Arsenal confirmed today the release of twelve players from the club, along with the signing of new youth player contracts. With contracts ending on June 30th, it doesn’t come as much surprise who is out, including Per Mertesacker, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere.
Mertesacker, though, isn’t truly leaving as much as retiring to a job within the club as the new Academy manager. Meanwhile, Cazorla and Wilshere have already begun lining up work, with Santi training at Villareal to try and see if his legs still work after his 18 month nightmare and Jack potentially off to Turkey. A new chapter for all three.
The true loss is the departure of 19-year-old Vlad Dragomir. A regular with the under-23s last year, the attacking midfielder leaves a big hole at the club, leaving Arsenal with very few great names to say. It was reported he was offered a new contract but turned it down. We’ll always wonder what could have been if “Drago” had made the big club.
But... if he leaves... he leaves.
Also on the list were Marc Bola, Alex Crean, Aaron Eyoma, Yassin Fortune, Ryan Huddart, Chiori Johnson, Hugo Keto and Tafari Moore. Good fortune to all at their new clubs.
But it’s not all sadness. Arsenal also announced Daniel Ballard, Dominic Thompson and Robbie Burton all signed professional contracts and extensions were accepted by Deyan Iliev and Tolaji Bola. Still plenty of youngsters to come up through the ranks.