Arsenal are probably famous for keeping injured players on the books ever since the Diaby fiasco, and more recently we have had Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky given an extra year, when Arteta was patently too old and injury-prone to play again, and Rosicky definitely didn’t want to stay and sit on the bench for another year.
And it looks like Wenger is going to carry on the tradition buy giving Per Mertesacker and Santi Cazorla another years wages. Here is an extract from Arsenal.com…
on whether Mertesacker and Cazorla’s contract are dependent on their fitness…
Wenger: No. We have an option on both of them and I think we will take it.
Mertesacker is our captain, we know that, but he was injured for the second half of last season and is yet to play even one game in the current campaign. We still don’t know when he is likely to be fit enough to play, but with Mustafi, Holding and Gabriel now in competition to be the partner to Laurent Koscielny is he even likely to get a place on the bench?
Santi Cazorla is an absolute genius, but he is now 32 years of age and is now plagued by ongoing injuries. He has played just 8 games this season, and although most of us know we haven’t got a truly equal replacement yet, is there really much hope of him coming back to his previous level of speed and talent if he ever recovers from his latest operation? Especially next season when the younger Xhaka and Ramsey, and maybe Elneny, are now competing for his place?
We already have Debuchy and Sanogo taking up unneccessary space in our squad, so can we afford to pay another two players at least 50,000 a week just to talk to our youngsters now again? Should that money be better spent on paying players that may actually be able to play once in a while?
Or are Arsenal fans happy to stay as a charity for old and injured footballers?