Arsenal have confirmed the list of players being released when their contracts come to an end tomorrow.
Of the 12 names on the list, first team departures include, Per Mertesacker, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla.
The BFG is our new Academy manager, Wilshere is looking for a new club – possibly Fenerbahce? – having turned down a chance to stay, while Santi is training with Villarreal in the hope of resurrecting his career after 18 months out injured.
Recognisable amongst the youngsters are the likes of Vlad Dragomir, a mainstay in the under-23s last season, and Yassin Fortune, who joined from Lens at the same time as The Jeff.
Our resident Arsenal youth expert, Jeorge Bird, reported in June that Dragomir and Fortune were both offered new deals, so we can only assume they’ve turned down the chance to make a name for themselves at the Emirates.
In addition, the club have confirmed that professional contracts have been signed by teenagers Daniel Ballard, Dominic Thompson and Robbie Burton, while contract extensions have been penned by Deyan Iliev and Tolaji Bola.
It’s also a big day for eight other Academy prospects who’ve signed as scholars for the season ahead. Congratulations to Ryan Alebiousu, Ben Cottrell, Matthew Dennis, Stanley Flaherty, Alfie Matthews, Bukayo Saka, Thomas Smith and Joshua Martin.
It’s expected the club will announce the arrival of Sokratis from Borussia Dortmund in the next couple of days.