Arsenal guilty of throwing away £145million as eighth free transfer in three years nears

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Arsenal have let go of around £145million worth of talent as Mesut Ozil nears an exit from the club in the Gunners’ eighth departure in just three years.

Axed playmaker Ozil, who is the club’s joint-highest paid player at £350,000-a-week, is set to join Fenerbahce on a free transfer, with Arsenal shelling out his salary for the rest of the season while he joins on loan.

The German is one of a number of top players at the club who have been allowed to leave on a free, showing a trend has emerged behind the scenes at the Emirates Stadium.

So here are the eight first team players who have left Arsenal since 2018 and their combined value at the time of departure, as per transfermarkt, and their stories since leaving the club.

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Mathieu Debuchy – £1.8m

Now 35, Debuchy is still a regular for Saint-Etienne at right-back, despite being released by Arsenal three years ago.

Debuchy never really fired in north London after joining from Newcastle for around £12m, but has managed to revive his career in France again.

Santi Cazorla was highly talented but struggled with injuries

Santi Cazorla – £2m

An up and down six years at Arsenal came to an end for Cazorla when he rejoined Villarreal in 2018, where he too re-found some of his best form.

Cazorla showed real glimpses of being world class, but struggled heavily with injuries at the Gunners.

Now playing for Al Sadd in the Qatar Stars League.

Aaron Ramsey – £36m

Many a tear was shed when Ramsey called time on his Arsenal career to join Juventus two years ago, with several questioning how he was allowed to leave for nothing.

In truth, the Welshman has been hit and miss in Italy, but at only 30 still, could hit still hit his stride again either overseas or back in the Premier League.

Aaron Ramsey has struggled since joining for Juventus
(Image: Getty Images)

Jack Wilshere – £18m

Still carrying a decent value, Wilshere is currently unemployed after being released by West Ham over the summer.

Injuries have plagued him wherever his career has taken the England international, and maybe Arsenal made the right call with this one.

Alexis Sanchez – £63m

Perhaps technically not a free transfer, Sanchez joined Manchester United in a swap deal, where he turned out to be a huge flop.

Sanchez actually scored plenty of goals during his time at the Emirates Stadium, and was somewhat of a fan favourite.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alexis Sanchez both left Arsenal without the club bringing in a penny
(Image: X03807)

Danny Welbeck – £10m

Welbeck never really fulfilled his potential at Arsenal despite being given five years to try; it was a similar story at Watford last season, the club he joined after being released.

The 30-year-old has now joined Brighton, and will be hoping he can impress before his career draws to a close.

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan – £18m

The makeweight in the Sanchez swap deal, Armenian playmaker Mkhitaryan had one decent season at Arsenal before packing his bags for Roma on loan.

The 31-year-old has made the Italian capital his permanent residence since, and seem to be in the form of his life.

Mesut Ozil is set to leave Arsenal this winter
(Image: Action Images via Reuters)

Mesut Özil – £4.5m

The Ozil story is a sad one – a fan favourite and a loyal servant to the club, albeit on eye watering wages, left to rot after being exiled from Arteta’s squad.

The German will be hoping to revive his career at Fenerbahce, if that move goes ahead, and Gunners fans will no doubt be wishing him well.

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