The 10 best replacements for Arsenal's deadwood flops

Arsenal have announced this week a further cull of their squad, releasing Andrei Arshavin, Sebastien Squillaci and mutually terminating Denilson’s contract.

Those three players are the latest in a string of releases and terminations in their youth and reserve teams which I mentioned on Wednesday. However, the Gunners still need to offload another 7 players from their books, to relieve their heavy wage bill and replenish their squad before next season.

These are my top replacements for the likely outgoing players…

Andrei Arshavin

The attacking midfielder arrived at Arsenal for a club record fee of £15 million and made a bright start to his career in North London. But, after a couple of season, serious concerns over his form and fitness saw the manager lose complete faith in the Russian.

Arsenal are heavily linked with a move for Lyon youngster Clement Grenier who is hailed as the ‘next Samir Nasri’ in his native France.

The 22-year-old will looks likely to arrive at the Emirates this summer for a fee around £8 million, which coincidentally is the amount of cash Arsenal will be saving annually on his, Squillaci and Denilson’s wages combined.

Sebastien Squillaci

The French arrived at Arsenal with seemingly decent credentials as an experienced and quality centre-back on the fringes of the French national team. But the 32-year-old made a number of individual errors at the back and has since for the last few seasons been relegated to the reserves.

The Gunners are linked with highly-rated and experienced Swansea captain Ashley Williams this summer who could be brought in for around £10 million to add quality and depth to Arsene Wenger’s back line options.


The Brazilian midfielder is another case of what could have been and never was.

He made a decent start to his career at the Emirates, featuring in the team alongside former captain Cesc Fabregas but he was never really cut out to be a Premier League defensive midfielder and subsequently was shipped off to Sao Paolo, before Arsenal mutually terminated his contract this week.

The Gunners need a proper holding midfielder with physicality – they’re linked with £10 million-rated Victor Wanyama of Celtic but, as I wrote earlier this week, I believe Toulouse powerhouse Etienne Capoue is probably the better option.

Johan Djourou

The Swiss centre-back never really got enough games at Arsenal and his development never really lived up to his potential. He’ll likely return to Hannover on a permanent basis after outlining his desire to remain there following his loan spell.

Young Ignasi Miquel in the reserves is looking to gain access to the first team but it might be just too big a step up for him this season.

Arsenal may prefer to bring in another highly-rated young star like Marseille defender Nicolas N’Koulou for around £10 million. The Cameroon international is on the radar of Barcelona according to reports.

Lukasz Fabianski

The Polish goalkeeper fell down the pecking order for both club and country following the emergence of Wojceich Szczesny. He did however get his chance to shine this term when Wenger dropped the Arsenal number 1.

However, that was probably just him putting himself in the shop window – he wants regular first-team football and his contract has expired this month.

To replace him, Arsenal could go for QPR keeper Julio Cesar – the Brazilian is highly linked with a move to the Emirates. However, the wiser option may be to go for £10 million-rated Simon Mignolet who has revealed this week his intention to move on from the Stadium of Light where he will not be signing a new contract.

Nicklas Bendtner, Marouane Chamakh & Park Chu-Young

These three strikers will certainly be offloaded this summer, probably at a loss for Arsenal who have now lost patience with these high-earning flops.

To replace the Dane, they might want someone of equally imposing physicality and stature like Christian Benteke of Aston Villa. Incoming French youngster Yaya Sanogo will likely be a solid replacement for Chamakh and he arrives on a free transfer the same as the Moroccan did.

Meanwhile, Park could be replaced be a top quality world-class forward that Arsenal so desperate crave since the loss of Robin van Persie. They are heavily linked with £25 million bid for Stevan Jovetic at Fiorentina.

Andre Santos

Arsenal have already replaced the shirt-swapping Brazilian with Nacho Monreal. However, they may need a replacement of the opposite fullback instead Bacary Sagna who looks likely to move back to his homeland France this summer.

Arsenal’s top targets at right-back are likely to be Sebastien Corchia and Serge Aurier both highly-rated young French wingbacks. I’d pick the younger of the pair Aurier who could replace Sagna’s physicality, quality and power charging down that flank. He’d likely come in at around £5 million.

That’s 9 down and 9 to come in but who else could be regarded as a ‘deadwood flop’. Gervinho is linked with a potential move to France this summer, according to reports he ‘s wanted in Turkey as well.


If the Gunners get an opportunity to offload him for the right offer, I suspect they would and to replace him, how about Barcelona youngster Cristian Tello or Hamberg’s Son Heung-Min? Either one of those two young forwards would come in around £8 million which is probably around what they’d get for the Ivorian.

image: © wonker

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