In the summer transfer window, Arsenal started a mass clearout of their ageing and underperforming players and even many young ‘promising’ starlets that were expected to be the future of the club. There were also quite a few youngsters, like Oxlade-Chamberlain and Chris Willock, that refused to sign new contracts to force moves away.
But some that Wenger wanted to sell did not get sold, like Debuchy, Jenkinson, Lucas Perez, Olivier Giroud, Chuba Akpom, Joel Campbell, and maybe Shkrodan Mustafi… But Wenger still managed to make a profit in the summer despite the arrivals of Lacazette and Kolasinac.
So is Wenger now continuing with his clearout? Theo Walcott looks nailed on to go and Olivier Giroud is waiting for a good offer, Sanchez and Debuchy are still desperate to leave, and now we hear that Wenger is keen to let Francis Coquelin go as well, with Valencia the favourites to sign him at the moment.
Wenger’s rotation policy doesn’t seem to have pleased most players, and Wenger said that the formation changes had left Coquelin out in the cold. The boss said last week about the French midfielder: “He is 100 per cent professional, Francis, and an example for everybody, and all the young players. Life has been a bit unfair with him, it’s true.
“That’s also down a bit to our change in system – he paid a heavy price for that – but overall he’s in a very good shape.
“We’ll have games, many games now, so that will help him keep his focus and maintain his quality at a very high level.”
One of those games should have been the FA Cup game against Forest, and Coquelin’s omission from the team sort of confirms that he is on the transfer list, but how many more is Wenger looking to offload, and how can he afford to replace them?
Could it be Wenger is just trying to build up funds for his successor to use when he arrives in the summer?