Charlie Nicholas says Arsenal’s current off-field issues stem from years of lacking ambition and failing to make progress.
The Gunners have a number of players whose contracts will expire in the next year-and-a-half.
Mesut Özil, Alexis Sanchez and Jack Wilshere are the most high profile examples this summer. But Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott and others all have contracts that expire in 2019.
Nicholas gave his thoughts on the situation to Sky Sports.
“The same issues have been going on for several seasons,” the former Gunner argued. “They’re now missing out on Champions League funds because of the apparent penny-counting.
“The club looks as if it has lost all ambition. Since the day David Dein walked away this football club has been sinking.
“I wonder how we’re going to attract the best players or, when Arsene does leave, his replacement. It worries me who would want to come and manage here when it seems we can’t get our best players to renew their contracts.
“It is a similar issue for potential players, who will look at the situation and wonder what is going on.
“Jack Wilshere hasn’t been given a contract because he hasn’t played enough, but what have the other players done to earn theirs?
“The FA Cup has definitely kept the wolves from the door for a few seasons. Now the club are in a position where they’re up against it again just to win the Carabao Cup or secure a top-four position.
“That’s not progress.”
Calum Chambers is the only player in the first-team squad to sign a new deal this season.
Francis Coquelin, Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny signed new contracts in early 2017, but Giroud is no longer first choice and Coquelin has gone.
It’s certainly concerning how the club plan to convince players to join, if no-one there wants to extend their current contracts.
There are some first-team players with longer deals, for example Hector Bellerin, or new signings Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette. But it still doesn’t send out the best message that there are so few.
Perhaps the club should just cut their losses and try to rebuild. Sell the players who have made up their minds, and use the extra budget to tie down players who haven’t.
Whatever they decide, the next couple of transfer windows are bound to be busy – and crucial.