Wenger: We need to trim the squad


Arsene Wenger says Arsenal will try and offload more players after admitting his 33-man first team squad is too big.

So far only Yaya Sanogo, released on a free, Emiliano Martinez, sent on loan to Getafe, and Wojciech Szczesny, sold to Juventus, have left the Emirates this summer.

Speaking after Arsenal’s Community Shield victory over Chelsea, the boss said:

“To be honest the number is too high and we let some players go because too much competition for places is detrimental, not enough competition for places is detrimental as well. But I agree with you that 33 is too high.”

The boss said earlier in the week that Lucas Perez will be allowed to leave, while Arsenal are also happy for Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Mathieu Debuchy to talk to suitors.

Question marks also remain over the future of other fringe stars including Jack Wilshere, Chuba Akpom and Calum Chambers.

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I’m afraid we do need to lose some if them. We can do with the cash and saving salaries. Get dealing…

La Défense

The earlier the better.


The 33 include Jeff & Niles who are still u21 & won’t impact the regulations on squad size. Gibbs, Debuchy, Jenkinson, Akpom, Joel Campbell, Perez will all be loaned or sold. If our 3rd GK is Macey (now 22) or if we intend to bring in another player over 21 then we’ve got to think about Chambers, Wilshere else our 25 man squad is ready. Given ages of Cech, Mertesacker, Santi, Koscielny, Giroud ➕ contract status of Ox, Wilshere, Ozil, Sanchez I would imagine we’ll keep as many players as we can this season to avoid too much transition next… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

We bought two (Lacazette and Sead) and let go two (Sanogo and Szczesny) therefore we already has the surplus before.


Please, I need to know, why is Chambers a fringe player. Any explanation will do.


He was good for Boro but not their best player – does that answer your question?


He was excellent for Middlesbrough and was the best defender for England U21s in fact keeping Holding out the team. So yes why is he a fringe player ?


He’s quite consistently better than Holding right now in my opinion, although I like both. Today’s game was the perfect illustration of how we will have need of several central defenders this season and I think it would be madness to sell Chambers at this point.

Apart from anything else he really hasn’t had the chance to prove himself as a player with first team potential (and he’s given some indication that he could do so with the performances that we have seen).


It’s down to a very complicated scientific formula that Arsenal use. It can be summarised as, desire for what we don’t have + neglect for what we do have {+Scez + Chambers} – players rated with high expectations prematurely {+ Eisfeld + Jenks} + fickle fans with minimal patience and short tempers.

I said it was complicated!

Drogheda gunner

He’s to slow ,he’s to lax on the ball.i don’t know what wenger was smoking when he paid 18 million for him.He’s another over rated english player .if we could get 10 million back for him id snap hand and all.

A different George

Taking your question seriously:
At centre-half, Koscielny, Mustafi, and (for this year) Mertesacker are clearly better. Monreal and now Kolasinac are (almost as clearly) preferable. Most people (including, certainly, Arsene Wenger) think Holding is also better and perhaps Gabriel as well.
As an auxiliary right fullback/ right wingback, he is behind Bellerin and Oxlade-Chamberlain.
All of this does not mean he needs to go–but it does make him precisely a fringe player.

Faisal Narrage

Monreal is in his twilight and I don’t buy this argument of Kolas being a higher choice for CB, because it means moving our first choice LWB away from his primary position.


I don’t think we can be certain that any player other than Kos is preferable yet. I think Mustafi will come good- centre backs often need time to adjust- but last season he hardly cemented himself as a star.

He’s probably got a way to go before he can be a consistent performer at centre back for a team with title aspirations, but I don’t think there’s any reason to believe he can’t get there in the next couple of seasons if things go well.


Mertersacker retires after this year, Kos is over 30 and I don’t know if Kolasinac is ahead of Chambers seeing as he’ll be first choice LB/LWB. And I’d play Chambers over Gabriel


But when injury strikes its like London buses and it happens all at once!

And with one eye to the future, Mert retires next year and Kos and nacho will be both be 32 by the end of this season. Ox also needs to sort his contract out!


and his hair.


I don’t either.

To me, if we can solve the midfield and be able to siwtch back and forth between 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-3 currently, Calum should revert back to a Rback which is where he impressed with Soton.

He had a very decent showing in pre-season.

David C

because Holding is better than him. I’d rather sell Gabriel or maybe just loan out Chambers again considering Kos and Mert’s advancing ages.


Holding has benefited from playing in a back 3. Chambers never had that luxury

David C

I’m not dissing Chambers; I’m just very impressed by Holding.


I’m actually sympathetic to this, but if you want a reason: Arsene doesn’t rate him enough, he sees more of him in training, etc, than we do and there’s a reason why he’s the manager of Arsenal and neither one of us is.

Donald\'s Trump

Is that reason because no one has the balls to sack him?


It’s always frustrating how late Wenger often seems to go with his transfer dealings (both in and out). I do understand that it’s challenging negotiating all of the various aspects of the transfers and their timing (kind of like selling and buying a house at the same time), but as a fan I would love to see all of the business done early so the new players can come early in like Lacazette and Kolsanic have done this Summer to get acclimated to the squad before the season begins.


You’ve had all summer, knobhead.


Maybe @Clarkey is a Blue hoping to snap up the Ox or Sanchez.

Ben Rivers

Had all summer to do what? Brainwash other managers into thinking they want to buy our fringe players? Or to torture the fringe players into accepting a 50 percent pay cut to play and train in a less comfortable environment?


Let Clarkey tell you!


No really? …Perez, Campbell, Jenko, Debuchy, Gibbs 100% gone. Jack is being weigh right now. To me it would be a mistake for us to rely on him not because of attitude or ability but fitness. Particularly with Santi’s return indefinite, it is too much a gamble. Chambers I feel we should keep for one more season. He’s still young and put in a good showing pre-season which largely went unnoticed. With Koscielny getting on, Per retiring, we should weigh him against Gabriel (and Holding even) at end of season. I don’t think we will sell Gabriel just yet but… Read more »


Coquelin is easily more expendable than Elneny. But yeah we need one more quality CM to challenge Ramsey for a starting place (and to play when he is injured)


Wilshere? Iwobi? Nelson? Ox-Cham?


I think we should loan Chambers again. Far too much potential and too homegrown to just sell for £15millionish, but this season I don’t think he’ll get much game time. He should be able to start for most midtable teams which would be far more beneficial than vying with Gabriel for that 5th/6th/7th CB spot. Bring him back hopefully an improved player when Per has gone and we need the numbers.

Chris Welch

Time to stop being sentimental and cut loose all of the above. They need a change too.


Bellerin definitely needs a trim, but he is not a fringe player. Mertesacker got a bad cut.


Bellerin looks decent without the head bands. In the pitch he looks abit off


That hair situation is getting serious now. Can’t someone do something?


I thought the ox was superb to be fair. Always trying to beat players, didnt think he got much wrong.


What game were you watching? And what post do you think you are commenting on?


did not drive forwards like he does in his better games and kept underhitting passes


Errr, maybe that’s because he was played on his weaker side and still had to do a job on Moses and Azpi? Just a thought.


Sorry Eris – posted my response before reading yours! You’ll be surprised to learn, I agree with you!


…and playing out of position. How fierce was Chelsea attacking threat down their right? Correct – not at all. Largely down to The Ox.

Faisal Narrage

He was arguably our worst player.


Not this game; maybe you saw a different game. As a wing back, he did a job. He was restricted because the left is not his strongest side, but it is a compliment to him that Wenger has chosen him over other “specialist” left sided players. He did very well, in my view.


Probably not the best thread for this but I actually agree, I thought he did ok. Something people aren’t mentioning as well is that he actually defended very well, not his strong suit


If they’ve not had more than 10+ appearances in the last season & not been long term injured then it’s time to move them on, both for the good of the player & the club ?

arse trimmer

community shield champions again.
champions of august again.
woo !!!


Would you have preferred us losing?


Theo and Ramsey along with jenkinson, debuchy, and gibbs

Yoki Rivero

I look at it based on what starting XI I think we should field on both comps. Premier League Lacazette Ozil – Alexis Xhaka – Ramsey Monreal – Bellerin at WB Koscielny – Holding – Mustafi Cech Europa League squad. Giroud Welbeck – Wilshere Elneny – Coquelin Kolasinac – Ox at WB Chambers – Mertesacker – Gabriel Ospina If any names are not mentioned there, we should sell them. I think we should also sell one of Coq or Elneny and buy another, a better CM. Or keep one of them as cover, although someone will be unhappy for lack… Read more »


Need to sell Theo Boca he is a waste of space


Bcos not Boca lol


Who is Bcos?


I’m fairly sure Bcos (or B.C.O.S) is a Government Department. I can’t say any more than that for fear of assassination. And, Yoki Rivero (if that’s your real name), you’d sell Alex Iwobi? Go and have a long lie down.

sixteen swans

Kolasinac starts every PL match, at least for now. I almost don’t care where. Two things. One, imagine we paid £35M to get him from Schalke (because that’s how much he should have cost us). Are you seriously saying we then keep him in our second eleven? And two, have you seen him play? And not just yesterday. Putting his goal-scoring to one side, rumour is he’s a fucking tractor. He’s built like a tractor, he runs like a tractor, and people bounce off him like he’s an actual, fucking tractor. Opponents are already shitting themselves having just seen him… Read more »


You just made me want to buy a tractor with that analogy. Hopefully I can get it on a free as well though.


I love your moniker, and btw I agree about Ramsey,, but a nightmare for us,,


I dont understand why these guys have not been snapped up already. Lets be real for a second, we are not talking about a Squillaci or a Denilson or even a Sylvestre!! Gibbs is a quality player. He might not have the desire for top, top level football, but he does have the ability and playing week in week out can take him to the next level. Debuchy has been a great buy from his performances before he dislocated his shoulder and the other injuries in his first season. Chuba needs to play to get the experience. He needs Premier… Read more »


Because they’re all on inflated salaries which they won’t drop. Gibbs is feeble, always sick or injured, Debuchy is on record as turning down transfers because they won’t pay his existing wages. Chuba is over-rated with an attitude problem and Wilshere is a permanent injury. The club needs to make it clear to them that they won’t be kicking a ball for Arsenal again, and take their squad numbers away if they won’t go.


You know Chuba?


I made a spreadsheet towards the end of last season, before silly season on transfers had started (but after we announced Saed). The only people I could convince myself as going are Jenks, Debuchy, Perez, Sanogo, and Campbell. I think Cazorla doesn’t get registered until January, which leaves 27 first team members, two of which don’t need registered. This sounds like the team going forward, unless we finish a deal on a midfielder, which will mean an early departure for Jack, probably:






Oops, forgot Theo (whoops). That might mean a loan for Chambers, though I personally hope it just means we move another forward on, as we have U23 players that deserve a few cup games up front here and there.


Why is the Jeff a fringe player and who are these young players Wenger is so highly rated for bringing them through? Don’t quote anyone stolen from barcelona

Donald\'s Trump

No one.

Jeff is probably a fringe player because he once tried something exciting instead of passing sideways or backwards.

Andy Mack

Iwobi is the obvious one, but why wouldn’t you mention Bellerin.
After all, if Bellerin had stayed at Barca then he still wouldn’t have played many first team games for them as they don’t like using young players in their first team…


we have to sell of send players on loan as soon as possible bcoz competition will be high,dont want some players to end like perez. we do can free up wome wage and some money for a new signing…


Bye bye Jack!


I think Jack will stay, it’ll only be a move down from here and his career almost hangs in the balance. Biggest season of his career coming up really. I wouldn’t sell Chambers either but apparently he could go, bizarre if you ask me. Would expect the other 5 to go as well. Coming in, personally I’d prioritise a CM over a winger considering our relative strength in those areas and Wilshere and Cazorla’s injury situations.


trim the squad and bring in Lemar and Mahrez


Struggling to trim because their wages are too high I presume… well… too high for the level of football they produce and as a result too high for the clubs that are interested in them.


One month in transfer windows and we still not sell those players. Stop penny pinching in this last month and sell them right away.

Andy Mack

Doesn’t selling a player involve more than just one club?


This season lots of squad players can get chance because we will be able to use these players in europa league and as well as in domestic cup competition but despite that some players such as debuchy jenkinsen,akpom Sanogo,campbell will not get chance because They are not fit enough to play games and compete for place in starting eleven however The players like chambers,wilshere,giroud, Even gibbs and perez can get some miniutes. In callum chambers case well he is a decry Decent defender who was previously a right back but now turned into Centre back He was decent in first… Read more »


Hard to follow this but I think I agree with the main point re: Chambers. People loved Kolasinac’s bombing runs on the left of a back 3 (rightfully, since it caused Chelsea fits). Chambers had the same sort of aggressive, strength-oriented runs when he played for us as a RWB, but the only problem was he wasn’t fast enough to recover if the ball was lost at the end of it, which led to problems in defense. In a back 3, one of the 3 has leeway to essentially become a deep lying midfielder for short stretches of the game,… Read more »


I feel like ‘fringe star’ is a little bit the tautology


You mean an oxymoron right?


Unbelievable to think Wilshire is a fringe player.