham
  • Mathieu Debuchy who likewise had terrible luck from injury and never recovered to regain his place
  • Wojciech Szczesny who has been negotiating in Italy to stay on in that country if not with that team, after a superb season.  That also confirms that the three top keepers of last season will continue in those positions – which seems to put some doubt into the issue of Ospina leaving.  I thought that if he did, Szczesny would come back – but it seems not.
  • Lucas Perez is also staying behind as negotiations continue with Deportivo La Coruna which has been widely tipped by everyone and his brother in law.
  • Chuba Akpom returned to full training by February after a long term back injury, and then went to Brighton on loan where he was injured again and struggled to make any impression.  I suspect he will be lining up a season long loan to try and get the form back that we saw last summer.

Then we have the players who have got good excuses for not being there

  • Alexis Sanchez is not there but then he was never going to be having only just finished playing for Chile in Russia.  
  • Mustafi is in the same situation as Sanchez
  • Jack Wilshere and Gabriel have stayed behind as they are currently recovering from injury.   
  • Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Hector Bellerin have also been given an extra break after the Euro Under-21 Championships.
  • Joel Campbell is taking part in the Gold Cup tournament with his country.
  • Santi Cazorla.  There have been numerous quotes saying that Santi is never coming back because of his injury, but then Santi published pics of himself working hard in the gym.  It seems that the story about it being all over for him was made up!  Have you ever heard of such a thing?
  • Jeff Reine-Adelaide – still recovering from his injury.

Here’s the full list…

There are 25 all told and * indicates an under 21 player

Petr Cech (GK)
Emi Martinez (GK)
David Ospina (GK)
Krystian Bielik *
Cohen Bramall *
Francis Coquelin
Mohamed Elneny
Olivier Giroud
Alex Iwobi *
Sead Kolasinac
Laurent Koscielny
Alexandre Lacazette
Ainsley Maitland-Niles *
Donyell Malen *
Per Mertesacker
Nacho Monreal
Reiss Nelson *
Eddie Nketiah *
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Mesut Ozil
Aaron Ramsey
Theo Walcott
Danny Welbeck
Joe Willock *
Granit Xhaka

Thinking further of those not going, apart from Akpom we can also see that not on the plane are

  • Matt Macey- the fourth choice keeper
  • Gedion Zelalem – who was injured in the under 20 world cup.

I mention Macey because it is conventional for the club to have three goal keepers who have a chance of first team games – the fourth keeper normally being an under 21 player.  Macey held that position last season but is now too old to qualify for under 21 status and we have no shortage of players coming up to replace him.  So I guess he won’t get a place in the “25” and thus will be leaving the club.  Although, of course we only need three keepers on the tour to Australia and China, so there’s no absolute indicator as to what will happen vis a vis keeper number four.

The stand out young man for me from the youngsters list on the tour is Cohen Bramall who we signed from Hednesford Town in the Northern League Premier Division.  Bramall was recommended to Arsenal by Brian McDermott, and claimed that he had his sights set on breaking into the first team squad when he was plucked from obscurity and put straight into training with the big boys.

So the rest of the young hopefuls list is made up of

  • Ainsley Maitland-Niles
  • Alex Iwobi
  • Joe Willock
  • Donyell Malen
  • Edward Nketiah
  • Krystian Bielik
  • Reiss Nelson

Now we can also see the squad shaping up.  17 over age players on the flight plus

  • Alexis Sanchez 
  • Joel Campbell
  • Shkodran Mustafi
  • Jack Wilshere
  • Gabriel 
  • Santi Cazorla.

That makes 23.  Now we add in the three who played in the internationals this summer but are all now over age, (I believe) and so have to be counted in the 25…

  • Rob Holding
  • Calum Chambers
  • Hector Bellerin 

And that makes 26.  Still too many.  Damn.

Any more mistakes?

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24 Replies to “Clear indications of who will be dropped from the “25” on 1 September and the youngsters on the rise”

  1. ben Sheaf may not be that disappointed as not being picked as 4th choice goalie – especially as he’s an outfield player

  2. Joel Campbell’s excuse for not being on the pre-season tour plane is that he is taking part in the
    2017 Gold Cup with his Country.

  3. Joel Campbell is on international duty with Costa Rica at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. He’ll likely play against Canada on Wednesday.

  4. Also, Gedion Zelalem is out for 4 months or so with a torn ACL, which he got playing for USA in the U-20 World Cup.

  5. Bramall is over-21 (born 2/4/1995), so that’s 18 players over-21 on the Tour. Also, with Mustafi added to those injured and still on holidays, we will have 26 players. Counting Campbell and Toral with the Reserves, we need to move on at least 10 players by 1st September, more if we buy additional players in the meantime.

  6. The intriguing bit is whether we are preparing for 3-4-3 or 4-2-3-1. Given the success at the end of the season 3-4-3 looks likely. We now have many excellent centre banks, including Monreal as a left sided part of a 3. Kolasinac and Bellerin look like first choice wing backs but if Gibbs, Debuchy and Jenkinson go who would be the second string wing backs?

  7. @Mad Eye.

    “…second string wing backs?”
    Ox and Iwobi?

    Iwobi– IMO needs to be in the 25.
    Like Ox did early-on in his AFC career, he shows flashes. And has the tools to do what Ox has done at wingback.
    This season there are games for him to develop there (behind Kolasinac).


  8. It is rather curious that you have placed Alex Iwobi under “young hopefuls”; for a lad who’s been in the first team for two seasons now.

  9. If anyone would like to take up the job of writing articles for Untold and doing the editing and publishing, there’s clearly a vacancy.

    The pay is zero, you get lots of abuse, the occasion death threat, so it is quite good fun really.

  10. Tony,

    Actually I thought it was an excellent and thorough article that, based on the large number of players, had fewer omissions than I would expect.

    I think the comments you have received were to make the article complete, rather than being intended as any kind of criticism. I will certainly be bookmarking the article to refer back to as we develop the squad.

    So thank you for your diligent work.


  11. Mjc we’re only messing – no offence taken. The corrections have been made and I think the article is slightly more accurate now. If there are still errors, we can get them corrected so that the article can be used as matters continue.

    Anyone like to verify if the number is correct now – that if Campbell comes back to the squad and Santi is included on the grounds that his injury is recovering (contrary to popular belief) we are still one over the numbers?

  12. Gedion Zalalem suffered a serious injury while playing for the USA in May. It will keep him out for a number of months.

  13. I think there remain one more signing that to be concluded in Lemar that will also come in into the 1st half of the 2017-18 season list of 25 man senior squad.

    My projected final 1st half of next season’s 25 man squad list:

    Cech, Ospina & Martinez….(3)

    Mertesacker Koscielny, Mustafi, Gabriel, Chambers, Holding & Niles….(7)

    Bellerin, Monreal & Kolasnic….(3)

    Ramsey, Xhaka, Elneny & Le Coq….(4)

    Wide Players:
    Walcott, Iwobi & Lemar….(3)

    Mid Front Two:
    Ozil & Sanchez-400k/w?(2) hmmm.

    Trident Strikers:
    Lacazette, Giroud & Welbeck….(3)

    All totalling 25 in numbers. Let’s see how near to the Le Prof’s final list I’ll be when it’s out on that 1st September.

  14. Hi. What do you think will happen with Jon Toral (back from loan at Rangers, now over 21)? He always seems to get forgotten in these squad lists.

    Slightly OT, I have yet to see any comment comparing the cost/value of Lacaz and Lukaku, and probably soon Morata. Good business by Arsenal, or is the lumbering ex-Evertonian really that much better? Never been that impressed with him when I’ve seen him at the Emirates.

    There. Now there is a comment!

  15. @Max Kerr

    Lukaku’s stats are skewed, considering his total of 25 PL goals last season.
    In his scoring 4 goals in a match vs Bournemouth– and 3 goals vs Sunderland in another.
    With 18 goals across 36 games?
    Giroud was the better value striker, albeit part-time.

    Least distance covered per 90mins – Premier League 2015/16:
    Player Avg distance covered Rank
    Romelu Lukaku 8.6km 503rd (last)

    Lukaku ran the least distance per 90 mins– of ANY PL player last season.


  16. As from the PC given in Sydney, Wenger will still prefer the 3-4-2-1 system, but may revert to the old 4-2-3-1 set up in certain matches depending on player availability.

    It would be nice to integrate Macey as the 3rd choice keeper. And Martinez needs more playing time, so good if he could be loaned to another club.

    If Gibbs goes, then Bramall could take a spot in the 25 as cover. He could gain massive experience in the “smaller” games. In this case, can we “suspend” Carzola’s registration in the first half of the season and get him back on board from January?

  17. If the rumours about Santi are true and I stress ‘if’ then I doubt he’ll be named in the squad.

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