Thursday, September 29, 2022

The great Arsenal January clear-out of 2021

People’s opinions of what Arsenal have done during this transfer window will, obviously, differ.

However, there’s no question that the club have been busy, doing a significant number of deals to trim the squad and add a little here and there.

For the sake of discussion, and to have a record of it, here is the full list of what Arsenal did during the January transfer window in 2021.


Jan 1st: Sead Kolasinac joins Schalke on loan * (deal actually announced on Dec 31st).

Jan 4th: William Saliba joins Nice on loan.

Jan 8th: Matt Macey joins Hibernian.

Jan 20th: Sokratis contract termination announced – he subsequently joins Olympiacos.

Jan 24th: Mesut Ozil joins Fenerbahce.

Feb 1st: Matt Smith recalled from Swindon loan, joins Charlton on loan.

Feb 1st: Zech Medley joins Kilmarnock on loan.

Feb 1st: Joe Willock joins Newcastle on loan.

Feb 1st: Shkodran Mustafi joins Schalke.

Feb 1st: Ainsley Maitland-Niles joins West Brom on loan.


Jan 7th: Omar Rekik signs from Hertha Berlin.

Jan 22nd: Mat Ryan joins on loan from Brighton.

Jan 27th: Martin Odegaard joins on loan from Real Madrid.

So a busy month by any standards, and when you add the likes of Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, Dinos Mavropanos, Emi Martinez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who all departed in one way or another before the previous deadline in October, it shows just how much churn there has been in a pretty short period of time.

It’s clear that significant efforts have been made to streamline the squad, for various reasons, and while there’s still a long way to go this season, it’s hard not to look ahead to the summer to see how we’re going to try and improve things in the market.

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Aussie Henry

The right moves in my opinion, but a bit of a shame we couldn’t generate any transfer fees. Also surprised that Nelson wasn’t sent on loan, probably the only negative.


I still think Arsenal can save and generate around 20mn in loan fee and wages they don’t have to pay, while running a lot of deadwood and sending exciting prospects like Joe on loan. I just don’t see why we didn’t do a lot of this in the last summer window ? We were obviously overloaded with centre backs and we could have generated actual teacher fee for Mustafi and saved more on a lot of wages


transfer* fee. Stupid autocorrect


I don’t think it was for lack of trying that they didn’t sell Mustafi in the last transfer window ( or the one or two before).


Who’d buy Mustafi I wonder? Like several others it appears that we paid him to leave in the end.


Dunno the details. I’d hope that we didn’t pay him off, but agreed to terminate the contract. He’ll get a wage and an opportunity to play ahead of summer internationals


Who cares?

We’ve finally got rid of the clown. Rejoice.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Shalke would have bought him.

Dave Cee

Musti was injured during the summer window, makes it even harder to sell him


I read it as transfer fee the first time. I guess sometimes the eye sees what it expects to see.

Artetas Assistant

I read teacher fees


i wondered what Teachers fee were and stopped just short of googling it

Red Blue

Given the shenanigans around Raul, Huss and the burden falling squarely on Edu, I think time and effort constraints may have been bigger than we thought. If they reasoned out that squad strengthening was the priority… even if it meant leaving “first team” players out of the “first team” registration…. then it explains a lot – near-deadline day moves for Guendouzi and Torreira, last day Partey, missed opportunities for Mustafi and Saliba. There may have been a second layer on youngsters – run them in the Capital cup and Europa qualifiers in first half, send them out for minutes in… Read more »


I guess it was more of a case of cutting losses.

I’ve no idea the salary savings incurred, but I imagine it’s fairly hefty.

Also, getting the youngsters on loan either gives us a) better competition next season or b) assets with increased value (in theory!). So there’s some more money there.

All in all, the best of a bad job and a good step forward culturally in my opinion.


It’s pretty common practice in many sports around the world (particularly in USA) to terminate contracts early at a mutually agreeable fee. It allows the player to move on and play, the team to move on and fill the roster with needed players. Basically, a way to save a losing situation. The problem for Arsenal has been the scale of it. We simply need to be better in the transfer market. My concern is that we scaled back scouting at a time when that should be our focus – identification of young talent (16-25 age range). It can maybe be… Read more »


This is basically only the NFL. Contracts are not guaranteed in the NFL, they are in every other major North American sports league. It’s basically impossible to get rid of a bad contract in the NHL, MLB or NBA, and all of those leagues except baseball have a salary cap.


Some high profile NBA examples:
Dwayne Wade (maybe you’ve heard of him).
PJ Brown.
Sam Cassel.
DeMare Carroll.
Joe Johnson.
Brandon Wright.
Joakim Noah.
Andrew Bogut.


Let the guy choose his own career direction, it’s obvious he wants to fight for his place here at Arsenal, I’m sure he’s aware of the possible lack of game time that might come with it, but if he’s happy with the choice he’s made then we might as well be too… for one there’s no point in sending a developing player to an environment where he wont really feel as engaged as he is at Colney, and two, it’s nice to have a young talented lad provide depth to the squad and be happy to do so even if… Read more »


Not to mention that it sends a positive message and makes it really clear where he sees his future if the club will have him… and he’s young enough to still develop into a proper gem.

Johnny 4 Hats

I really think the AMN loan is big a mistake without a replacement. Tierney – very injury prone. Bellerin – injury prone. Cedric – injury prone. I just don’t understand the value in this unless we have a replacement coming in. And even then, are they going to be better than a player who was arguably man of the match in the semi and the final of the fa cup last season? I feel like some players need to be motivated in a unique manner. You saw it with Alli in the Sp*rs documentary. Jose keeps saying “you’re fucking lazy”… Read more »


AMN is going to sit on the bench unless 3 of the 4 are going to be injured – Bellerin, Cedric, Tierney and Saka as they are all ahead of him in the full back positions. Probability of 3 being injured at the same time aren’t too high for the next 4 months. If AMN doesn’t get the minutes, which Arteta can’t promise, his already dimnishing Euro chances will fade away completely. And to top it off, we will have a demotivated AMN whose value will be lesser than today if he continued with Arsenal. If he storms the league… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

Yeah, we could seriously dampen our attack and bring Saka back. But again, seems a little counterproductive when we had a good option there that we’ve let go away for no other reason than to get their value up.

This obsession with AMN’s value seems frankly ridiculous to me. As does his desire for playing in the euros. We’ve got a hurricane of games coming up and having a useful and adaptable player like Ainsley would be a big positive for our squad.

Maybe there’s more to this. Maybe there’s been a fallout. That would make more sense to me.

A Different George

What do you do if the player, determined to play for his national team and unable to get minutes domestically, insists on being loaned (or sold)? You can refuse, but then you have an unhappy player, and perhaps a player whose friends in the changing room think he has been treated unfairly and that the club might do the same to them. If the player is crucial as a backup, perhaps you take that risk (with the additional incentive that he will get some minutes and might force his way into the side). But if he is “in case of… Read more »

Old but Gold

Injury prone? All players get injured it’s just a fact of football life. AMN does not want to sit about ‘waiting’ to play and he does not want to be a FB or WB, he wants to play in his preferred MF position.

That being the case, we will never get the best from him if we keep messing with him. His last game shiwed that.

Var Will Solve The Problem

AMN will want what he wants. Club needed to be ruthless and should have kept him without a proper back up for Tierny. We shouldnt judge him based on his last performance. Kid was holding his own against the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City last year. Just needed a bit more game time…probably less than what Willian gets.
Saw the welcome pic of him in an Albion shirt. Looked so sad!…makes u wanna cancel the loan and save him from the horror of fat Sam!


But, in our more progressive system and what he has shown (or hasn’t shown) from an attacking standpoint at left fullback, he ISN’T a proper backup for Tierney. Cedric has shown he can be because of his quality going forward and the fact that he has surprised (at least me) with his ability to go around people on the outside and cross with his “weaker” left foot. AMN cannot do that and thus stifles our attack. TBH, I think I’d rather see Gabriel (the CB one) play LB in this system than AMN, he has really good technique and judging… Read more »

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Not too long ago, Cedric wasn’t good enough for a team like Arsenal. Two good games and he becomes a Danny Alves.
Not too long ago, AMN was good enough to be called up by the national team. One bad game and he isn’t good enough for Arsenal for lot of fans and the manager.

Johnny 4 Hats

But some more than others… All have had serious injuries in the last 12 months. And we have got an absolute mountain of games to get through.

I hope my concerns are not manifested. But I find it bizarre that we are running the risk.

Chambers is an option for right-back.


I am sure the club has a plan, I hope they do. Arsene had warned there will come a time when the players and their agents decide transfer fee and not the club. In our effort to get deadwood out we have practically sent them all for free. The club really needs a head of sales because i don’t wish to see the likes of Saka, Martinelli being sold in the coming years to balance books. Even LT still ends up being in Athletico Madrid when we could have moved him elsewhere and raised his potential transfer value. With the… Read more »

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Arteta favours the guys who played with him (El Neny, Chambers, Bellerin etc.). You see people like him in the business world. They are comfortable surrounding themselves with people they appreciate.


The market is so depressed that almost all deals done are loans – unsurprising as there’s no income coming in from gate receipts! It will take a long time to get back to anything approaching “normal” (whatever that is in football terms) and with the exception of a few clubs, not Arsenal unfortunately, everyone else will be cash-strapped.


have a read of this and you will be even sadder about us not generating any transfer fees. a pretty shameful record, but seems at long last we are starting to clean up the mess.


I’m beginning to despair about Nelson, his corners are atrocious, seems to fail to beat the opposition defender at the front post so often. Just as bad as Bellerin for foul throws, his passing is poor, he has trouble beating opponents, a lightweight in the tackle. I wouldn’t be surprised if they couldn’t find a club willing to take him and thus pay some of his wages. A couple of years ago I had high hopes, alas he has certainly not progressed, if anything he has regressed.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Is Nelson injured? He gets no game time at all. He isn’t even getting bench time but not sent on loan. This is very strange.


Will Nelson ever play football again?


Seems strange to have a statue of the guy in London, when he’s played so little.


You’d imagine he could alter Arsenal’s fortunes single handedly…


Column A: he’s not played much so should be fresh. Column B: he’s not played much so is probably a bit rusty.


I’ll put that in the ‘positives’ column.

A Different George

The pigeons rate him highly.


I’d guess his chances are Horatio of about 2 to 3.

Eric Blair

Your quick wit is admirable


For us, hopefully no.

Pastor Simon

At this point, all I have I to say is Praise the Lord!

What a relieve especially the Ozil saga

Red Blue

Especially with as little fuss as happened. With Ozil digging in heels, paying Gunnersaurus, his agent Erkut doing shit behind the scenes and him being dropped from all squads, I feared a ton of bad blood.

Even if the messages were clearly meant for press, Arteta saying he still admired him and will miss a player of his calibre.. and Ozil parting with a classy message was relieving.

Pastor Simon

That does not negate d fact that Ozil’s debacle is a thing of the past and it is a huge relieve to all the parties involved I.e Himself, the club and the fans


I expect you say that a lot


Needed trimming, still have more to do in the summer. Focus must shift to in comings. We must put an end to recruitment mistakes.


Well said. The three sentence executive summary of my [long] post above.

isreal left jab

CAN we now focus on playing good football 🙂


We need all the well wishes here.


My sentiments exactly.

Wait….we’ve still got Arteta’s Chelsea Pensioners on the books…

Stan Adams

Exactly what was needed,especially Ozil who has been a monkey on Afcs back for a few years.


In general it was a clear out although we didnt generate a lot of profit.

Saliba Guendouzi and Pepe should be managed better in order not to be shipped for free a couple of windows from now.
They do have potential

Bai Blagoi

Guendouzi is done, but we have to try to recover Saliba.

Merlin’s Panini

Yep. I can’t see Guendouzi coming back. I think there’s a lot of bad blood with Arteta. Seems he’s been causing a bit of trouble at Hertha too. Good player or not I think we’re best off without a spoilt little prick like that.


Guendouzi needs either a great psychologist or a good slap.


Or a good slap from a great psychologist – cover both angles, eh.

Laca New Signing

Guendouzi is a poor man’s Mario Balotelli. Great talent but badly brought up thereby shit attitude.


Did he pick on you in school?


Balotelli was a natural talent.

All Guendouzi is good enough for is a Guitarist from KISS lookalike contest. (The lead singer, not the dude with the seven foot tongue)

Hertha have signed Khedira from Juventus – curious to see if he will play with Guendouzi or if he was signed to replace Guendouzi in the team. Hopefully with, Matteo can learn a lot from him.

A Different George

Not sure Khedira–a player I have always liked and who might long ago have solved our number 6 problem–is a player anyone can plan the future with. He is almost 34 (yeah, I know, he’s 33 until then) and often injured.


I don’t think WBA was the right choice for Maitland-Niles. They will ruin him, make him look bad and decrease his value. After what they did to Gnabry I would never send a player there again..


I don’t know. I think ANM is a bit of a handful. It’s ok say motivate him but despite doing well at Ipswich a few years ago a lot of issues arose and his agents and co were causing a lot of trouble. Story springs to mind his mother tried to punch Mick McCarthy on the nose but maybe not 100% true. Let’s see if he’s got it if nothing else it will make him realise just what it takes to play midfield and if he’s fullback will be in a back 5. Kyle Bartley and Gibbs should be good… Read more »

Joey Deacon

I heard that his mother was ejected from Colney some years ago for assaulting Dick Law (the contracts guy at the time)


I disagree with you, he will have a lot of defending to do and chance to improve his game without the ball as West Bromwich might not have a lot of possession. Also, will learn to attack more efficiently.

Holding was already a good defender at Bolton as he was involved in a relegation fight and had lots of defending to do week in, week out.


WBA didn’t do that to Gnabry, cuntfish Pullis did that to Gnabry

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I think WBA was the best choice for him – he’ll start every game. If he joined Leicester or Southampton, I’m not convinced he would have started every game.

A Different George

Well, whatever else happened to Gnabry at West Brom, it’s hard to argue he was “ruined.”


Those players leaving is approx 700k a week off the wage bill by the summer (once Ozil/Sok are paid their dues).
That’s around £36m a year.
I’d assume only Saliba and one of AMN/Willock will be with us next season too.
Of course we will need to invest but it allows us much more freedom come summer.
I’d rate this window B+ or A-
We did the dirty work. Fair play

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Agreed, this window was about saving money, not making money. The squad is a decent size now, around 25 senior players.


Possibly, but you’re mixing up (if I read your post correctly) savings on the wage bill and money for transfers. They are not the same. The wage bill was hugely inflated for several years – a CL wage bill on EL income as someone said (and possibly not even EL now, hope not though). As a % of total income ours was the highest or one of the highest of any of the so-called “big” clubs but with one of the smallest commercial incomes (something we’ve always performed badly in comparison) and greatly reduced European income. The reason why the… Read more »

Merlin’s Panini

Great that we moved these players on… but… some money in return would have been nice. Did we even make a penny on this lot?

James Vallerine

Damage was done before this window unfortunately.

Loan fees are usually undisclosed but yeah I’m sure WBA and Newcastle would have paid something. But this window was about saving money, not making money.


Good window for us. Now we know what Edu do.

Baichung Bhutia

Also makes you wonder what were the guys before Edu doing?

Lord Bendnter

You know that feel when you finally vacuum and clean your room after months? And then you have a lie down on your bed in a sparking, clean room.


Yes. My goodness, in respect of several players it’s been a long time coming though but we’ve done most of the “heavy lifting” – or should that be “shifting”?

Bai Blagoi

Yeah, but not forgetting that we have put some dust under the carpet. Guendouzi, Torreira and Kolasinac are still pending resolution.


Months?you disgust me


It took years, mostly at the end of the Wenger era, to bring together so many under-achieving, over-paid players. Quite a feat if you think about it and one that none of the other “big clubs” attempted, let alone achieved so that’s one up to us. Anyway, it’s over now in large part and it looks like we’ll have to do things differently. So, let’s wave them goodbye and hold back the tears.

Old but Gold

*showed* b****y predictive text


Arteta and Edu just Marie Kondo’d the squad.


Some players simply don’t spark joy anymore.


The football world is flat on its back. French football is not far from going into liquidation, without either government intervention, Or a significant increase in the offer for broadcasting rights Clubs aren’t just skint, they’re haemorrhaging money We’re about to see a period of huge deflation in fees + wages Anyone expecting fees of tens of millions thrown around this summer, I think is living in dreamland Paying players to leave, and loans where parent clubs still pay a percentage of the players wages, will become the new normal. We kept powder dry at the bottom of the market… Read more »

A sad arsenal fan

How much did we cut off the wage bill this transfer window?

Probably around 750k


Let’s this finally closes the book on fat Raul and his dirty deeds – the opportunity (and hard cash!) cost of our shambolic dealings over the past seasons beggars belief when you track it right back to pre-Ramsey.

New dawn, methinks (hopes).


Oops! Let’s ‘hope’…


Most of these players were Wenger signings. Not sure Raul had much if anything to do with that. But it is nice that he is no longer around.


It is still quite a mess with many simply put off until the summer. Then we have must have paid a fortune to buy out contracts.

Let’s hope the club start making better decisions from now on.


Clearing the decks has been done very well this window (perhaps a bit later than hoped), but the fact we’ve had to pay three players to leave (Mustafi, Ozil and Sokratis) in whom we have invested £210m in transfer fees and wages highlights the litany of bad decisions the club has made. I just hope the club has learned an incredibly valuable lesson that (a) tough decisions have to sometimes be made even if it may seem like a PR disaster, (b) a player that repeatedly makes terrible decisions on the pitch over a sustained period is unlikely to change.… Read more »


My thought Come summer. Luiz out free. Lacazzette out too …(hopefully he can keep up the current form to generate more money). Arsenal will be foolish to extend….he was our top 3 worst players last season…. Even in form he still misses sitters…. We should get maybe 20 above for him.. sell Eddie. .. that should be enough for eduoard from Celtic nd then integrate balogun fully. . Torreira sell 18 or 20 will do..(but he could be a good partner for partey tho). Nketiah sell PERMANENTLY NILES sell better for him… Unless we keep him for our selfish reasons…… Read more »

Once a gunner

Do anybody noticed that Xhaka is still standing. Hmmmm


Sorry, mixed two windows there with the inclusion of Douzi and Torreira, but you get the point. Cumulatively, both windows represent good business and a big step forward regarding the team’s much needed rebuild.


Okay Arteta! You got the house as per you wanted. Your job starts now.


It sounds like and feels like the younger players had some modicum of input into whether being loaned or staying happened. That seems to have been balanced with squad needs. Circumstances will determine how it all plays out but from a fan/player/management standpoint I like what is being done. I also like the professional communication and I bet the players do as well.


Solid moves to get the players either off of our books or more experience, though am most concerned with lack of cover for the fullbacks especially with Tierney’s injury history.


Just to reiterate how facile so many fans are, it is a good thing we have cleared the deck but it does not hide from the fact that regardless of some savings with wages, we have failed to mint money on many of these moves. Lest it needs reminding we are beholden to 20m on Saliba and Pepe each summer window (99m over five years) then we have over spent on Partey and Gabriel to a further tune of 69m. We have not made any money and will likely be out of europe. This is complicated further bc whilst decent… Read more »


Garlick probably brought in to help focus Edu in making better choices. We should in truth have cleared many of these players earlier if not sold them had we better acumen in market. Frankly, I don’t want to see Luiz extended. Willian should be left on the rack as well next season or just be fished out on loan. …his inclusion this season means Reiss has had less opportunity. Nelson has decided not to go out on loan. whilst still needing to convince fully, I’d give him the scant opportunity over Willian frankly. As for AMN and Willock, hope they… Read more »

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