The Dilemma in Moving Arsenal’s Deadwood

August 16, 2017

There are sixteen days until the summer transfer window in England closes. As we look across the jagged landscape that is the Arsenal roster, we still wonder whether or not there will be any more new signings. But more importantly we look and wonder, when the hell will someone be going out?

When we assess the roster, It’s clear that there are players that need to be moved. Forgetting for a moment the nightmare that will be the summer of 2018, Arsenal simply have too many players on their roster for this season. Players have to move.

Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it?

As the summer is developing, it’s not as simple. A few years ago when we carried the likes of Denilson, Song, Eboue, Bendtner and the like, Arsenal had a hard time shifting these players because of the contracts that didn’t befit their ability.

In the aftermath we heard about a revised pay structure at Arsenal that would hopefully prevent the shifting of surplus players more easily. When we look at the roster it seems more like we kept the undeserving players at good wages but gave the quality players even bigger wages.

Now, with the need to trim the roster and make room for any other incoming players, Arsenal find themselves with limited time to move players and we find that those players because they are getting paid quite well at Arsenal aren’t likely to move any time soon.

Some of the players we are talking about:

  • Debuchy (contract until 2019) with a value of €3.5-5 million
  • Gibbs (contract until 2018) with a value of €10 million
  • Gabriel (contract until 2019) with value of €13 million
  • Chambers (contract until 2020) with a value of €14 million
  • Jenkinson (contract until 2018) with a value of €5 million
  • Elneny (contract until 2020) with a value of €10 million
  • Campbell (contract until 2018) with a value of €6 million

All values courtesy of

I’ve included some of the players that are considered deadwood and some of the players that have been linked with moves as they are possibly considered surplus to needs (Elneny and Chambers.) I haven’t looked at those big players with contracts that are expiring next season like Oxlade-Chamberlain or Ramsey and even Wilshere.

But the fact is this, Arsenal are once again dealing with a set of circumstances of their own making. Their payment structure to retain certain players is making it look like they will not be able to get rid of these players and that may force their hand on letting a player like Ox go.

The roster size is too big. They may also be wary of the cost-controls the Premier League has enforced for the last few years. Something has to give.

Arsenal have to accept that they have screwed up in how they have structured some of these contracts and paid these players. And part of that has to be considering taking a smaller transfer fee to assist other clubs in affording the contracts these players may be looking for.

Part of the reason this may be hard is no Champion’s League money coming in, so Arsenal by reducing fees could have a year where they make a loss. But should that really be a concern? We’re supposedly the most or one of the most cash-rich clubs in the world.

If we’re not spending the money on big signings, shouldn’t we be using the funds to help cover any potential losses in player sales?

It’s clear that many of these players won’t have long-standing roles at Arsenal. Jenkinson, Campbell, and Debuchy are hardly heard from or seen these days. Chambers is the victim of having too many players in front of. Gibbs, deserves more playing time but again is the victim of too many players in front of him.

If these players aren’t going to play for us (with any regularity), then why are we so reluctant to create an environment that allows them to go play for anyone else.

Regardless of what the plans are for the rest of the roster and the starting XI, these players with maybe the exception of Gabriel, Elneny and Chambers, are surplus to requirements at Arsenal and need to be moved on. It’s once again, the ineptitude of the people in charge at Arsenal, to accept the realities of the market and do what is necessary to remedy the situation.

We’re all worried about whether or not any quality signings come in. Without the movement of the surplus players, we won’t be able to bring anyone in and it will result in a promising summer ending in failure.


  1. Chris - August 16, 2017 at 09:31

    Interesting story, yet you overlook the fact that there is a necessity by FA rules to have english – or considered english players in the team. If I am not wrong, for a 25 player team (apart from young players), you need 7 british (or considered british) players.

    Gibbs, Chambers and Jenkinson all fit that profile.

    Having them leave means a ‘non-british’ player of the 25 has to leave as well unless of course you find a replacement. I guess Walker’s transfer from Spurs to City was so highly valued also because he is british.

    As for Debuchy, he got maimed during a game, and never found his level. Can’t just dump him. Campbell was hurt playing. Same issue. In hindsight, their contracts should have not been signed…but then how do you know if a player will be as good as he promises to be and stay healty ?


Leave a Reply

About The Author


Founder, editor, writer, designer of When he’s not following the Arsenal,he’s busy coaching various age groups the right way to play the beautiful game

I am neurotic. Well, Arsenal tends to do that to you and due to this maddening love affair I have with this team across the sea, I rise and fall like everyday (given our current state some times more than 5 times a day.) I love this team and hope it comes through even slightly with this blog.

If I am not here blogging away, I am either working or writing coaching sessions. All in all, I'm loving it. UTA!

Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved