He's done very well in his two years on loan at Roma and I honestly think he is at least an equal to Petr Cech and certainly better than any other options we have besides Cech. Maybe his bridges were burned along with that cigarette in the showers at Southampton, but I can't help feeling we might have made a mistake. Time will tell I suppose and playing understudy to Gianluigi Buffon at Juventus certainly won't make him a worse goalkeeper.
He's the only real departure of any note so far even if it does appear there are plenty more lining up at the exit door. It seems there is no place for Lucas Perez, Carl Jenkinson, Mathieu Debuchy, Jack Wilshere, Calum Chambers, Kieran Gibbs and maybe even a few more before the transfer deadline day. I would have thought David Ospina would be one of those on his way, but the sale of Szczesny has to make that fairly unlikely now.
The future of Alexis Sanchez is still uncertain, but the club seem to be determined to keep him even if it means losing him for nothing this time next year. I hope it doesn't come to that and he can be talked into a new contract, but if he can't I have to agree that it's better to keep him at the club for one final season despite what it might do to the bank balance in a year. He is the best player we have and if we are to make any impression next season we need to keep him and see how he can team up with Lacazette and Mesut Ozil.
There are plenty of rumours of the impending departures of Gibbs, Chambers, Perez and Jenkinson, but it might not be so easy to shift Debuchy or Wilshere. They're all on very good contracts at Arsenal and any team looking to buy them will have to think twice about matching their wages. We could be faced with a few of them not finding clubs because the money just isn't there to pay them.
We need to get their wages off the books though so we can pay that bit extra to the likes of Ozil and maybe Sanchez and the money we get for them would of course go nicely towards any upcoming purchases. The two players most likely to come at the moment seem to be Thomas Lemar and William Carvalho with the team/squad needing strengthening in their positions and both players possibly available. If we could add them to what we have already I think we could be almost optimistic about next season and it's been a while since I felt like that going into a new season with Arsenal.
It's also quite possible that we could lose Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain before the window closes as he doesn't seem eager to sign a new contract with only a year left to run on his current deal. It's a bit like the Alexis situation except Chamberlain isn't quite as valuable to us and we have never really found his true position in the team in his seven years at the club. He's a player who can be so good sometimes and the opposite too often too, but I still think he has a role to play in the long season ahead.
Much has been made of the need to sell Theo Walcott as he doesn't fit into our new formation, but playing with wing backs is hardly set in stone and I think we need to keep him too. He scored 19 goals last season and frustrate us as he might at times it won't be easy to replace those goals. Like Olivier Giroud he still has something to offer and I don't think we should be too quick to offload either of them. I would be surprised if Arsene Wenger thinks differently, but you never know what he might do if the right offer comes in.
With the new season comes a new season of "Fantasy Premier League" and as usual my "Ever Arsenal" league is up and running and there's €50 to the winner from my pocket unless a generous sponsor wants to step in and offer prizes galore. There's been well over a thousand teams in my league for the last few seasons and judging by the early uptake there will be again this season. If you haven't played before you can sign up here and join my league after you have set your team up by using the league code 57957-16522. For those who have been in the league before you will automatically rejoin once you set your team up and you can also find an auto link on my Twitter feed.
I'm also running my Predictions League again this season and you can find the link to join here and join my mini league with the code tq3c5. It's on the Talksport site and anyone good enough to predict all 10 scorelines correctly in a week can win £1,000,000 from them, but taking part in my mini league is obviously a lot more prestigious. I'll be updating the league here every week along with my usual fantasy tips and predictions.
That's it for today.
See you tomorrow.