Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez’s contract sagas may have ended very differently but both had a knock-on effect at Arsenal.
Alexis ran down his contract until Arsenal had no choice but to sell him in January, or they would have to allow him to leave on a free. Therefore, they ‘sold’ him to Manchester United in exchange for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
What the 29-year-old and his agent demonstrated is successfully holding two clubs to ransom. Arsenal had to let him go and United had to cough up his massive wages because otherwise he probably would have held out even longer and gone to City.
This is a tactic Arsenal are reportedly concerned that Aaron Ramsey will adopt. The Welshman has less than a year-and-a-half left on his contract but, according to the Times (£), is holding out for more money.
Similarly, Mesut Ozil also held out on signing a new deal and although the 29-year-old agreed to stay in the end, Arsenal are paying him a reported £300k-per-week.
Not only has this shown the rest of the Arsenal squad that if you hold out for long enough and the club want to keep you, they’ll pay you what you want, but it’s also had a knock-on effect because it’s shown how much money the club are willing to pay.
According to the S*n, this is why Jack Wilshere isn’t signing a new deal. He knows how much other stars at the club are earning and isn’t willing to settle.
None of this will come as a surprise to Arsenal. They would have been hugely naive if they hadn’t predicted this would happen and keep happening until the wage structure has been leveled out. It’s just another storm Arsenal will have to weather.