Arsenal’s official website has announced the North London side are set to release seven players, five of which are professionals at the end of June including senior goalkeeper Manuel Almunia.
Professionals Almunia, George Brislen-Hall, Gavin Hoyte, Sean McDermott, Rhys Murphy, together with Scholars James Campbell and Jeffrey Monakana all have expiring contracts and are eligible to join new clubs on a Bosman free transfer.
Out of the professionals only Almunia and Hoyte have made first team appearances, with the Spanish goalkeeper the most high profile name to depart after making a total of 175 first team appearances during a relatively successful 8-year spell with the Gunners.
Almunia eventually took over the number 1 shirt after the departure of Jens Lehmann in 2008, and despite some amazing performances most notably against Manchester United in the Champions League in 2008/09 and against Barcelona in the 2009/10 Champions League quarter final he never really won over the Arsenal faithful. Then earlier last season his place came under scrutiny after a series of high-profile mistakes, and once he lost his place to Fabianski and Szczesny after sustaining an injury, he has since been relegated to Arsenal’s third choice Goalkeeper.
The Spaniard was unable to be sold last season with Wenger holding out for a specific fee, but nothing eventuated so he remained as backup with the Polish duo remaining relatively uninjured all season.
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Good luck to the departing players and thank you especially to Manuel Almunia with some heroic displays in the past but his time at the Emirates is certainly at the end, Adios!