Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Arteta explains Kolasinac and Pablo Mari departures

Although, at the time of writing, Pablo Mari has not officially joined Udinese on loan, the defender is expected to join the Italian side until the end of the season.

When it does happen, he’ll join Sead Kolasinac as the second departure of the week after the Bosnia and Herzegovina international made a permanent move to Marseille yesterday following the termination of his contract.

At a time when Arsenal are struggling for players and the squad is quite thin, the moves seem strange, but Mikel Arteta explained his thinking during his pre-Liverpool press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

“Well, for different reasons,” he said. “With Kola obviously the game time he has had made it really difficult for him to be in the team.

“His contract was ending at the end of the summer, so we believe that it was the right option to execute that possibility.

“The player wanted to go, he had a good option and it was a good option for the club as well.

“With Pablo it was much trickier. But again, with injuries and the history he’s had at the club since he joined … he is a phenomenal professional.

“He hasn’t had the minutes again this season, it was going to be difficult for him to play more minutes.

“And I good opportunity came and we have to be open to that.”

Arsenal have recalled some young players, including Miguel Azeez and Tyreece John-Jules from loan spells which weren’t going as well as the club wanted, and while Arteta didn’t rule out using them to bolster numbers, he said more time was needed to decide what happens next with them.

“It’s a possibility we’re going to explore now when we have some normality after the Burnley game,” he said.

“We have a break and the transfer window starts to shut, so we’ll look at what the best options are for for each individual.”

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John C

I wrote this on a different article but feels more at home on this one, so i’ll post it again here. One thing that hasn’t been picked up on as for as i can see is that the Premier League’s 13 player rule is actually an incentive to cull all the sub-standard players from your squad. Why should Arsenal risk having to play with Mari and Kolasinac when you can get rid of them have the game postponed and rescheduled when you’re first choice players are back? It’s a major flaw in the rule. Let’s just hope that this windows… Read more »

Kentish Gooner

We’re finally getting tactical. Reminds me of prime Arsene. I like it.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I highly doubt any club is going to deliberately deplete their squad during this transfer window in order to get games postponed.

John C

Why not? Saves money, potentially gains points and the rules incentivise it

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Those clubs will have to play those re-arranged games eventually.

So if you sell a handful of duds who are on your bench every week, but then return zero positive covid cases, you’re up the creek without a paddle, and the Premier League – who take each request case by case – won’t postpone for you.

John C

No, the threshold has been set, 13 outfield players with first team experience and unless there’s a definitive end date to finish the league who say it can’t be extended a couple of weeks.

The rule is stupid and it’s open to exploitation but the rules can’t be changed midway through a season.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

The rule states – in order to request postponement – at least one absence has to be covid related. (Ours was Odegaard).

The league can’t be extended a couple of weeks because the start of June is a two week International window – UEFA have four matchdays penciled in.

John C

Given that no one know’s how much evidence is required to prove whether or not someone has Covid it’s all conjecture at this point, or maybe we can get some of those false positives that Liverpool had or argue that players are suffering long-covid?

But either way, i’m not really sure what your point is. I’ve stated that the rules incentivise a smaller squad, at a time we’re loaning out squad players and given my reasons.

You’re not really presenting a counter-argument beyond you doubt they would.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

The transfer window has been open for 19 days, and not one Premier League club has ‘culled all the sub-standard players from their squad’ and then requested postponements, as per the concerns in your original post.

John C

I’m not saying we are culling our squad to request postponements rather the price of off loading poor squad players is mitigated by the rules, i.e you’ll never be forced to play untested youngsters.

My hope is this is a prelude to signing some quality replacements

Nainsley Aitland Miles

It does look like the Premier League are changing those postponement request rules in the next couple of weeks anyway.

Woolwich Tiern time

Here Cedric, use Martin’s spoon, its ok… he gave it a spit polish


I think its more about looking at the long term bigger picture, maybe Arteta wants to upgrade the whole squad and to do that you have to have a thorough clear out, there may be some short term issues but you need the space in the squad for academy players plus hopefully some judicious buys with an overall improvement in the competitive structure of the team, I think we are coming into a very exciting time to be an Arsenal supporter and are very fortunate to have Arteta and the team around him in place, lets face it, not many… Read more »

John C

In years gone by if you had a your first 3 CB’s out you might have to play a kid from the U23’s, but that’s now been taken off the table with these rules if you’re down to less than 13 player’s. So in many instances you might want that threshold to be met sooner rather than later, for instance West Ham away at the end of April, that could be a Champions League decider.


I think the other nuanced point is that the rule is extremely broad in that it relates to ’13 outfield players’. So if you are in a position where you’ve got excess defenders that doesn’t help you much if they count to the total but all your attacking options are out. People do keep going back to Brentford and our game not being cancelled, but it was an acute problem because we were missing both our striking options. But we had loads of numbers in totality, just in the wrong places. So I’d agree with you, but say it’s not… Read more »

John C

So best get rid of you excess defenders and hit that 13 outfield players sooner

Nainsley Aitland Miles

No it’s not, because if you report zero covid cases, then you cannot request postponement.

John C

How do you report a Covid case? What evidence is required?

John C

Given that Arsenal have loaned out 3 players already and about to send out 1 other, my guess is not a lot.

John C

So a 6 week old positive lateral flow test would probably do the trick

Kentish Gooner

We’re finally getting tactical. Reminds me of prime Arsene. I like it


“We let them go because…” *checks notes* “…they are shit”

Presumably this means Chambers is now our 4th choice CB – which ideally won’t be required.

Back in Europe next season with Saliba added to the squad sounds good.

Merlin’s Panini

I hope that’s what happens. I just wonder, with Guendouzi and Kolasinac being there too, whether them being in his ear might sway Saliba towards the exit. He’s not exactly spoken in glowing terms about his time with us so far in interviews so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him leave too in the summer. I just hope he doesn’t.


Why do you assume Kolasinac would be a bad influence? By all accounts it was his decision to stay on the team so far, even knowing he had lost his place, and Arsenal granted him a loan back to Schalke and now his release to Marseille. Nothing there scream mistreatment

Merlin’s Panini

Given his leaving statement he wasn’t exactly that happy at the club. He was also part of what was supposedly a disruptive group that was disbanded by Arteta as soon as he had the opportunity. He was the surviving member of it. This may all have just been hearsay. I don’t know for sure that he will be a bad influence, it’s just a concern.

Woolwich Tiern time

I was worried previously, but Saliba’s now got to want to buy back in to the culture at Arsenal exhibited by our current crop… if he does not want to he can remain a Marsaille player. Non negotiables

Bergkamps boots

Basically, both below average players and had to go.

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