With the departure of midfielder Gilberto to Panathinaikos this month, Arsenal supporters have come to the realisation that they stand to lose at least four top-class midfielders. While Gilberto claims he left because he wasn’t guaranteed first-team football next year, the former Arsenal stalwart claims he’s still befuddled as to why Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Hleb left the club. He feels their moves away from the Emirates will be something they will regret later on – especially since they were guaranteed first-team football and a chance to grow under Wenger’s tutelage.
Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Hleb negotiated hefty pay rises after leaving this summer and Emmanuel Adebayor’s future is in doubt because of his demands for an improved contract.
Gilberto, who moved to Greece after losing his place last season, believes Flamini and Hleb will regret leaving the club prematurely. “I don’t know what the reason is for them leaving but they could have stayed. If it’s for money, I would think they’re wrong.
“Most of the players who leave miss the club for lots of reasons. The lifestyle at Arsenal is fantastic. You get so well looked after.” (Telegraph.co.uk)
This has been an odd summer for Arsenal. For a club that was up-and-coming last year with some of the brightest talent, it comes as a bit of a shock to see so many moving this summer. Most would agree that they moved for the money; but in today’s footballing world, it sometimes pays to play at the club that gave you the chance to shine in the first place. One can only wish Flamini and Hleb had proper heads on their shoulders to understand that but, as far as we know, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Do Arsenal supporters agree with Gilberto’s comments? Do you think Flamini and Hleb made the wrong decision to leave the Emirates this summer?