This summer’s transfer window has gone totally crazy with prices going through the roof, not to mention the ridiculous wage demands of Arsenal players when asked to sign contract extensions. The 200 million GBP transfer of Neymar Jr is just a sign of the times, and we now have the possibility of an 18 year-old striker going for over 100 million as well. It makes our 50 million acquisition of Alexandre Lacazette look like a bargain!
So Wenger, as usual, is setting the scene for the future by forcing Mesut Ozil, Alexis and the Ox to stay for the last year of their contracts, as the price of replacing them far outweighs losing them for free next summer. As Wenger explained, Arsenal will not be the only one running down contracts in the future: “As well the clubs will encourage the players. The amount of transfers now, you buy some players who are just a player for ￡50m. So the clubs will not want to pay this amount of money for normal players and they will want to wait until the player is free.”
Again Wenger went ahead of the pack at the beginning of the transfer window and brought in a very fine player in Saed Kolasinac on a free transfer after his contract ran out. Wenger also explained that players like Sanchez should be playing even better as they are looking for a big payday when they are free agents next summer. “Yeah and because as well of his character.” Le Prof continued. “I will just remind you that he is not the only one in his position, we have [Mesut] Ozil as well – another big player who is in the same situation. We have [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain, [Kieran] Gibbs, [Jack] Wilshere, we have many. I personally warn you that you will see that situation more and more, it will become common. For one single reason is that the clubs, because the inflation rate is so high, the agent will speculate for very high wages when you start to negotiate two or three years before the end. And the clubs are not in a situation where they can afford to do it. I am convinced that you will see that more and more.”
On top of buying free agents, Arsene’s policy of buying up young stars “for the future” could now pay great dividends, as with transfer fees being so high more clubs will have to rely mostly on home grown youngsters to replace the older out-of-contract stars. I think we have a great pool of possible future stars in the Academy and the reserves. I was very impressed with the 17 year-old Reiss Nelson in pre-season. He has great confidence for such a young lad and if he continues to improve he could be the next Eden Hazard, and how much will he be worth then?
For a change we will have to agree that Wenger saw this situation coming and has prepared well for the future…