To be perfectly honest, I hate the term ‘deadwood.’ It’s derogatory and used to describe players that are objectively fantastic footballers – they just haven’t quite cut it at Arsenal for one reason or another.
However, it is a useful word, because every Gooner know who it refers to. Those players – often youngsters – who have been given time and plenty of chances, but haven’t shone in the way Jack Wilshere and Cesc Fabregas managed to.
The main issue with these players is that they earn very good wages – around £50k per week – and yet don’t give much in return. The fans are paying for these guys to sit on the bench or play poorly. And we aren’t just paying a measly salary. We are paying a lot of money for young guys who Wenger hopes will make it, even if it’s pretty clear they won’t.
The problem with the high salary is that when Wenger finally decides their time is up, the players are difficult to get rid of. Other clubs just won’t pay the high wages and the footballers won’t take a pay cut. This leaves us paying some or most of the wages while they go on loan elsewhere, such as we did recently for Lansbury, Vela, Denilson and Bendtner.
People are talking about a change in Wenger’s transfer policy as we are signing more experienced players who will slip straight into the first team. But it’s not only on the buying side – we are also selling more efficiently.
Ozyakup has moved to Besiktas for an undisclosed fee, unlikely to be particularly high. Arsenal signed him in 2008 from AZ Alkmaar, but only appeared for our first team twice, both times in the League Cup. He clearly hasn’t shown enough or Wenger reckons he won’t get opportunities given the wealth of options in our midfield. Arsenal.com said the following:
“Everyone at Arsenal would like to thank Oguzhan for his contribution to the club and wish him well for his future career.”
Another player who has left is Vela, famous for his exquisite chipped goals. Many thought he doesn’t have the physical presence to be a Premier League striker, which was confirmed by his form in Spain last year. He managed 12 goals and 8 assists in 37 appearances. For Arsenal he only managed 11 goals and 7 assists in 62 appearances, albeit plenty from the bench. We’ll miss the guy, but I’m sure he’ll have a more prolific career in Spain than he had here.
“Arsenal Football Club can confirm that Carlos Vela has completed a permanent move to Real Sociedad for an undisclosed fee. ”
No one will be upset to hear the rumours linking Squillaci to Olympaicos. Eurosport are reporting that he’ll be off for a fee of around £1 million. Amazing that we’ll get any money for him at all! The poor guy has been unable to get regular games and has made loads of mistakes when he’s been on the pitch. In fact, he had a shocker last season when we lost 3-1 to Olympiacos in the Champions League.
With all this ‘deadwood’ leaving, Arsenal should be able to recoup some of the money already spent this summer. It seems likely that Bendtner and Arshavin will be departing too, but there’s still the saga regarding van Persie’s future, not to mention Song and Walcott.