Arsenal release Flamini + Chatzitheodoridis; duo sign professional terms


Arsenal have submitted their released and retained lists to the Premier League, with four players leaving the club.

Senior trio Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Tomas Rosicky have, as expected, been released with their contracts set to expire at the end of this month.

Meanwhile, left-back Ilias Chatzitheodoridis has also been let go. The Greek youngster featured prominently for the club’s U18 side over the past couple of seasons but wasn’t able to earn a professional deal.

It has also been confirmed that Donyell Malen and Joshua DaSilva have signed professional terms, leaving Charlie Gilmour, Edward Nketiah, Kostas Pileas, Nathan Tella and Joe Willock as the remaining second-year scholars going into next season.




  1. So sad that after 20 years of Arsene, he and his overpaid scouts have never found another Tony Adams, John Stones, etc etc. This has created the stupid squad of too many midfielders and a dearth of defenders. Hence the shocking collapses every year.

    1. @ Gunnerpete : Well how many John Stones do you see out there? Its really rare to find a really good young center defender. Physical attributes aside it is a position that needs experience to get better. Tony Adams made a lot of mistakes before he became good. In current times if you make a mistake it cost a lot, you get lots of criticism and not to mention you might be the Catalyst for the SHocking Collapses in that YEAR. and have fans like Yourself perhaps shouting at the young player… “You’re not ready, Loan him out, Farm him out etc..” So there you go.
      PS. This year Gabrielle is ShockinG! the lack of tactical awareness, bad marking, losing headers… it cost us games! Watford Fa Cup. See his defending. its shocking! and it costs games.

    2. Have u seen the dearth of English centre backs. So yes there is stones and may be cahill and smalling (but they have been bought by their current clubs) that just scrape in. But then who? It’s not just arsenal and England that have had this problem and to be totally honest, who have Spain unearthed? Even Germany are struggling in that department.

      Almost all the top clubs have bought in their centre backs and most of the countries struggle to field 4 top centre backs.

      On topic I would have thought nketiah would have signed pro on his birthday. Wasn’t it in May?

      1. Another thing I should add is that working as a coach and scout, centre back is the last outfield position that kids want to play. It’s a stereotyped role and usually “the big kid” fills it. Many of these kids are like 5’7 or 5’8 when they are 10/11 years old. By the time they hit 17/18 they have been over taken in height by many of their peers. “The big kid” is no longer the big kid and has not learnt the outfield skills that his peers have and they are now as tall orvtaller than them. The coaches then start using the taller players in that role for obvious reasons, one they are taller but also many can actually play football. The only downside to this is that at 17/18 these new centre backs need to learn how to defend. It is very rare that a 21/22 year old centre back comes into a first team and is physically ready to deal with an ibrahimovic/Drogba type player. I cast my mind back to senderos, he is still part of the meanest defence in champions league history. Yet every time he faced Drogba he was like a rabbit in headlights and got torn a new one. Adams too when he came in and was thrown into the England squad soon after. Always wore his heart on his sleeve, but on those early days he learned the hard way.

    3. CB is the most difficult department to feed 17,18,19 year old in.. only very rare exceptions..check any top European club and even National is a global phenomenon facing modern football.. this has nothing to do with Managers or scouts..

  2. Adams was universally slated as a donkey when he first started for us. The world has changed and we can no longer run the risk of having a centre back learn his trade from 17 in the first team.
    Every mistake would be jumped on by a section of our fans as well as the media, it would ruin the kid.

    When we were a mid table team this was fine, we haven’t been since a certain Mr Wenger turned up.

  3. There is a lot of decent U21 central defenders, but most do not play for Premiership clubs.
    This is a position where experience is key. The only way to get experience is by playing. So broke championship and league one club plays young players. Not by design, but because of financial restrictions.
    That is why suddenly, English clubs are bidding for Bolton, Charlton, Brighton defenders. They may be young, but they a few seasons of actual play.
    Also they may not have silky moves of John Stones, but they can defend properly.
    Look at Chambers, if he had spend another year at Southampton playing beside Fonte, next season he would now be in the first team rather being loaned.
    I think that the penny has finally dropped. U21 competition is not the right place for developing good U21 defenders. That is why AFC is willing to let Chambers go on loan, same thing with that defender from Bolton. The strikers they are confronted with are all academy players. Technically good, quick, wanting to participate in the built up but inexperienced, without mean streak, without grinta, etc. Compare with the reality, as a defender they will be confronted to strong players who act as pivot and will play on their physical attributes (Giroud, Drogba, Costa, Bony, …), strikers whose main strength is speed will to win at all cost even cheating (Suarez, Vardy, …). All of those strikers do not fit the academy mould, but they are the most effective.

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