Arsenal have 11 players out of contract next summer and therefore set to run into their final year very soon – does this suggest that Arsene Wenger has taken his eye off the ball?
A concerning amount of players are set to run into the final year of their Arsenal contracts this summer.
11, to be exact.
Well, 12 including Yaya Sanogo, but the club has already announced he’s been released.
They are as follows:
- Aaron Ramsey
- Mesut Ozil
- Alexis Sanchez
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
- Jack Wilshere
- Wojciech Szczesny
- Santi Cazorla
- Kieran Gibbs
- Per Mertesacker
- Carl Jenkinson
- Joel Campbell
Out of this list, I’d argue that only Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis, Ox, and Woj should stay. That leaves seven plays who are either injured all the time or never play, taking up space and wages at the club.
Meanwhile, the bigger stars also running into the last year of their deals start attracting unwanted attention. The vultures, knowing that Arsenal will most likely have to sell for a cut-price if the player doesn’t extend, can smell a deal a mile off.
It significantly weakens the Gunners’ ability to negotiate because they have to accept an offer, even if they’re not happy, to prevent the player from leaving for free in a year’s time, or they bite the bullet and risk the player signing for a rival without getting paid anything for them.
It proves why Arsenal desperately need a director of football, or at least someone who at least fills that role. Because they will do the job that Wenger apparently can’t.
The manager can then concentrate on running the football team, while the director of football takes care of transfers and contracts behind the scenes.
Keeping hold of Arsenal’s best players is perhaps even more important than signing new ones and Wenger’s proven time and time again that he’s not capable of ensuring this anymore.
He’s taken his eye off the ball too many times.