31 January 2003

You won’t recall him but on 31 January 2003 Guillaume Warmuz was purchased from Lens.  But stay with me on this for a moment because there is a point in mentioning him beyond the fact that he only stayed a very short while before being sold on to Borussia Dortmund.  He later played for Monaco, retiring at the end of the 2006–07 campaign at the age of 37.

On 16 February 2008, Warmuz was appointed director of football at FC Gueugnon lasting eight days in office. From May to December 2012, he acted as Auxerre’s goalkeeping coach. The on 1 June 2017, Warmuz was appointed as manager of Championnat National 2 side Montceau Bourgogne In April 2018, with his side facing relegation, Warmuz resigned as manager and we have no more information beyond that.

And my point is, this is the typical 31 January story. Players ought to be warned: don’t do anything on 31 January other than play football. At least don’t do anything with Arsenal, for Warmuz was just one of so many players who failed to make a mark at Arsenal and then moved on, leaving on 31 January.  It seems to be the day of leaving.  Here are a few others just taken from 2006 onwards.

31 January 2006: David Bentley was sold to Blackburn Rovers.  He undoubtedly had a huge talent, but never lived up to expectations and after playing with Tottenham reserves eventually gave up football in 2014 to run a restaurant.

31 January 2006: Quincy Owusu Abedyie  was sold to Spartak Moscow.  He had numerous loans out from that club and later played for Panathinaikos before moving on to Boavista.

31 January 2011: Nacer Barazite never played a league game for Arsenal, but was sold to Austria Wien on this day.  He later moved on to AS Monaco and FC Utrecht.   

31 January 2011: Gilles Sunu loaned to Lorient.  After the loan spell he signed permanently for them having never played for Arsenal in the league.

31 January 2011: Kyle Bartley loaned to Rangers.  He later moved on to Swansea.

31 January 2011: Ryo Miyaichi completed his move to Arsenal.  He looked tremendously promising, but injuries appeared to hinder his talent and he was consigned to a range of loan deals before moving on.

31 January 2012: Thomas Eisfeld joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund for £420,000.  Despite some highly promising performances he did not make the final breakthrough and eventually joined Fulham.

31 January 2012: Ryo Miyaichi went to Bolton on loan and played 12 times for them before making one final English loan deal with Wigan.  After this he moved to Europe.

31 January 2013: Chuks Aneke loaned to Crewe for the second time.  After failing to break into the Arsenal team he moved on to Zulte Waregem in the Belgian League.

31 January 2014: Arsenal agreed a loan deal for injured Kim Kallstrom.  Despite Arsenal making it clear that they did not pay his wages until he was fit, the press always labelled it a “controversial” move.

31 January 2014: Daniel Boateng joined Hibs on loan.  He returned to Arsenal at the end of the season and then moved on to Södertälje FK

31 January 2014: Ju Young Park joined Watford on loan having failed to make any impact at all with Arsenal, his transfer remaining one of the most puzzling of the modern era.

31 January 2014: Frimpong sold to Barnsley.  The club later released him after just a handful of games and he moved on to Russia where unfortunately his discipline problems continued to follow him.

31 January 2017: Six young Arsenal players went out on loan, including Krystian Bielik who went to Birmingham City.

31 January 2018: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of around £56m.  It was Arsene Wenger’s final signing for Arsenal. There had to be one good deal in the end.

There is one other transfer on this day that does stand out however: 31 January 2013: Monreal signed for £8.5m from Malaga to cover for the injured Gibbs.   Despite his low fee he went on to play both at full back and central defence for the club and by 2015/16 was seen as a fundamental part of the new back four.   On 31 January 2019 Monreal joined Real Sociedad on a two year contract.