Arsenal have embarked on a squad trimming exercise this summer with many of the players potentially describable as deadwood being shown the exit door.
Joining the likes of Denilson, Andrei Arshavin and Sebastian Squillaci out of the exit door was Swiss international centre-back Johan Djourou.
The 26-year-old’s departure was always expected this summer. He has plummeted down the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium and with Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen for competition he sought first-team football elsewhere in the form of a loan deal with Bundesliga outfit Hannover 96.
This summer it looked like the club would make their temporary January addition a permanent one with it even reported that Djourou would start pre-season with his new club.
But Hamburg SV had other plans. They dived in and stole the player away from their league rivals on a season long loan deal; with the view to a permanent deal in the summer of 2014.
So when it came to Djourou’s debut the player who had grown tired of sitting on the bench would likely have been very pleased to see his name in the starting line-up; an event which had become increasingly infrequent back in North London.
Hamburg faced Austrian outfit FC Liefering on Tuesday as part of their preparations for the new season in Austria. Liefering act as the reserve and junior team for Red Bull Salzburg so this was never going to be an easy assignment for HSV and Djourou.
In the end the German side, as expected, won. The game finished 2-0 with former Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Rafael van der Vaart getting the ball rolling in the fifth minutes and new signing Kerem Demirbay putting the icing on the cake on the hour.
But for Djourou, his participation was short-lived.
He came off injured after just FOUR minutes of his debut with an adductor problem. He has suffered with hip problems in the past including at the FIFA World Cup in 2006.
So he will be hoping this is just a small setback at the very beginning of his new adventure.
Because time on the side-lines is not an option for this Arsenal loanee.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald