According to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, the Gunners current situation with a number of players contracts expiring in 12 months’ time is ‘an ideal situation’.
Players including Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Santi Cazorla are all in the last 12 months of their deals with the north London club.
Obviously, the most well-publicised player on that list is Sanchez, who Wenger insists is staying at the club despite doubts over his future. The Chilean and Ozil have both turned down offers of lucrative new contracts in north London.
‘An ideal situation’
Talking after the Gunners 2-1 defeat against Sevilla on Sunday, Wenger told Sky Sports: “I think it is an ideal situation. When you are a football player you perform until the last days of your contract.
“I think the performance on the day does not depend on the length of the contract, if that was true we would sign everyone for 20 years and be happy.”
Wenger may be clutching at straws. However, out-of-contract players may well perform to a higher standard in an effort to earn themselves a move elsewhere or a new contract, if they want to stay at their current club.
Could cost the club millions
Keeping Sanchez until his contract expires next summer is a calculated gamble by Wenger, on the fact he may well help the team to a lucrative Champions League spot.
However, the current situation with the likes of Ozil and Oxlade-Chamberlain could cost the Gunners a lot of money. The latter is reportedly a target for the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City. Despite enjoying his best season in an Arsenal shirt, there are still doubts over the Ox’s consistency.
Selling the midfielder this summer, instead of losing him for nothing would at least give Wenger some money back to reinvest in a replacement. Selling some of the fringe players, the likes of Wilshere and Gibbs would no doubt benefit the club more than allowing them to leave for nothing next summer.
Arsenal have a lot of deadwood in their squad and maybe a clear-out would aid their top-four challenge, with the Gunners remaining odds of 10/11 to finish in the Champions League spots next season.
Wenger is very shrewd when it comes to the clubs finances, so it would not be a major surprise to see some of those players in the last 12 months of their contract leaving this summer.
Should Arsenal sell Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs this summer?