When Arsenal slipped to a fifth-placed finish and missed out on Champions League football, it seemed inevitable they'd lose Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
The two contract rebels are slowly whittling down their deals and will be free agents by the summer.
The Gunners could have cashed in on the pair, yet they were determined they would not be losing any key players.
Instead, they sold Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for £35million, rising to £40m, and judging by his early performances for Liverpool, that probably wasn't such a bad idea.
It also looked likely that they would part ways with Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman has been confined to a bit-part role despite his tendency for scoring important goals.
Last season, Wenger handed him just 11 starts in the Premier League, so it'd be hard to blame the striker for moving elsewhere to a club where he felt truly appreciated.
The 30-year-old was asked recently how close he came to quitting north London, to which he admitted via the Independent:
"Actually that's a very private decision because it's true that I was close to leaving the club because I said that I wanted to play.
"But after a big reflection with everybody around me, like my family and my close friends, I wanted to stay at Arsenal and I thought the story was not over, (not) finished at Arsenal."
Giroud has never been a favourite
If anything, his situation has actually got worse. He's fallen even further down the pecking order due to the arrival of Alexandre Lacazette, with Danny Welbeck another preferred option.
Giroud was strongly linked with Everton in the summer as Ronald Koeman looked to replace Romelu Lukaku, something which he never really managed to do.
According to the Mirror, though, it was Wenger who decided a deal shouldn't happen, not Giroud himself.
Le Professeur was reportedly so worried about Sanchez's potential departure that he knew he couldn't lose another element of his attack at the same time. As it turned out, the South American never did join Manchester City, so Giroud could have left after all.
Everton will certainly be hoping Arsenal have changed their minds. It's claimed the Toffees will go back in for him in January in an attempt to try and address their poor start to the season.
If Wenger isn't playing him regularly by then, he'd have to at least give Giroud the opportunity to leave.
Should Giroud leave Arsenal? Have your say in the comments.
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