Granit Xhaka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette’s PR teams thought it a good day to make sure fans knew they wouldn’t be hanging around as Arsenal prepared to announce Mikel Arteta as their new head coach.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on March 10, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 10: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on March 10, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

To be honest, none of this is a surprise as the replies to this tweet show:

The Independent

Despite being three core players in a team that has performed worse than any other Arsenal team in a generation, Xhaka, Auba and Laca all want out because they believe they should be playing for better clubs that have a chance of winning something.

They’re probably not wrong, in two of those three cases, at least.

You do have to wonder, though, how many people around the world would know Granit Xhaka’s name had he never signed for Arsenal in the first place, but his case is different than the other two, so let’s take them one at a time.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Freddie Ljungberg caretaker Arsenal coach speaks with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Freddie Ljungberg caretaker Arsenal coach speaks with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

I was always surprised we’d managed to tempt Aubameyang to Arsenal given we all knew Arsene Wenger was on his last legs at the club and change was imminent. It helped, of course, that he was falling out with a load of people at Dortmund and Arsenal threw a ton of money at him.

But sign he did and you cannot say his arrival has been anything but a positive on the pitch. To score 54 goals, with 13 assists, in 86 games for this Arsenal squad is more than a little impressive.

Behind the scenes, however, he seems to be a bit of a tit. Again, not something we weren’t aware of.

I don’t think he was the right choice for captain, and said so at the time, and we saw in the way he reacted to Joe Willock for misplacing a pass that he got the armband to soothe his ego rather than because he is a natural leader.

Aubameyang will turn 31 this summer and has one chance left to sign for one of the big clubs in Spain. With one year left on his Arsenal contract, the only question really is will the club sell him in January or the at the end of the season.

Given how desperately they need his goals, a summer move would be more prudent for the club, assuming they can prevent Aubameyang becoming too much of a distraction in the dressing room which is seeming ever more unlikely.

Alexandre Lacazette

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Freddie Ljungberg caretaker Arsenal coach speaks with Alexandre Lacazette during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Freddie Ljungberg caretaker Arsenal coach speaks with Alexandre Lacazette during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Lacazette never wanted to come to Arsenal. He really wanted to go to Spain to play with his mate, Antoine Griezmann at Atletico Madrid. But the summer he was available was also the summer they were banned from buying players, so off to Arsenal he went instead.

I find the 28-year-old quite an enigma. We all know that Didier Deschamps flat-out refuses to pick him for the France side. When he arrived at Arsenal in 2017, he played the full 90 in the first league game of the season and then not again until December. There were only 10 league games in which he wasn’t taken off or brought on, much to his and the fans’ frustration.

Things improved for him somewhat under Unai Emery even if the team overall got gradually worse. He played more but his return was less, unsurprisingly.

Now, he’s left with a choice. Stay at Arsenal under an untested and unproven manager while the club focus more on young players because they’re too skint to do anything else, or head off to any one of a number of big clubs who would take him in a heartbeat.

Granit Xhaka

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal applauds after the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on September 30, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 30: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal applauds after the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on September 30, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Xhaka’s situation is the clearest of them all when you think about it. He made his feelings about being at Arsenal, and the Arsenal fans, perfectly clear that day he swore at them as he left the pitch. The captaincy was taken from him and there was never going to be anyway back.

Had he been a player that the fans loved, they would have forgiven his moment of stupidity but Xhaka has never been that. He has always been a player who divided the fanbase with most seeing him as too slow – of foot and brain – to play for Arsenal.

When Unai Emery continued to pick him despite his form being in the toilet at the same time as ostracising Mesut Ozil for seemingly doing nothing wrong, Xhaka became a lightening rod for the growing anger and frustration at the club.

Over recent weeks, everybody has sort of just got on with things and pretended like it never happened.

But I don’t think it’s any coincidence that as Arsenal were getting ready to announce Arteta, Bild ran a story saying Xhaka has already told his teammates he is leaving in January.