Mesut Ozil and Sokratis are the two highest profile names to be left out of Mikel Arteta’s Europa League Squad, alongside William Saliba, with their futures at Emirates Stadium left in doubt.
Arsenal knew they would have registration issues, as the signing of Thomas Partey left The Gunners’ with 19 non home-grown players in their first team squad, but with rules stipulating there must be a maximum of 17 some big names would be left out.
Big names left at home
The decision not to include Ozil or Sokratis is not much of a surprise to fans, as neither have played any significant role in the first team this season and both were linked with exits over the summer, but never materialised.
The situation surrounding Saliba has come as much of a surprise. The French defender signed for Arsenal last summer from AS Saint-Étienne but was loaned back to France for the season.
An injury hit campaign limited his game time and he arrived back to North London this year with the expectation from fans he would come into the first team.
The centre-back has not yet played a minute for the first team so far and continues to be linked with another loan exit, not appearing to be a part of Arteta’s immediate plans.
Squad registration rules have proven difficult in the past before and often come in for some criticism.
Registration and suprise returns
The rules frequently force managers into including players in their squad who they do not intend on using in order to fulfil the quota.
Arsenal’s inclusion of James Hilson and Dejan Iliev brings their goalkeeper total to five, alongside regular first team squad members Bernd Leno, Alex Runnarson and Matt Macey.
Arteta has included 24 players in his squad but cannot include another non-home-grown player in the list.
Gabriel Martinelli misses out through injury, but is likely to be registered in January, providing Arsenal qualify for the next round.
Before the start of the new season if you told Arsenal fans that Mohammad Elneny would play a bigger part of the team than Ozil few would have believed you.
The Egyptian international has played in three of Arsenal’s four Premier League games this season, only missing out once in Arsenal’s 2-1 victory against West Ham.
Speculation continues to go on that Ozil will also fail to make the Premier League squad, and whilst also failing to make two Carabao Cup squads, could we have seen the last of the German in an Arsenal shirt already?