Arsène Wenger is expected to field his usual youthful Carling Cup side for the trip to West Bromwich Albion this evening.
The Arsenal manager continues to use this competition as a useful education for his emerging professionals. Many have gone on to become established members of the first-team squad. Others, like David Bentley, Graham Stack, Stuart Taylor, Jerome Thomas, Jermaine Pennant and Moritz Volz, have forged careers at other Premiership clubs.
It is always a risk letting talent players leave so the Club has sometimes retained first option to buy them back.
"It's normal," said Wenger speaking before the weekend game at Reading. "Most of the time we sell very good players to Clubs who have not a lot of money. They cannot pay for the real value of the player.
"At least we try to have first option if another club comes in. I think that is fair. It doesn't mean we try to stop the club from making money. But we try to do it when we feel we undersell or under price the player."24 Oct 2006