For reasons not every Arsenal fan understands, I like to keep an eye on what players and coaches get up to when they leave Arsenal, so here’s a round-up of what some ex-Gunners have been up to this week.
Former Arsenal youngster, Li Ke (formerly known as Nico Yennaris), has been back at London Colney in recent weeks working on his recovery from injury.
While a lot of the youngsters were in Dubai with the first team, the 29-year-old was training with the remaining players.
Currently playing in China, Li has been out since May with what has been described as a ‘rare’ injury for footballers that has required multiple surgeries
Sacked Arsenal scout, Francis Cagigao, will leave his role as sporting director for the Chilean FA at the end of the month despite being offered a contract extension.
Although he has been offered positions in the MLS, it is believed that the Spaniard wants to return to Europe to be close to his family.
Cagigao was a youth player at Arsenal during the 80s before becoming the club’s longest-serving senior scout, with a reputation respected all over the world with a big hand in the signings of Lauren, Cesc Fabregas, Jose Antonio Reyes, Santi Cazorla, Nacho Monreal, Mikel Arteta, Emiliano Martinez, Granit Xhaka, Alexis, Carlos Vela, Hector Bellerin, Robin van Persie, Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba.
When Sven Mislintat left the club due to disagreements with the management, Cagigao was the man the club turned to to fill that role, before sacking him, too.
Chuba Akpom, who missed out on Championship Player of the Month for November (more below) was voted Fans’ Player of the Month instead.
Akpom scored three and assisted one in four games.
Last week, David Luiz, now 35, signed a one-year contract extension with Flamengo and this has now been made official.
A report from Brazil writes, “David Luiz arrived in 2021 and established himself as one of the highlights of the team this year,” so, quite the opposite of what happened when he arrived at Arsenal.
Dani Ceballos is clinging to his dream of making it at Real Madrid despite his contract expiring in the summer and no offer of a new deal on the table. He is hoping to take advantage of post-World Cup tiredness in his teammates legs to make his case for a renewal.
Samir Nasri has been speaking about how he doesn’t hate Arsenal
Finally, Thierry Henry has now lost two France records at this World Cup. First, Olivier Giroud overtook him as their country’s top goalscorer. The, Antoine Griezmann took his assists record.
9 December Ex-Arsenal round-up
Chuba Akpom, now with Middlesbrough, was nominated for Championship Player of the Month for November but ultimately lost out to the Coventry City striker, Vikto Gyokeres, who scored four of his side’s six goals, one of which was a ‘magical solo run’.
The former Arsenal youngster scored three goals in four games last month, bringing his total to eight for the season. Now 27, Akpom has been used as an attacking midfielder in his most recent games.
Barcelona are willing to sell Hector Bellerin in the January transfer window. The defender only arrived in the summer on a one-year deal and recently spoke about wanting to sign an extension with his childhood club, even though everybody thought he wanted to go back to Real Betis, his father’s childhood club. Betis, however, look like they want to throw all their spare cash in the Dani Ceballos basket.
The Real Madrid midfielder, who enjoyed a lengthy, yet mostly anonymous loan spell at Arsenal, will reportedly not renew his contract which expires this summer and Real Betis are ready to sell a player or two to re-sign him.
Lucas Torreira could also be on the move just six months after leaving Arsenal for Galatasaray. Understandably, they don’t want to sell him but the midfielder is still pining for Italy.
Sven Mislintat recently left Stuttgart at the end of his contract and is being heavily linked with a move to Liverpool for the start of next season.
Ivan Gazidis has also left his position at AC Milan. While it’s not clear what the future holds for the former Arsenal chief exec, he is reportedly wanted to help deliver the 2026 World Cup which will take place in Canada, Mexico and the United States.