Arsenal release Aneke, Ansah, Boateng and Bendtner

Source: Victor Fraile/Getty Images AsiaPac

Source: Victor Fraile/Getty Images AsiaPac

Arsenal have released Chuks Aneke, Zak Ansah and Daniel Boateng, according to the Premier League.

Aneke’s future had been the subject of considerable debate following his hugely impressive season on loan at Crewe Alexandra, but it now appears that the midfielder has left the club, along with fellow Hale End graduates Ansah and Boateng.

First-team strikers Nicklas Bendtner and Ju-Young Park have also been released from their contracts. The club have offered new deals to right-back Bacary Sagna and goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, but both players seem set to leave.

Second-year scholars Glen Kamara and Josh Vickers, meanwhile, have been offered new deals at the club, whilst youngsters Zach Fagan, Leander Siemann, Alfred Mugabo, Arinse Uade and Tarum Dawkins have all been let go.

After struggling to impose himself during loan stints with Stevenage and Preston North End, Aneke has flourished on loan at Crewe, with the former England U19 international scoring 14 league goals in 36 appearances last season. However, his progress at Emirates Stadium was blocked by the presence of several high-quality midfielders such as Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey. Aneke leaves with just one Arsenal first-team appearance to his name, and appears to possess all the capabilities for a successful career in the game, although he may well have to start in the Championship next season.

Ansah, who was highly regarded as a schoolboy, has struggled with injuries in recent years and failed to deliver a consistent set of performances for the U21 side, whilst Boateng was limited to a solitary first-team appearance against Bolton Wanderers in the Carling Cup in 2011. Boateng endured difficult loan spells with Swindon Town, Oxford United and Hibernian, but never seemed capable of making the grade at the club.

Bendtner also came through the Arsenal Academy after joining from Copenhagen in 2004 and made 171 senior appearances for the club, scoring 47 goals.

Benik Afobe and Ignasi Miquel, meanwhile, have been retained and still have a year left to run on their current deals, but there remains the possibility that both players could depart permanently this Summer. Johan Djourou is still under contract, but is poised to make a permanent switch to Hamburg on July 1st.





  1. I’m amazed Aneke has just been released. Surely worth at least putting in a sell on clause and pass on for a nominal sum?

    1. U are deluded sir if u think just because Aneke is African he is crap what has been African got to do with a good player,some people are just sick in d head

  2. It does say at the top of article that even though they are listed as free transfer they may still be retained so if you are basing this purely on the Premier League website you may have jumped the gun slightly

    1. It’s very rare that a player on the free transfer list.does actually stay. It’s only if the club reverse it’s decision and actually offer a contract, which is what looks like happening with Frank.Lampard and also.happened to.our own zac fagan.last year.

      So we now have 14 non-homegrown and 13 homegrown players, However, I am sure that fabianski, galindo, sagna.and djourou will be joining the departure list in the next month, whilst I cannot see ryo, coquelin, miquel and possibly martinez being in the final 25

  3. chuks aneke….such a talent hate to see it go waste, im sure he can carve a good future in the game, may be more than what most people expect. good luck chuck!

  4. Releasing Aneke is a very big surprise. He looks and plays like Yaya Toure. Thought we should have kept and loaned him out for another season, at the very least. Just hope this doesn’t come back to haunt us.

    1. He lacks the dynamism and explosivity of Yaya Touré.
      He may carve a good career for himself, but it is unlikely to reach the height of top 4 premiership.
      However I was still hoping that he would up his game in a next season loan.
      He may still get a last minute reprieve by Arsenal, but that does not look likely.

      1. For me I think the club was not creative enough in exploring his talent.

        As an attacking midfielder, Aneke was no slower than say Fabregas, so that’s no barrier to him making it into the first team.

        Plus what about trying him in for example a Xabi Alonso/Arteta type or role, or a as a ballplaying centre back like Rio Ferdinand.

        I’m shocked the club would throw away a talent like that. He will make it for sure and I believe at top four level too.

      2. I second Ziontrain. Not creative enough is a nice way to put it.

        The equation is something like this for me : we give away a bit in size and strength to many/most of the teams we come up against; our manager’s way (and, it’s safe to say by now, the club’s way) is never to target players specifically for physical attributes nor to look to ensure we always have some bigger players in the side; technique, specifically passing ability, is the order of the day; Aneke is a very powerful player… and he has good technique.

        That’s what’s disappointing about it for me. I’m glad we’re committed to technique-based passing football, but would rather we tweaked the squad and team balance to make us a little better at dealing with physical opponents, and Aneke presented a best-of-both-worlds option on that front.

        It may not have worked, but we should have made every effort to see if it could. Big skillful players, especially those who can play subtle passes and are good with both feet, are pretty damn rare.

        His loan last year was easily good enough to warrant us offering another year on his contract while aiming for a championship loan this time out, and in my opinion this probably happened and he wasn’t keen (prompted perhaps by what could be seen as the insult of going on tour to Asia and barely getting any time, and then out of position), instead signaling he wanted to go back to Crewe.

        Whatever the story actually is, it was surely game over when he went back there for the last year of his contract. We normally seem to behave nicely in these situations, whereas for me the better thing, for us, in that scenario would have been to keep him with our under 21s, where he would have killed it and perhaps come round to the idea of staying. We were effectively relegated. We wouldn’t have been with Aneke and Afobe playing. No chance.

        Anyway, as with all those who leave, good luck to him. Can’t shake the feeling he’s the one who’ll come back to haunt us.

      3. @Rich, @Ziontrain,
        I agree with you that Aneke deserved another year. A loan at a premiership or championship club may have been the making of him. However I think that there may be more than meet the eye.
        His refusal last year to play as a deep laying midfield à la Alonso sealed his fate. He could have been Arteta understudy (or even Diaby replacement), but as he is not going to overtake Özil, Cazorla, Wilshere he has been let go.
        I also suspect that he does not have the natural stamina to be an energetic forward midfield player. At full tilt, quite often he looks like a 70 minutes player. At league 1 level, his technique allow him to hide that. I am not sure that he could at premiership level. He is like a diesel, strong and reliable when on course but unlikely to speed off from a defender on the first 10 yards.
        Despite his injury and smaller frame, in that domain Toral seems to have more about him than Aneke.
        Like Rich said, that obsession with small technical players is killing Arsenal at senior and even more at U21 level. Most big teams know that they can be bully us. Most of the time, our superior technique allow us to compensate our smaller physique. However at the highest level (Chelsea, Manchester City, Bayern, Liverpool …), the difference in technique is too small to compensate.
        Without going the other extreme à la Stoke, a better mix of small and tall players would not go amiss.
        More importantly, there is no pace in our team. The attraction with the Ox is that he is that very rare combination of raw power, pace, forceful run, quick feet and vision. With his clone Gnabry having already proven that he could handle premiership level game, letting Aneke go makes sense. Even if it disappointing.

  5. Also really gutted that chuks did not figure in arsene’s plans but then again there are the wilshires, ramseys, gibbs and so on who have come through. On another note, do you have more information on our new head of scouting, steve morrow, I think.

  6. Love your work Jeorge but is it now time to pack this in, if only for your own sanity? Aneke is quality but he’ll never get close to first team.

    We’ve got money now, when it comes to youth we’re essentially Chelsea, except the cash is self generated.

  7. agree with all those surprised by the Chuks exit , even if he never made our side he seems good enough for lower prem side. Is no worse than the Sidwells of the world who commanded decent transfer fees. I also think his versatility should have been tested more. Arsene had him tagged since he was about 5 if urban myths are to be believed.

    1. One wonders if there wasn’t some sort of agreement in place that kicked in here.

      Barcelona were reportedly sniffing around Aneke and Afobe just before they signed on as professionals. It is possible that they were persuaded to stay by tacit or contractual agreement that they would get their first team chances….or be allowed to go on free transfers.

      And fact is that neither of them have had any real first team chances at Arsenal, which is surprising for kids that were so highly sought after earlier on.

      I still have hope for Afobe, but it doesn’t look good here.

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