Arsenal about to show who is being dropped as we create the “25”

by Sir Hardly Anyone

Today Arsenal, along with all clubs playing in Europe, have to hand over their list of players for the Europa League and Champions League games this season.

As ever the list is in two parts.  The A list of 25 players who are over 21, of whom a minimum of eight must be locally trained.  The B list is for players who are under 21 and this can be as long as the club wishes.  Normally Arsenal list everyone aged over 18.

As for the Premier League, nothing of course is quite this simple.  The international window ended last night but there is a secondary window in which transfers can be made until 5pm on 16 October with clubs outside the Premier League but within England (and maybe Wales, I am not sure of that bit).

So as we have been raving about for weeks (with no one taking a blind bit of notice) for the main list of players aged over 21 we have too many foreign players.  Indeed we have 19, so two will have to go.

This means quite simply they can either be left in limbo (akin to the reality which Ozil and Guendouzi found themselves within in recent months) or they can be transferred.   Guendouzi was no help to us in terms of the number counting anyway, since he counted as an under 21 player so his loan is neither here nor there from that point of view.

So how will our list of 19 players from beyond the sceptred isles be reduced to 17 by this evening?

The only clue we have is that we need to have two goalkeepers in the list so players 1 and 2 must be in there.  Here is the total list

  1. Bernd Leno
  2. Alex Runarsson
  3. Cedric Soares
  4. Gabriel
  5. David Luiz
  6. Sead Kolasinac
  7. Pablo Mari
  8. Shkodran Mustafi
  9. Sokratis
  10. Kieran Tierney
  11. Dani Ceballos
  12. Granit Xhaka
  13. Mohamed Elneny
  14. Thomas Partey
  15. Nicolas Pepe
  16. Mesut Ozil
  17. Willian
  18. Alexandre Lacazette
  19. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Given that transfers are no longer possible save with sending the player to a Championship club for a loan the most likely candidates for suspended animation are

  1. Shkodran Mustafi
  2. Mesut Ozil

Now I am not putting Mustafi on the list because I think he is no good – quite the opposite.  I’ve actually been very impressed by the strength he showed in response to the endless onslaught on his character by those who think it is funny to knock Arsenal players.  He stood up to the remorseless criticism and came back a strong, useful player who in my view was most certainly not letting us down at all.

But he is injured and the lack of pressure for him to come back will be good.  Also of course when he is ready he will be able to play with the under 23s as an over age player, which again is a good way of ensuring that the injury is fully repaired.

Quite what the situation is with Ozil I can’t imagine.  If the manager doesn’t want to play him at all, then surely it would be better to loan him out with the other club paying part of his wages, or even transfer him for next to nothing.  But then, if he refuses to leave, that’s a matter for him.  I can’t imagine that position will do him any favours with any other team that wants him, but I presume he is wealthy enough not to worry about that.

I guess his treatment by the club shows other players that this manager will be resolute and not compromise – but whether that encourages players to come to Arsenal or not, I really don’t know.  Sometimes compromises are necessary for all sorts of long term reasons.

However the coming days and weeks will tell us what’s what with the current team.  The future can wait.

5 Replies to “Arsenal about to show who is being dropped as we create the “25””

  1. Truly a conundrum.

    But in Arteta’s shoes, I’d study Arsenal’s injury pattern over the years before making my cut.

    Arsenal’s injuries seem to rotate department by department. When it’s defence, two or three vital defenders will be down at same time. Ditto midfield and attack. Like recently, as many as four central defenders were out.

    And that contributed to presently having eight central defenders. Arteta must find a way of reducing them to six.

    In midfield, despite the arrival of Partey,just one injury and we go thin. Think of injury to Ceballos and Elneny! Arteta will be forced to use Ozil.

    Again, AFCON will be coming next year. Party, Elneny, Auba and Pepe will all be involved. Nketiah and Saka as well if they hadn’t chosen England over Ghana and Nigeria respectively.

    So, I’d cut off Sokratis and Mari for now…then wait till January and see who to drop for Mari.

  2. OT

    I see the BBC have now started the negative stories about how we handled the Partey transfer. Apparently Athletico are pissed off because we didn’t do something we didn’t have to do! So despite the fact that they chose to play hard ball and refused to negotiate the fee with us, us doing what was required is now a bad thing. It all reeks a little of bidding the buy-out sum for Suarez and the media bad mouthing us for that even though it was Liverpool! who were found to be the liars. Damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

    So now we’ve actually made another class signing, the media need to find something else to bad mouth us about even though we’ve done nothing wrong. Utterly pathetic on their part…….yet again.

  3. Yes Tai, I am in agreement with your opinion that the Arteta’s axe to annihilate 2 senior team Gunners from the 27 first teamers who he has in his first team squad this summer should fall on Pablo Mari and Martinelli for their injuries that won’t likely be healed until after December.

    But Sokratis Papathopolous should be spared of the axe falling on him during this unavoidable exercise being carried out at Arsenal by Mikel Arteta. But if Mari does get healed on or before the Oct 16 deadline date for doing business with the lower League clubs, I think Arteta should convince him to accept to go out on loan to any Championship promotion seeking club sides who want to take him. Otherwise he remains at the club redundant this summer imo.

    But Mesut Ozil for the top footballing quality in him but not for his offer to pay the wages of the made to be redundant Gunnersaurus as a ploy to make peace with Arteta and senior club’s bosses, should be retained in the final 25 man Arsenal official Premier League registration players list for the ongoing PL summer campaign.

    This is because as you’ve pointed out above, Arteta prioritising the interest of the team to win games and continue to be winning them is vital above any other issue that can be kept aside for the time being. And therefore he could need to unbanned him to resume playing for Arsenal due to one serious reason or the other that could crop up in the team and necessitating the recalling of him to resume action be taken when other adequate alternative in the team squad isn’t available to call upon for selection as this season’s campaign in the PL pans on where Arsenal are secretly gunning for the title win this season. A big reason for their signing of Thomas Partey on deadline day yesterday.

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