As Mesut Ozil cut a demure figure watching Arsenal's 2-0 Carabao Cup defeat to Tottenham, there was none of the outcry you might expect about such a high-profile player's exclusion from the matchday squad.
When pressed ahead of the quarter-final, Unai Emery would only confirm the decision was "tactical".
The 30-year-old has started just over half the Gunners' league games this season and by now, you'll have heard that the club have decided that they are open to offers.
The former Germany international was awarded a £350,000-a-week contract extension in January to avoid him following Alexis Sanchez out the door.
Manchester United were willing to take a gamble on the Chilean - which, in hindsight, hasn't paid off - because despite his own extortionate wages, he could be swapped for Henrikh Mkhitaryan and therefore procured on the cheap.
However, Ozil finds himself in a much more difficult position.
The midfielder's salary is set to make his departure problematic, which is why, according to The Times, Arsenal are now weighing up whether to send him out on loan.
They are reluctant to pay a percentage of his wages, as is often the case under normal circumstances, for example when a young player is loaned to help them develop.
Yet that just highlights how strange it would be for someone of Ozil's profile to be shunted around the continent rather than attracting any bids.
What's putting other clubs off?
It's thought Inter Milan are a possible option but, once again, the Nerazzurri can't afford his wages.
Fortunately, it's not too late for Emery to have a change of heart.
By dropping Ozil, he has been hoping to spark a reaction from the World Cup winner. The trouble is, so far he's getting nothing out of him.
While the majority of the squad have quickly adapted to Emery's high-energy style of play, it simply doesn't seem to suit the lacklustre former Real Madrid man.
That might be forgiven if he was performing with the effortless panache we associate him with, but that's not materialising either.
Arsenal now face a run of three games in seven days, so he will presumably play some part before the New Year as Emery will have no choice but to utilise his full squad.
Time is running out before the January window swings open, though, and it would be a point of embarrassment, at the very least, if he could not attract any permanent suitors.
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