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Thu Apr 24 01:38:29 SAST 2014

Almunia released as Arsenal dump fringe players

TEAMtalk Media | 23 May, 2012 11:560 Comments
Crystal Palace v West Ham United - npower Championship
Manuel Almunia of West Ham reacts during the Championship match between Crystal Palace and West Ham United at Selhurst Park on October 1, 2011 in London, England
Image by: Dan Istitene / Getty Images

Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia is to be released by manager Arsene Wenger along with several other fringe players.

This clear-out has come in the wake of Wenger's desire to cut the wage bill and free up money for potential transfers.

Almunia will leave north London on June 30 when his current contract expires along with George Brislen-Hall, Gavin Hoyte, James Campbell, Jeffrey Monakana, Rhys Murphy and Sean McDermott.

The 35-year-old Spaniard struggled to break into the Gunners squad upon his arrival from Celta Vigo in 2004.

He only operated as first choice for a brief stint between 2008 and 2010 where he once again fell out of favour with his manager and the club's fans alike for making some high-profile mistakes.

It was these crucial errors coupled with a well-documented loss of form that saw Almunia fall behind Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski in the pecking order.

He was, however, subsequently loaned out to West Ham in the Championship in 2011 as emergency cover for Robert Green, but only went onto make four appearances for the Hammers.

In the recently completed season, Almunia once again found himself out of favour and with the emergence of 19-year-old Argentine keeper Damian Martinez, Wenger has decided to end the veteran's eight-year association with the club.

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Almunia released as Arsenal dump fringe players

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