Arsenal formalised the exits of three academy players on Monday, but all three were on free transfers despite being under contract.

Zech Medley after joining KV Oostende (Photo via KVO.be)
Zech Medley after joining KV Oostende (Photo via KVO.be)

As we covered on Monday, Arsenal announced the departures of Trae Coyle, Zech Medley, and Mark McGuinness this week.

Coyle joined FC Lausanne-Sport in Switzerland, Medley joined K.V. Oostende in Belgium, and McGuinness remained in England to link up with Cardiff City in the Championship. But even though they were all under contract, they all reportedly left for free.

Arseblog reports that instead of transfer fees, Arsenal included sell-on clauses in the players’ contract. We also know from a previous report on Football.London that Arsenal have a first-option clause in Medley’s deal. It’s possible the same is true for the others as well.

Arsenal will still get some minor immediate financial benefits, primarily in getting the trio’s wages off the books. But it looks like they’ll effectively be delaying receiving any transfer fee until the players complete their next transfers.

The Gunners have a lot of outgoing business to do this summer, as their squad is overstuffed both in the first team and in the u23s. So perhaps it makes sense to do a few easy deals like this, even if it’s a shame not to get an immediate payday.

It’s certainly beneficial to the players themselves, who can move on and get their young careers going instead of being left stranded if and when negotiations break down.

If any or all of them push on and reach their potential, Arsenal will reap the rewards eventually.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.