Arsenal’s transfer problem: Who leaves in order to fix the “17” issue?

By Tony Attwood

We’ve been emphasising of late the need to keep an eye on the total number of players that Arsenal can register – not just the “25” players aged over 21 who can fit into the squad but particularly the number of Non-Home-Grown players which is limited by PL rules to 17.

With the general assumption that Sokratis and Terreira are Arsenal bound in adddition to Leno and Lichtsteiner, we have 18 such players and need to lose one.  Key candidates for the leaving are one of the goalkeepers, Lucas Pérez or Joel Campbell.

Of course that just takes us back to 17, with no room for further incoming, so losing more than one might be necessary.

Now the Daily Canon is telling us that “Lucas Perez will be at Arsenal for pre-season and his agent claims the forward wants to make it at the club.”  Which is ok, except that it reduces the number of options on who is to leave, just to balance the books.

And for once that Lucas story does seem to have a proper origination rather than being one bloggetta saying another is the source, with the other blaming the first one.   This is who say that they have contacted the player’s agency, Protio Sport, for comment on Lazio’s interest and Perez’s future.  They say he stays.

But as in previous years when we have tracked the magic 17 and 25 numbers, journalists just don’t seem the slightest bit interested in the legalities – only in the stories they can either find or invent.

Thus proceeding along this route we have The Independent which says that Fellaini from Manchester United to Arsenal is still an option and of course that would add further pressure on the HG section of the 25.

The Express has a devil-may-care attitude to the HG issue (which is a trifle odd since everywhere else in the newspaper it has an utterly totally pro-England screw the rest of the world vision) and it is still pushing the case of Ever Banega coming to Arsenal without any suggestion of who is going to leave to make room.  101 Great Goals also has the story.

Perhaps the Express will change its “Stop all immigration” editorial policy.

Football London however are quite adamant that Arsenal will not be signing Fellaini.  But they suggest N’Zonzi reckon could be on his way. as is Doucoure.

Meanwhile “Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund are locked in a two-way battle to sign the Juventus centre-back, Medhi Banatia” according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

So to summarise, if we assume for a moment that the four players everyone says have already signed have actually signed, (Leno, Lichtsteiner, Sokratis and Torreira) and the statement added that Lucas Pérez will stay we need to lose one before the registration date, and then one for each one of the extras we bring in.  The most likely candidates seem to me to be:

Petr Cech or David Ospina (can’t see both going at once) unless Arsenal really, really believe in the quality of one of the youngsters coming through.  Cech’s contract has now ended and we have not heard about what happens to him next.

Shkodran Mustafi got a lot of stick last season from some supporters and most commentators who found him the next easy target to attack and yet if you work through his figures, as with Xhaka, he was nowhere near the poor player that some suggested.

Saad Kolasinac came in with a bang but faded from the reckoning in the second half of the season, but he is the only backup we have to Monreal.

Joel Campbell whose contract has now ended.

I think it is easy to see two players who we are going to lose (although as I said we only need to lose one if we don’t buy any more NHGs).  That could be either one keeper or Campbell.  Lose both and we have space for one more non-HG.

But equally it could be that, taking this view it looks to me as if the signing of the four already said to be coming and the departure of one more NHG) will conclude the business for Arsenal.  Of course we might find some more under 21s who are not affected by these numbers, or another Home Grown player, where we do have space, but otherwise, I think that could be that.




10 Replies to “Arsenal’s transfer problem: Who leaves in order to fix the “17” issue?”

  1. More evidence for the claim that St. Ivan has made.

    “Those who know don’t talk. Those who talk don’t know.”

    All this speculation is boring.

    We wont know for certain if a player is leaving or coming until we read in

    ‘Thank you and goodbye”


    “Welcome to Arsenal.”

    In my opinion only then do we have a subject for a possible interesting discussion.

  2. Ho hum. As I posted before, Cech and Campbell are under contract for next year. Check the premier league website for the retained list with all arsenal players under contract or with an offer for next season.

  3. Cech and Campbell are still under contract, I think they boy expire next summer, not this.

  4. @ Mad Eye and Carl,

    Pert Cech’s contract is until 2019, I can’t find anything to show that Joel Campbell’s doesn’t expire this year – could you please provide me with a link to that update. Both are indeed on the retained player list for next year, as is Cohen Bramall whose contract I also think expires this month so I wouldn’t regard that list as definitive in terms of contract expiry dates.

  5. I think an argument has ensured as to whether Cech and Campbell contracts have expired or not at Arsenal. Therefore, I’ll love it if Mr Attwood will clarify further if their contracts have actually expired or not as commenters on this site have been arguing with him that their contracts have still a year on them to run. Its only when this clarification is done that we’ll be in a good position to give our opinions on the likely spaces thst will be available in the 17 none home grown list to allow Arsenal sign more new players this summer after they’ve signed 2 and are on the verge to sign 2 more to bring the signed to 4.

    But assuming Cech and Campbell contracts are up in the air this summer and with goalkeeper Martinez returning to the squad this summer too after his long season’s loan out deal, the onus is on Cech’s whose contract has expired to be denied a further stay at Arsenal this summer even if he has an option of a year to take to stay at Arsenal. He should be told to leave for his lackings that cost Arsenal many points in the PL last season. But Ospina who had a good day yesterday at the World Cup against Poland should stay. But who will be the leading goalkeeper starting all Arsenal PL games next season among Ospina, Martinez, Lenon and Macey who can’t be sent out on loan because of the 8 home grown issue of which he is a qualified memner for Atsenal? Ospina? But his lack of height is a concern.

  6. Mustafi in, but I can’t voice for Welbeck. But who knows he could still stay at Arsenal this summer if he can prove his worth at the World Cup for England when Gareth Southgate, the England manager gives him the chance to do so. But he might prove his worth for England when he has the chance as he is more of a successful England player than a successful Arsenal player in terms of the numbers of goals scored. Hmmm.

  7. 17 non-HG players:

    Čech/Ospina (only one of them will stay)









    That’s 16.

    I reckon Campbell is, sadly, off.

    That leaves us with a possibility to sign another non-HG player (with a note that Koscielny’s injury means someone can take his place until New Year, just like it was the case with Santi Cazorla last season) which could be a winger.

  8. Andrew

    Campbell’s current contract does indeed run till 30June18

    The rules around such players are that within 7 days of the last competitive match of the season if a club wishes to retain a player they have to make them a formal offer in writing. The player then has 28 days to either accept or decline the offer.The offer has to be on equal or better terms to their current deal. These in limbo players are often refereed to as being on the retained list as there names appear on a form sent by each club to the authorities detailing out of contract players who have been offered a new deal.
    Arsenal’s last game was against Huddersfield on 13 May.Pushing the time limits to the maximunArsenal will now be aware of what he has decided but if as you say he is shown as being retained Arsenal almost certainly did make him an offer.
    There is another little twist if he doesn’t accept Arsenal’s offer and doesn’t sign for another club before 1/8/2018 Arsenal will still have to pay him another months wages but that then means they will get they will get the $5-6 k daily sum FIFA pay clubs each day one of their players is still involved in the WC

  9. Andrew, I don’t know your source of contract information. I just know the premier league rules – rule u32 to be precise. I’d be surprised if Arsenal have made a mistake on their list they have to provide. It may be that they have exercised options to extend contracts.

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