To be a big club, you must act and think like a big club, and let’s be honest, Arsenal rarely act and think like one when it comes to negotiating players contracts.
Saka is the latest Gunner to have run down his contract to its final two years meaning we are in danger of seeing his value reduced.
This time next year as things stand, we would be forced to sell him for a cut price or risk losing him for nothing 12 months later.
After Sanchez, Ramsey, Wilshere and Welbeck all became free agents, Vinai Venkatesham promised the club wouldn’t be put in this position again.
Any employee with 24 months left on their deal would be make a take it or leave it offer or would be sold for a sum that benefitted the club.
That was a lie……
Ozil, Sokratis, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Nketiah, Elneny, Bellerin, Mari, Maitland Niles, and others were all allowed to run down their contracts, costing the Gunners lots of money.
The noise coming out of the Emirates is there is zero intention for the winger to be sold this summer.
In the short term, Gooners might be happy to hear this, but we have made this mistake before.
Arsenal know they can’t afford the perception of their best players jumping ship to those above us in the table.
The Kroenke Family would struggle to continue the pretence that they have any ambition if that were the case.
Marketing experts would suggest that image would impact on shirt sales and sponsorship deals.
That’s why we wouldn’t take 60 million from Man City for Sanchez and why we were pressured to pay over the odds for Ozil to stay.
Saka has been good, not great.
He’s not the difference between us finishing in the top 4 or not.
This isn’t a young Fabregas.
We should have enough self-respect where we don’t allow ourselves to be dictated to by a 20-year-old.
I always admire Atletico Madrid and Dortmund, whose business model is to make a profit on assets, then reinvest in the team.
If Saka hasn’t the pride or respect to represent ‘the Arsenal’ long term, accept the crazy amount of money a Man City or Liverpool are willing to pay.
Listen to how Ian Wright stayed around David Rocastle’s the night before his debut and listened to stories about the club.
Think how Tony Adams, Keown and Dixon taught Vieira and Henry the values of the badge, and the honour it meant to wear the red and white.
How has it come to this?
Saka is young enough to not need to rush any move. He’s grown up in North London and has the time to see if Arteta fulfils certain promises.
As a fan who doesn’t think we will ever win the title under the current ownership, I can’t blame the midfielder for being tempted by options where his salary and chance of trophies both would dramatically increase.
If that’s his stance we should respect it and use money from his sale to buy a Gnabry.
Saying he’s not for sale now but not extending his contract is the equivalent of putting your fingers to your ears.
It’s putting a plaster over a wound.
It’s delaying an issue for a year.
It’s not what a big club do!
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