Arsene Wenger believes that more players are running down their contracts due to rapid inflation in the transfer market.
Arsenal have been having difficulties with players allowing their contracts to run down to the final year. Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are, of course, the two most high-profile players in such a situation.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the same before he was sold to Liverpool. Next season, Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck could follow suit. Rather than it being a case of Arsenal’s incompetency, Arsene Wenger believes it’s part of a wider trend emerging in football.
“There’s a big inflation that means most of the clubs have two situations with players who go to the end of the contract,” Wenger told Arsenal.com. “There are players who do not want to renew and players who expect higher wages so don’t want to sign the contract because they expect huge wages due to the inflation.
“So that results in more and more players going to the end of their contracts. This year in the Premier League we have 107 players going into the last year of their contracts, that’s the first time we’ve seen that.
“There are about 500 players in the Premier League, that means 20 per cent of the players are going into the final year of their contract, for different reasons, for many reasons, but one of them is that the inflation rate is so quick and so high that the expectation level [for wages] is very high.”
More money is flying about the transfer market than ever before. The Premier League, especially, has seen all of its club become considerably wealthier due to the increase in the price of television rights. With a bigger spending capacity, transfer fees and wages were only going to get higher.
On top of that, players are now seeing running down their contracts as the only viable route out of a side. Clubs have become less dependent on receiving big transfer fees and can hold out for much larger fees that aren’t realistic due to their greater finances.
Arsenal will have to adapt to the changing circumstances quickly if they’re to avoid several of their better players leaving the club for nothing.