Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette reportedly made it clear to Arsenal that they would not sign new deals with the club as long as Unai Emery was in charge.
With Arsenal moving quickly after the defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt, although probably not quickly enough in the grand scheme of things overall, the club are now better placed to convince two of their biggest names to stay in London.
There was simply no way that Aubameyang, a player still banging in goals like he’s a kid, was going to move into his 30s at a club that couldn’t even compete in the Europa League let alone return to the Champions League.
Similarly, Lacazette has always hankered for Spain and it was perhaps more by chance than destiny we ended up signing him in the first place.
According to James Olley, the players made it perfectly clear they would not renew if the Spaniard remained at the club and the reasons were obvious to us all.
There were other issues behind the scenes, plenty of them detailed in Olley’s piece linked above that we will no doubt dissect more over the coming days.
But, for now, the great hunt is on and our palette cleanser manager is gone.
Now, it’s time for the real thing.