Arsenal confirm which players will be released from their contract on June 30, 2018, with Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla heading the list. The Gunners also revealed the players to have signed first professional contracts, new deals and scholarships this summer.
Cazorla’s departure was announced earlier this summer and comes as a result of his injury woes in the last two years. The Spanish midfielder picked up an achilles injury in October 2016 and suffered a series of setbacks that nearly led to him having his leg amputated.
The 33-year-old joined Arsenal from Malaga in 2012 and went on to make 180 appearances in all competitions, winning two FA Cups. His last appearance for the Gunners was two years ago, but he could resurrect his career with former club Villarreal next season, so long as he proves his fitness.
As for Jack Wilshere, he announced his departure more recently, citing a lack of playing time assurances from new manager Unai Emery to be behind the decision to leave. Arsenal were happy to keep the English international and offered a new contract to convince him to stay, but Wilshere has opted for a more away from the Emirates for the sake of his career.
Per Mertesacker’s contract is up and he’s retired from professional football. The German defender revealed earlier in the year that he would become the new Head of Academy at Arsenal next season and also admitted suffering from anxiety which made him look forward to not playing.
The veteran hardly featured for Arsenal last season and instead was mentored for his new role at the club. Mertesacker is regarded as a leader and somebody the academy kids can get on with so he should be a success in the future.
There’s no word from Arsenal about Aaron Ramsey’s contract situation. The Welsh international has just 12 months remaining on his deal with the Gunners and could be sold if he doesn’t agree to an extension this summer. He’d be a big loss.