It's rare that a transfer season at Arsenal that passes without a drawn-out saga ending in the inevitable departure of the team's biggest star.
That is unlikely to be the case in 2013, if only because the team seem to have definitively entered a "post-star" era.
But that shift, in itself, means that there will be plenty of changes to the Arsenal lineup in the coming year. Arsenal may finally have settled Theo Walcott's future—at least for the time being—but here are some other Gunners who won't be donning the red and white come January 2014.
The unloved Brazilian is likely to be the first through the exit door. If reports, such as this one from the Daily Mirror, are correct, then Santos could leave before the end of the January transfer window.
Santos has not exactly been a nailed-on starter, but given Kieran Gibbs' frailty, he has had more starts than most fans were comfortable with in his brief and undistinguished Emirates career.
Future fans may be hard-pressed to remember the nominal left-back, whose impact on the club largely amounted to a series of shocking defensive woes, capped off by the embarrassing Robin van Persie shirt-swap debacle at Old Trafford.
Contract negotiations with the French right-back broke down earlier this season, as highlighted in the Daily Mail.
Given his alarming recent loss of form, Arsenal will be even less inclined to break the bank to secure the 29-year-old's signature.
Reports linking the club with a move for versatile defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa underline the fact that Arsenal are more than ready to move on sans Sagna.
Sagna and Santos may not necessarily be missed, but there is one current Arsenal stalwart who could leave a sizeable gap in the starting lineup: Mikel Arteta.
While nothing to date has surfaced in the press to suggest that the Spaniard may leave, there are reasons to believe that his Emirates future could be tenuous.
Arteta accepted a pay cut and a move to a more defensive role than his preferred positioning when he joined Arsenal from Everton in 2011. One big incentive for doing so was being able to join Champions League football and obtain the resulting raised profile that could potentially help him challenge for a place in the national team.
If Arsenal finish outside the top four this season—as they are in imminent danger of doing—that incentive vanishes. For a 30-year-old player with Arteta's skills, coming to the end of a career that, while distinguished, has perhaps fallen short of his potential, could prove decisive.
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