The reasons why this has been Arsenal’s best week of this season by far

Two young talents extending their contracts, followed by our best away performance of the season. It’s got to be considered the best week of our entire campaign (not that is saying too much).

I made the point when Saka signed on the dotted line in midweek, but it’s worth repeating with Martinelli doing the same, as they are two decisions which could truly safeguard our future.

I was critical of Raul and Edu when they decided to prolong the stays of Luiz and Cedric so it’s only right that I praise them when they do something well.

It’s incredible how small details of mismanagement can alter the destination of two clubs. I will again use Liverpool as a comparison. When Coutinho was on fire, they were quick to give him a pay rise and lengthen the time frame of his deal.

Sanchez equally lit up the Premiership from day one. The only difference is no one was wise enough to protect their asset. By not offering him anything till he had less than two years of his deal to run, you gave the player and his agent all the power.

That one action plan by two clubs changed history.

Klopp could now demand silly sums for his star man and when Barcelona paid over the odds, he could fund moves for VVD and Alisson which led to them being champions.

We would have had the exact same option. We could have demanded over 100 million for our best talent but, all because we lacked the sense to extend his agreement with us , we were left with the option of either forcing him to stay when we knew he wanted to be elsewhere, or accepting a sum that didn’t represent his true value.

Only it wasn’t just the Chilean. If that was a one-off case, you would understand but we have become famous for the number of names we have allowed to walk away for nothing.

Sanchez effectively left for nothing if you consider the contribution of the man, we replaced him with, Ramsey also became a free agent, as did Cech although he was retiring.

You can point to the fitness records of a Wilshire and Welbeck (two other free agents) but marketable wise alone meant they demanded being paid for. Compare them to the OX who also has had his share of injuries, we got 45 million for a man with less than 12 months remaining on his deal, imagine if he had longer?

We have become a laughing stock within the game for how we do business, but when you add up how much money those individuals would have made us, it’s not so funny. Especially when we are now at a point where we are asking for the squad to take pay cuts.

The new regime promised this would never be allowed to happen again and yet it has. Aubameyang holds all the cards. If he makes it clear he doesn’t want to be at the Emirates we have to sell for a reduced fee or force an unhappy person to play for us for another 12 months. Or he can demand a huge salary to stay, pressuring his employers to say yes out of fear of a backlash from an already concerned fanbase.

You know; exactly what Ozil is now hated for?

Ozil didn’t do anything wrong in that situation. He pays a lot of money to have representatives whose role is to get him the best deal possible. They exploited the clubs complacency. Don’t think Auba’s people won’t do the same.

Gooners love him because he’s scoring goals. Yet in two years we could be moaning again that a 32-year-old is our highest earner with zero resale value.

Considering all of this, I actually think Martinelli’s news is bigger than Saka’s.

You can’t predict how either teenager will develop. They could suffer a horrible injury, the pressure could prove too much or the praise could go to their head.

As Saka is the bright hope for England and Martinelli for Brazil, that guarantees plenty of interest from sponsors. In that regard, having the right support network off the pitch will be as vital as what they do on it.

Yet while some gooners believe and want Saka to be the next big thing, Martinelli has proven it with more goals and assists. At this level it’s about your mentality. That’s what separates the good from the great. Can you handle the demand of winning every week and if not, there being a backlash?

That’s why some play for a top six side and others are more suited to midtable side.

The Brazilian has shown the personality to want the ball and believe he can make an impact.

This is a kid who was in the in the 4th tier of his national league so he’s well ahead of schedule in terms of his progress.

Why Arsenal haven’t even waited for his first year to end to extend his contract is the potential value the 19-year-old has. That’s the business savvy we have lacked for a decade. You look at the market if he continues his form, we could be talking about a serious offer being made.

Even if not, giving him a long-term contract guarantees a huge profit being made on the 6 million he cost. Think how much we got Iwobi for?

Don’t get me wrong Saka will get the likes of Adidas flirting with him because he’s an Englishmen who graduated from our academy.

Yet Martinelli has that that story branding experts love, something out of a movie, the boy kicking his ball against the wall, while his parents save up money to pay for his ticket to travel to Europe for a trial. Growing up in the city of Guarulhos with dreams of making it as a professional, he’s asked at the age of 18 to travel to England and yet shown zero intimidation.

Trust me the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona watch those types of stories. They will know, as will we, that most South Americans aspire to play for one of Spain’s top two. Outside of Aguero (who had played in La Liga already) not many from that part of the world settle in Britain for a long time. That’s why this is huge news.

The hope is Martinelli becomes the face of the new Arsenal, yet our worst-case scenario could be one day him asking to leave and a Real and Barca having a bidding war for him. I believe he could be that good if he keeps his focus and drive.

To be a big club you have to act like a big club. At least for this week ……we acted like a big club for once.

Dan Smith


  1. Spot on with the Ozil situation Dan and we are finally getting to grips with the transfer dealings, if Martinelli and Saka are the way forward.

  2. A lot of time fans complain about Kroenke involvement, I dont know much about what happens inside board and at top management but I don’t fully agree Kroenke is our problem,.
    If I remember correctly, it was clear that we are running self sustaining model, like Liverpool, kroenke was our majority share holder until full take over 3yrs ago, as a majority share holder, he doesn’t have full control so I wouldn’t totally blame him for keeping Gazidis and AW for too long, but after the full take over. He retired the setup and brought in pros, some might disagree Raul isn’t right for us, but I think it’s too early to access this new regime knowing they still struggling to deal with the mess of Gazidis era, lack of UCL money and now Covid19 issues, overall, I rate the new management a 6 out of 10, and hopefully they improve more

  3. Great Article…It’s still sad to me though..That Arsenal is no longer the club players want to spend the whole of their careers (cos they KNOW it’s gonna be trophy laden)…We are now aspiring to be a breeding farm for the actual great clubs..How the mighty have fallen..

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