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Today is Vlad Dragomir’s last day as an Arsenal player, for now at least, with the midfielder yet to agree a new contract with the club.
Dragomir’s immediate future remains rather uncertain as his agent claims that he is still in discussions with Arsenal over a possible deal, while Monaco are interested in signing the Romanian youth international.
A player around whom there has always been a considerable amount of hype during his time at Arsenal, Dragomir really stepped up last season as he produced some excellent performances at U23 level, helping the young Gunners to win the Premier League 2 title.
First-team opportunities, though, proved rather difficult to come by. He was named on the bench for the Europa League game away to BATE Borisov but didn’t get on and, aside from a few training sessions, had no further involvement with the senior squad.
Dragomir is determined to play first-team football and it looks as if he will have to fulfil that objective elsewhere.
Had he elected to remain at Arsenal then the most likely scenario would have seen Dragomir head out on loan, perhaps to a foreign club, but even then it would have been difficult to envisage him getting much of a look in with regards to first-team chances upon his return.
A player with excellent close control, Dragomir has started to add more goals to his game – he mustered six for the U23s last season. He has demonstrated his versatility, too, operating in both wing-back berths and as a striker at times as well as in his preferred attacking midfield position.
It was evident, though, that, despite the quality that he possesses, Dragomir was still some way away from being ready to make a major impact in the first-team squad. For instance, he is not especially strong physically and his decision-making under pressure still requires some work.
It is disappointing for Arsenal to be losing another player with much potential, but in the short term Dragomir’s departure, if indeed it does occur, won’t have much of an impact and will instead enable other youngsters opportunities to push closer to the first-team squad.
Perhaps elsewhere Dragomir will get the opportunities in senior football that he feels he deserves, but staying at Arsenal was never likely have a beneficial outcome for either party.