by Andrew Crawshaw
So far Arsenal have confirmed the departure of 10 players following the expiry of their contracts. Whilst many are well known, I have added my thoughts on the youngsters who you might not be as familiar with.
Vontae Daley-Campbell a highly thought of Right Back and a mainstay of our U18 team last season, has not signed a professional contract with the club and leaves following the expiry of his 2 year scholarship contract. This has thought to be likely for a while as he appears to have had a professional contract on the table for some time which he has declined to sign. It is thought that there have been a number of German teams interested in signing him and I have also seen rumours linking him with Celtic. He will be a loss for the club and may well develop into a real talent rather than a talented youngster with potential.
Bayli Spencer-Adams Centre Back is a second player for the U18s who hasn’t been rewarded with a professional contract. This decision seems to have been made by the Club not the player as they believe they have sufficient cover in central defenceat the U23 level.
James Hilson is an U18 goalkeeper who has been on loan from Reading to provide cover at U18 level. His loan spell has finished and he has left Arsenal, he has also been released by Reading so will be looking for a new club.
Cohen Bramall Left Back. Cohen joined us from non-league Hednesford Town in January 2017 in what was something of a Cinderella story. Alas real life didn’t turn out like the fairy tale and he failed to demonstrate the basic talent required for football at the highest level. Extremely fast but it took a long time for him to get to grips with the defensive side of the game although he undoubtedly did improve with time. No competitive games for the first team, 18 for the U23s with one goal. Due to a quirk in the FA rules, his late arrival into professional football meant that he did not qualify as homegrown despite being English.
Petr Cech Goalkeeper Retired and due to rejoin Chelsea in a management capacity. Needs no further words from me
Charlie Gilmour Centre Midfield leaves us as a 20 year old having represented both England and Scotland at youth level. His only first team appearance came in our Europa League match against Vorskla Poltava earlier this year. A long standing Rangers fan, it wouldn’t be a great surprise to see them being his next club.
Stephan Lichtsteiner Right Back. Signed on a one year contract to provide backup/support for Hector Bellerin. In truth he never really looked up to the task and the fact that we finished with a young midfielder playing there shows that with hindsight it wasn’t the best of decisions.
Julio Pleguezuelo Centre Back/full Back. Julio joined us from Barcelona at the same time as Hector Bellerin and whilst he has been a mainstay of our U18 and U23 teams usually as captain, he hasn’t reached the same heights. Not the tallest of Centre Backs at 5ft 11in, he is calm and composed on the ball and is a leader on the pitch. As our first team seem to be lacking players that display these qualities it is something of a surprise to me that he has left the club. Julio has already signed for FC Twente and I wish him all the best in the next phase of his career.
Aaron Ramsey Centre Midfielder. This departure seems to have been driven byUnai Emery as it appeared earlier in the season that Aaron had an acceptable contract on the table which was withdrawn by the club. Good luck to him in Italy.
Danny Wellbeck Striker. His time with the club has been plagued by injury, when fit he has been a useful addition to our strike force albeit never prolific in terms of goals.