Instead of flying to the USA for pre-season, German midfielder Thomas Eisfeld found himself sold by Arsenal yesterday.
The German youngster, signed from Borussia Dortmund in January 2012, was a highly regarded prospect at the club, so his sale came a little out of the blue.
He impressed in the League Cup against Reading two seasons ago, and scored in the same competition versus West Brom last year.
Eisfeld, who models his game on Tomas Rosicky, has also impressed particularly in two consecutive pre-seasons, but had failed to earn any playing time in the Premier League.
Also absent from his CV were any loan moves, for which the nature of his outright sale to Fulham is a tad surprising, for a season long loan may have been more suitable for the Gunners.
Yet the path in front of him to the first team was clearly a blocked one, and would only have opened up had Arsene Wenger decided to dispense with all of or some of Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and or Abou Diaby.
The lure of working with top German coach Felix Magath in west London, and hopefully regular football in the Championship, appears to have been too good for him to resist, with the location meaning also he would not have to uproot.
Arsenal stated on their website: "Everyone at the club would like to thank Thomas for his contribution and to wish him well for the future."
There was no comment on a potential buy-back clause, but if one was inserted into the terms of the deal it may well be wise.
Arsenal supporters appeared taken aback by the announcement, here is how they reacted via Twitter:
Can't deny I'm pretty gutted Thomas Eisfeld has been sold. Thought a loan move would've been the best option. Always looked promising! #afc— David Brockett (@DavidBrockett) July 23, 2014
Thomas Eisfeld has joined Fulham on a permanent deal! Quite surprised, talented player, thought we might loan him before selling! #AFC— Carl Bövis (@CarlBovis_AFC) July 23, 2014
Eisfeld has joined Fulham? I'm a little disappointed that he was a good prospect. Good luck to him though #afc— The Gööner (@DaGoonerz) July 23, 2014
Not surprised Eisfeld has gone, he's 21 now – as an attacking midfielder he doesn't have much chance at #AFC at the moment. Good luck to him— Jade Fitzgerald (@Jadelike_) July 23, 2014
How on earth Arsenal let Eisfeld go that easily?! We all saw that potential he has! #AFC— Hound (@Hound1886) July 23, 2014