Mikel Arteta wants mass exodus at Arsenal in January as he admits ‘we cannot sustain the numbers we have’ – and Sead Kolasinac will be the first to go before boss takes hatchet to bloated squad including Mesut Ozil, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis
- Mikel Arteta confirmed Arsenal will be making changes in the January window
- The Gunners are set to allow Sead Kolasinac to secure a move back to Schalke
- Arteta reveals a number of players will be leaving the Emirates on loan
- Defenders William Saliba and Calum Chambers could also be allowed to leave
Arsenal are set to begin their January clearout by loaning Sead Kolasinac to Schalke, as boss Mikel Arteta acknowledged that the club must move on a series of big names.
Defender Kolasinac is close to sealing a return to his former club in what Arsenal hope will be the first of a number of loan moves they can agree for under-used players this month.
The Bosnian has only started one Premier League game this season, with his other seven starts coming in the EFL Cup and Europa League.
Mikel Arteta confirmed that big changes will be occurring at Arsenal in the January window
Sead Kolasinac is set to be one of the first stars to leave and secure a loan return to Schalke
Kolasinac joined Arsenal on a free transfer from Schalke in 2017, where he made 94 league appearances in five years with the Bundesliga club.
Arteta would not confirm Kolasinac’s impending exit but said: ‘We are working on a couple of things and obviously the window is going to bring a lot of news.
‘We’ve had some conversations around a few players and whether we can find some loans because the numbers we have in the squad at the moment are really big.
Arsenal also remain open to offers for Shkodran Mustafi and hope to move the German on
The Gunners are still desperate to get the club’s top earner Mesut Ozil off the wage bill
Aging star Sokratis was not named in the Premier League squad and Arsenal want him out
THE ARSENAL EXODUS
As Mikel Arteta looks to both trim his Arsenal squad and lighten the financial constraints of the wage bill, the following could be set to depart;
Sead Kolasinac – Out of favour, reduced to cup appearances
Shkodran Mustafi – Seemingly not rated by Arteta or the fanbase
Calum Chambers – Stuggled for opportunities since Gabriel’s arrival
William Saliba – Still yet to cut his teeth fully in English football
Sokratis Papastathopoulos – Aging star deemed surplus by Arteta
Mesut Ozil – Exiled by the club and not included in Premier League or European squad selections
‘We have a large squad. We knew that. A lot of things that should have happened in the summer we could not accomplish them for different reasons.
‘There are a lot of players that are going to go on loan.
‘They are going to leave. And that’s the priority at the moment because we cannot sustain the numbers that we have in certain positions. We are looking to do that.
‘And then we will see if we have the right opportunities in the positions that we need some more help. We are working with the club to try to address them.’
Defenders William Saliba and Calum Chambers, who has recently returned to fitness following a serious knee injury, could also be allowed to leave temporarily this month in order to gain regular football while they remain open to offers for Shkodran Mustafi.
Arsenal’s bloated squad meant they had two more senior, non-homegrown players than they were allowed to register and Arteta was forced to leave Mesut Ozil and Sokratis out of the Premier League squad he registered for the first half of the season.
Arsenal would be happy to agree exits for both, though Ozil has previously insisted that he intends to see out his £350,000-per-week contract, which expires next summer.
William Saliba has struggled for first team action and looks set to head out on loan
ARSENAL’S BLOATED SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Leno, Macey*, Runarsson
Defenders: Cedric, Bellerin*, Chambers*, Gabriel, Holding*, Kolasinac, Mari, Luiz, Mustafi, Tierney
Midfielders: Ceballos, Elneny, Maitland-Niles*, Partey, Xhaka
Forwards: Aubameyang, Willian, Lacazette, Pepe
* denotes home-grown player
Omitted by Arteta: Sokratis and Ozil
U21 Squad List (Some first team names, including Bukayo Saka, have still be registered as Premier League U21 squad players)
Goalkeepers: Ejeheri, Graczyk, Hein, Hillson, Mitchell, Okonkwo
Defenders: Alebiosu, Awe, Dinzeyi, Foran, Jeffcott, Kirk, Laing, Lopez, Monlouis, Norton-Cuffy, Ogungbo, Oyegoke, Saliba, Sraha
Midfielders: Gaspar, Akinola, Azeez, Cirjan, Cottrell, Henry-Francis, Hutchinson, Bandeira, Lannin-Sweet, McEneff, Oulad M’Hand, Patino, Smith Rowe, Willock
Forwards: Balogun, Butler-Oyedeji, Edwards, Flores, Ideho, Lewis, Moller, Nelson, Nketiah, Plange, Sagoe Jr, Saka, Taylor-Hart, Martinelli, Vigar
On loan but still named: Ballard, Bola, Clarke, Coyle, Guendouzi, John-Jules, McGuinness, Medley, Olayinka, Olowu, M. Smith, T. Smith, Swanson
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