Sokratis leaves Arsenal: The Gunners' transfer failings over the past three years are startling

Sokratis' Arsenal contract has been terminated by mutual consent

Arsenal have terminated Sokratis Papastathopoulos' contract by mutual consent

The Greek defender hasn't played since last season's FA Cup final and that was his final appearance for the club.

“He has been an important part of our group and has been a model professional throughout," Arsenal's technical director Edu said after Wednesday's official annoucement.

"The negotiations to end his contract have been collaborative and we wish Papa and his family well for the future.”

The latest news means that in a matter of days, Arsenal have seen two players, Sokratis and Mesut Ozil, leave for free before the end of their contracts.

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While it's good that the club have got two players on hefty salaries off their books, Ozil and Sokratis' exits highlight the club's ineptitude from a transfer standpoint.

Arsenal have allowed eight high-profile players to leave the club for free over the past three years.

Ozil, Sokratis, Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Danny Welbeck make up the octet in question.

Shkodran Mustafi will depart the club on a free transfer and join that group in due course, taking the total to nine.

The amount spent on those players? Around £190m. Money recouped by the north London club? Absolutely nothing.

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"So hard to build and maintain a competitive squad when business is done like this, especially when you have an owner who doesn't put his own money in," Goal's Arsenal correspondant Charles Watts added on Twitter.

"You have to get buying and selling right, Arsenal get it wrong so often. So much money wasted."

He's absolutely spot on. The Gunners' poor recruitment has pretty much been the catalyst for the team's struggles in recent years.

Arsenal don't have the financial power to compete with Europe's elite in the transfer market, so they need to be far smarter when it comes to bringing in players.

Although judging by the acquisition of Willian just last summer, it seems eradicating the problems present at the club will take some time...

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