Arsenal must be ruthless with Martinelli and Saka contracts

This current version of Arsenal remind me of the class of 2008-2011. Back then we had youngsters such as Fabregas, Nasri, Van Persie and others.

I remember when they faced Birmingham in the League Cup Final, at that point top of the Prem in Feb, still in the FA Cup and having just beaten Barcelona in the first leg of Champions League.

The manner of how we lost that final saw our team mentally unable to recover and we seemed to lose everything in the space of days.

The mistake Mr Wenger made was never surrounding youth with senior pros to help them manage certain periods.

We were comforted by the fact though that these kids would only get better the more experienced they got.

The sad part of the story is we never saw their talents that we developed mature in North London, they would all hit their peak elsewhere, not willing to wait for ‘jam tomorrow.’

Mr Wenger has said since, at Highbury, he could lose a player in their thirties, now it was common to lose his best talents in their late twenties.

The club were either unable or unwilling to match the ambitions of their best players.

It’s well documented paying off the stadium debt meant we were restricted in terms of wages we could offer, and more importantly building a squad that would reassure we could compete for trophies.

Whoever left us both became richer and has medals to show for their careers.

Where Arsenal should be questioned was how many contracts, we allowed to run down, which essentially gave all the power to their employees and their agents.

Maybe we were scared of a PR backlash of selling to our rivals so thought it better to force players to honour their deals.

That was like putting a plaster over a wound.

When players were not renewing deals with less than two years left, our board put their fingers to their ears and chose to worry about it a year later.

It meant that even as a worst-case scenario we couldn’t get decent money for assets worth more than we got.

The comparisons are obvious, as yet again we have a side built around youth who we will be told to be patient with and wait till they mature.

Yet for the process to work, they have to mature with us and not elsewhere.

If it’s at Liverpool, Chelsea, in Manchester, etc, then this ‘process’ has been a waste of time.

The likes of Ray Parlour are seeing the signs of a repeat.

In the summer Saka and Martinelli will either have to be sold or can leave as free agents the following next year if they don’t renew first.

The same with Saliba (although some reports say we have an option to add a year on).

Vini Venkatesham promised that after Ramsey, no Gunner would hold us ransom again. That was an effort to blame the last regime.

Once in the final 24 months of their deals they either commit to us, or we sell at a point we still get close to their true value he insisted.

Only difference between us and Liverpool over the years was in this department.

Coutinho had a lengthy contract so they could demand over the odds from Barcelona. They used those funds to buy VVD and Alisson.

When we lost a Ramsey, Sanchez, etc, there was zero money to reinvest because they left essentially for nothing .

A reader wrote the other day that it’s been years since we lost a star player to a rival.

Yet it was allowing deals to run down that led to the club feeling pressured to overpay the likes of Ozil and Aubameyang.

Lacazette, Bellerin, Sokratis, Mustafi, Kolasinac, etc, either free agents or paid to rip contracts up.

By Vini’s own rule, Saka and Martinelli should soon he given the dilemma of extend your deal or be transferred.

If it’s true Martinelli wants 200,000 pounds a week to stay, Arsenal need to be ruthless. Do they think the Brazilian is worth that much at his age?

If not, sell him….

To be a big club you have to act like one.

Getting our best players to stay is something we have never done since the Kroenke Family became major shareholders.

We became a feeder club, a stepping stone for others.

We no longer have to raise funds to pay off debts, but it remains a case that a club with more money and more chance of success can still tempt our stars away.

Getting Martinelli, Saka and Saliba to sign new deals ……that would be the biggest sign yet of the ‘process’ working.


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Tags Martinelli Saka Saliba


  1. Agreed. They’re among the best young players in the world and it’ll be very difficult to replace their talents, but they haven’t given us any major trophy yet

    No player is bigger than his club. If Messi and Ronaldo were replaceable, let alone Martinelli, Saka and Saliba

  2. Yes finally someone else is saying it please let’s no overpay young stars just because of form or Media attention better to sell a talent you can’t afford to keep than overpay and they regress like the ozils and aubameyangs

  3. When you see Eddie getting A new 100k a Week contract for warming the bench These 3 players will no doubt(or their agents ) be asking for a lot more .
    We will see in the coming months how much the club believe they are worth ,my guess is they can all be easily asking for double of what Eddie got .

  4. But we would have learned from pass experience and we are not a selling club either.

    So this is the deal that should be thrown on the table take it or leave it.

    Saliba- £150 gran a week
    Saka – £160 gran a week
    Martinelli – £170 gran a week

    All three with a five year contract with a one year option.
    Deal close.

      1. It doesn’t matter seriously to me but Martinelli seems of getting deadlier with each passing game.

        But both ceiling are high maybe both could be given equal share of the spoils,

  5. An untrue dig at the Kroenkes is in here. Our problems with managing player contracts and not selling ruthlessly started long before Kroenke came. The most expensive player, we have ever sold is Oxlade Chamberlain in 2017, sold for around 33 m.
    Compared to other clubs, that is a testament of ridicolously poor dealings for so many years.

    However, the main point of the article is good.
    The project looks promising, and the questions is, if we are now finally getting to a situation, where young talented players like Matinelli, Saka and Saliba can choose Arsenal over almost any club, bcause of the promising project.
    But if it is all about money, then there are bottomless pockets in a few clubs, which we can’t compete with.
    This project is the most promising plan for so many years.
    I agree, sell them, if we are asked to pay over the odds. We have seen that leads to disaster like with Özil, Sanchez and Auba.

  6. True, these lads need to extend however, not over the odds. To me 200k is too much for them. Let them focus on their football and rest shall be.

  7. Excuse me Mr Daniel Smith. But in case you weren’t aware, Eddie Nketiah (yes, the same one you know) is on 100k p/w. So if you’re an agent coming to negotiate a contract at the Emirates for your client who is (at the moment), more important than Nketiah in any way imaginable, then how much will you ask for? Reports say that Saka just got 200k p/w. So why should Martinelli accept less when he’s equally as important?

  8. It is my fervent hope that the team continues its upward trajectory. If the players in question demand more than is reasonable at this time, then they can leave – there are other players out there that our excellent recruitment department will find to replace them. As @gotanidea said so simply and succinctly, NO PLAYER IS BIGGER THAN HIS [OR HER] CLUB – THE TEAM.

  9. Would love to know what Jon Fox would offer these young men, but he seems a little hesitant to let the fanbase know!!
    Especially after his many tirades against the overpaid footballers of today.
    Put your head above the wall Jon – as for my views, whatever MA thinks their worth, how important they are to his plans and what Kronkie will be prepared to give will all play a part.

    If all that boils down to an offer that any one of them refuses, sell them on to the highest bidder.

    1. KEN I ought to be flattered that you think my opoinion is of interest to readers. I doubt very much that anyone, excepting as it appears yourself, gives a tinkers damn for what I think on what these young players should earn.

      My wider view on ALL Prem salaries is no secret. I am fed up having to constantly advise anyone who cares to read it, that IMO all Prem players are overpaid by a factor of at least ten times over.

      My serious comment KEN, dear fellow, is that for decades past I HAVE, METAPHORICALLY, HELD MY NOSE AGAINST THE APPALLING MORAL STINK OF ALL PLAYERS EVERYWHERE IN OUR PREM, and their agents, effectively conning we fans and taking us for fools, about us “adoring” fabulously wealthy young men whose only talent -in most cases- is being able to play top level football.

      So based on that view, I venture to suggest that the future salaries of these three young players, AND ALL THEIR TEAMATES EVERYWHERE, be reduced by 90%.

      That, old chum, is my decades long moral dilemma that my conscience wrestles with every time I think about this almighty wages stink!

      AND it is why I have not, til now, chosen to give my answer, as I know how very few will even think seriously about it Sigh!

      BUT in life you never know for sure and so, despite my general pessimism, I still hope that someone, even one person may , just MAY, think serously about this wages “corruption”(though legal) and rethink their own opinion.

      1. Jon, of course you think your opinion matters, otherwise why give it?

        So I now comprehend that you want (as an example) Saka’s next contract to ensure he stays at the club, to be from a reported £50,000 a week, to a staggering £5,000 a week.

        This is where your thoughts are put to the test, my friend and I suggest that shows you are living in cloud cuckoo land!!!

        Not only would the three young players laugh our club out of court, every other single PL club would quadruple that offer.

        Now, if this ludicrous 90% reduction was to be the “final offer” would you blame MA, Kronkie and Edu when we lose them?

        Having high morals is all very good, but, when push comes to shove, being realistic about the world we live in, is the code REAL realists live by!!!

        1. To achieve what Jon wants, I think you’d have to cap salaries everywhere, cap the amounts any club can charge for tickets, cap the amounts of money TV companies and advertisers can give to clubs. It’s just not workable.
          If you only focus on player salaries, that leaves an enormous amount of money, which would go where exactly?
          I’d rather the players got a relatively large piece of the pie, as they currently do, and live with the narcissism etc it brings, because I think you’d only see more corruption otherwise.
          That said, I do share Jon’s sensibilities on this topic, as I think many do, but the world is what it is, and often trying to control things only makes the situation worse.

          1. Actually, the money would go back onto the people’s pockets who pay massive prices to watch games at home on TV and to those who attend games. We pay so much on tickets and sports channel subscriptions and that money pays the clubs and subsequently pays the players wages! We are in some direct way accountable for high wages because we are happy to pay lots of money to watch games. It’s a fact.

            1. “the money would go back onto the people’s pockets who pay massive prices to watch games at home on TV and to those who attend games”
              Only if caps were imposed on ticket prices and TV companies, like I said. Otherwise there’s no reason to reduce prices – it’s all demand driven.
              Anyway, completely agree on your main point – it’s down to fans. Nothing can really change while demand is so high and people are happy/able to pay

  10. Knowing how to reward players comes now from the executive level so I presume they are up to the mark.

    I don’t know how true the EN contract is but if true at close to £100,000pw then it set a benchmark which I think is too high for how I perceive his ability to be.
    This then pushes up the expectations of the others so they would then certainly be getting well in excess of that.

    Fortunately, they are part of an exciting time and will value what is happening within the club and hopefully choose to stay and be successful here.

    If money is an overriding factor in their thinking at this stage of their careers then maybe cashing in is advisable but I wouldn’t want to have to make the decision of twisting or sticking if I was in charge of contracts

  11. Overpaying Nketiah will have a domino effect for many upcoming negotiations.

    For example, how much more is Tomi worth than Nketiah? White and others already over the 100k mark, how much more should they earn?

    Disastrous decision to offer that to Nketiah, it will become the base negotiation point for anyone getting game time with the squad.

  12. Martenelli said clearly that he wanted to stay(and he is said to have a two year extension option in his contract)Saka by the look of things want to stay(by the own admission of Arteta) and Saliba said that he’s happy here do no need to panic even though i get you’r point Dan….The biggest task the club is facing is to keep these lads together in order to become a force again and not making the same mistakes as with Fabregas and Nasri when we let them blossom elswhere….As for the wage :if a player is playing well and is belevied to have a bright futur you have to play him well even it may be seen as obscen that business and that’s ruthlesness

  13. Yes we should be ruthless with players that don’t want to renew their contracts, no player is bigger than the club.

    In an ideal world the players wages should be related to achievements individually and collectively. If we want to keep them we will have to pay them according to their market value, or offer them an exciting package. I believe Arsenal has good cards to play.

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