Arshavin, Denilson, Squillaci to leave Arsenal

not pictured: a pass to a defender - Clive Mason

Three players who haven't contributed that much in recent years will not be re-signed.

In a move that should surprise absolutely nobody, Arsenal will take the opportunity to remove some of its much ballyhooed "deadwood" as soon as possible. Andrey Arshavin, Denilson, and Sebastian Squillaci will all leave the club when their contracts run out at the end of the month.

The trio represents different forms of lost skill. Arshavin came to Arsenal as the star of the Euro 2008 competition, and the club's record signing. He lived up to expectations for a time - who could forget his four-goal Anfield performance - but in recent years he's faded, from age and (people seem to assume) a lack of drive. He's now a shadow of himself, but still really amusing to observe. I will miss him.

Denilson was a bit of a wunderkind, and actually played in 51 matches in the 2008-09 season. Then he was pretty pointless for a while, leading many including myself to scream "pass forward" at the television from time to time to time. After seeing what Mikel Arteta could do in more or less the same position, Arsenal sent Denilson home to Brazil on loan, where I have to assume everything's gone great and nobody hates him.

Squillaci played a fair amount his first year, but was never all that good, and he actually almost single-handedly cost us some games and has given me PTSD that flares up whenever I see Craven Cottage. He always seemed to work hard, and I felt bad for him because he looked sad whenever I saw him. He played in a Champions League final, though, so I guess I shouldn't get too worked up.

This will free up some wage space, and though we're not getting fat transfer fees for them, did anyone really think that was going to happen anyway? There were always rumors of teams ready to swoop in and buy them, but they never made a ton of sense. Hopefully they all go other places where the opponents are closer to their current level, and they can all find success. I'm sure they're all nice guys, or something.

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