Despite 107 players entering into the final year of their contracts this term, the media appear to have only focused on a small handful, including Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
While Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Ashley Young got some media coverage after running into the final 12 months of their contracts this season, the press have put a massive amount of focus on Ozil and Alexis.
I think it’s down to two main reasons.
Firstly, Arsenal fans are easy-clickers.
Their online presence is massive, with the club’s official Twitter pulling in 12.8m followers alone (and counting) and they’re known to completely swamp online polls. Therefore, it stands to reason that by including an Arsenal player in a story, news outlets will get plenty of clicks. Plenty of clicks means more money and a further reach.
What’s more, with the unrest and uncertainty surrounding the Gunners, some of which stems from Ozil and Alexis’ contract stand-offs, fans are even more willing to read the reports, even when they know deep down that most of the time they’re rubbish.
Secondly, Ozil and Alexis are genuinely two massive players for Arsenal.
While Mata could leave Manchester United, I don’t see Jose Mourinho losing sleep over it. This is probably why Hazard gets the second-most coverage – Chelsea will actually suffer without him.
Likewise, losing a world class player like Ozil and, to a lesser extent, Alexis is a huge blow for Arsenal. The media love it when Arsenal appear to be on the brink of crisis.
The money involved with both players is also great for headlines.
In September, Wenger predicted that more and more players will choose to run into the final years of their contract and the money surrounding their new deals will be massive.
“This season there were 107 players in the Premier League who got into the final year of their contract for the first time, and you will see that more,” he said.
“The clubs want too much more for normal players. Because they say if one player [Neymar] is worth £200 million, then this player is worth £50 million.
“But everybody knows £50 million is too much for that player and they cannot afford it. So what happens? The club cannot sell, and doesn’t extend the contract, so more and more players are going into the final year of their contract.”
This has been backed up by Alexis Sanchez’s four-and-a-half year contract with United, which will allegedly see him take home £14m-per-year after tax with the Telegraph even claiming he’ll make £350kpw.
If Hazard goes to Real Madrid, I don’t expect him to be making peanuts either.