In the brave new world of Raul Sanllehi, no Arsenal player will be allowed to do an ‘Aaron Ramsey’ and leave for free after running down his contract, not unless he’s surplus to requirements or in the veteran stage of his career with no sell on value.
Sanllehi has already stated that contracts and players’ futures will be urgently dealt with when any player has only 2 years left on his deal, which basically means get them to sign or move them on depending on their value and age.
Therefore we should assume that the club is now seriously looking at the status of the guys whose contracts expire in 2021.
Using information from the excellent Transfermarket.com website we see that Arsenal have six players whose deals expire in 2021, namely Aubameyang, Nwakali, Sokratis, Ozil, Mkhitarayan and Mustafi. So if Sanllehi is as good as his word it’s logical that we should expect to see some movement on their contracts and decisions on their Arsenal futures this coming summer. Everybody has a view on these and our other players plus their value to our club but I’ll swerve that subject on this post and leave that for others to debate.
The job of negotiating contracts is the remit of Arsenal’s ‘contract supremo’ namely Hussain ‘Huss’ Fahmy.
Fahmy had previously been the Commercial and Business Affairs Director of Team Sky, so he has a wealth of experience at the top level to help him in this exacting role of dealing with agents and agreeing contract negotiations in the mad world of football.
Ivan Gazidis recruited Fahmy to take on this role as football contracts became more and more like a minefield, it’s a job for a specialist and hopefully Huss is one of those.
So far Huss has made a positive start in an area where previously Arsenal were lax, securing the futures of Nelson (2022), Amaechi (2022?), Chambers (2022), Holding (2023) and Xhaka (2023), not only securing their futures for the club, but also their value should the club decide to move them on?
This summer it’s too late for Aaron Ramsey, his future should have been addressed in the summer of 2017, why it wasn’t is for others to discuss and maybe justify.
But it wasn’t just the previous regime that failed in this area of football management, it’s happened to our club before namely the departures of Liam Brady in 1980 and Frank Stapleton in 1981, two players at the peak of their powers who left a gaping chasm in the Arsenal squad of its day.
When David Dein joined the Arsenal Board he referred to both Stapleton and Brady and the mismanagement that allowed them to leave so cheaply and that he wouldn’t let it happen again. He was as good as his word as Anelka to Real Madrid for a then enormous £23m proved, that money financed the arrival of Thierry Henry among others. Selling Overmars and Petit to Barcelona likewise financed other new additions to the club.
Being able to sell well is as important as buying well, especially if you are self sufficient, but all that ended when Dein was forced out by Fiszman and Hill Wood and from then on the contracts arena became less efficient until it reached a stage where we had Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil entering the last year of their deals, all that on the back of Walcott previously doing the same a few years beforehand.
What the Board, the CEO and the manager at the time were thinking is anybody’s guess, but that scenario really has to end and hopefully under Sanllehi and Fahmy it will..?!
Notwithstanding the guys whose deals expire in 2021, Fahmy also has to deal with those players whose deals end in 2020 (5 players) and 2019 (11 players) – that is 16 players in total and a lot of work.
Besides Ramsey the others seeing their contracts expire this summer are: Suarez, Welbeck, Macey, Lichtsteiner, Jenkinson, Iliev, Bramall, Pleguezuelo, Cech and Monreal (I think that Arsenal can trigger another year on Monreal’s contract).
In 2020 it’s Bielik, Ospina, Asano, Koscielny and Emile Smith Rowe, Smith Rowe’s new deal must be a priority for Fahmy.
Just in case you’re wondering these are the deals that expire in 2022: Kolasinac, Elneny, Guendouzi, Iwobi, Lacazette, Martinez, Chambers, Nelson and Amaechi (?).
And in 2023 it’s: Leno, Holding, Mavropanos, Bellerin, Torrieira, Xhaka and Maitland-Niles..