Morning all.

He’s our manager, he lives on the pitch with us. He lives every ball with us and when you have that and you see what he transmits from the sidelines to the pitch, it gives you so much confidence as a player. We’re really grateful we have him as our manager. – Declan Rice

Take that Celebration Police!

Jorginho, Mo Elneny, Cedric Soares and Karl Hein – all are out of contract this summer. The following summer, Thomas Partey and Takehiro Tomiyasu will be out of contract too although reports suggest Tomiyasu has agreed his new deal.

For Thomas Partey, I feel this really is the end of his Arsenal career. Not his fault that injuries have caught up with him but as a club, Arsenal simply cannot afford to pay a player who simply isn’t available for the majority of the season. Especially when that player is not only a huge player on the pitch but one of the clubs highest paid too. I’m not sure we’ll see him play again this season, let alone next in the colours of Arsenal.

Jorginho is a conundrum really because yes, he was brilliant against Liverpool and he has experience as well as calmness in his game but at 33 years old, which he will be in December, would it make sense to offer him another year? I think so, especially as Elneny is likely to go. It’s Partey who needs replacing first and foremost in my opinion. A fully fit Partey in a week, two or three time would be a huge boost to the squad but what Arsenal really need is a fully fit and firing player in May. On the last day of the season so that another club will think he’s a risk signing but one worth taking.

No idea what the club will do about Hein though because if both David Raya and Aaron Ramsdale are at the club come the start of next season, he’s unlikely to get any first team minutes either in the league or the domestic cups. He’s still only 21 though, he’s played 27 times for Estonia and he’s a tall lad at 6’ 4” – the tallest of all our current keepers. Who the best of the three is though is, in my opinion, up for debate. Mikel Arteta seems to favour the Spaniard though which, regardless of what we think, matters the most. I’m still hoping Arsenal don’t make the loan deal permanent though.

Using as a guide for Arsenal’s player weekly wages:

Thomas Partey £200,000
Cedric Soares £75,000
Mo Elneny £55.000
Karl Hein £10,000

I add that up to make £340,000 a week paid to 4 players who I doubt have played ten matches between them this season. That’s an awful lot of money going down the drain. What’s staggering, at least it is to me is that Kai Havertz is now our highest paid player on £280,000 a week. More than Declan Rice, Captain Martin Odegaard, central defender William Saliba and our very own Bukayo Saka. Gabriel, our absolute rock in defence earns £100,000 a week, the same amount both Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah earn. William Saliba however, earns £190,000 a week.

I guess there’s a reason the wages are as random as they are but I really can’t see it.

Moving on to the here and now, JeorgeBird posted Arsenal’s revised Champions League squad yesterday: A-List:

Ramsdale, Raya, Hillson, Saliba, White, Gabriel, Timber, Kiwior, Cedric, Tomiyasu, Zinchenko, Partey, Odegaard, Trossard, Jorginho, Vieira, Elneny, Havertz, Rice, Saka, Jesus, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Nketiah, Nelson.


Hein, Ejeheri, Graczyk, Cooper, Rojas, Foran, Jeffcott, Quesada-Thorn, Robinson, Sweet, Walters, C. Ismail, Heaven, Brown, Nichols, Rosiak, Small, Clairmont, Gower, Henry-Francis, Lewis-Skelly, Nwaneri, I. Oulad M’Hand, Dudziak, Ryan, Akolbire, Casey, Copley, Butler-Oyedeji, Cozier-Duberry, Davies, Benjamin, Ferdinand, Forde, Kabia, Kamara, Bascoe-Fisher.

Jurrien Timber and Thomas Partey are in the squad which clearly means Mikel Arteta hopes there’s a chance of both playing a part in our Champions League challenge. Let’s hope we can beat Porto then because it’s unlikely either will be ready in two weeks time. No place for Marquinhos though so I guess he’s soon to head out on loan for the remainder of the season.

Catch up in the comments…