Those of you who have read comments by JM before, will know he is very knowledgeable when it comes to tactics, formations, player attributes/qualities, club strategy/finances and transfer window developments. A few days ago, I (TotalArsenal) asked JM what he believes will happen in terms of players going and staying at Arsenal this summer.
Below you will find his response to my question (please note the response was written as a comment originally and not as a post, which makes this article a bit rusty at times. It is, nevertheless, a very interesting read) :
With regards to Sagna and Vermaelen: it would depend on the situations with Sagna (running into his last year of contract) and Vermaelen (a club captain who is benched), if they were to be around with the team next season. If both leave, the club should recruit new personnel.
The goalkeeping personnel availability next season should also be addressed (Szczesny is staying, though he will be accessed equally if a new long term contract should be given based on his performances; Fabianski is out of contract and likely moving to another club to get regular 1st team games; Mannone’s case is a 50/50, if he would prefer to remain as 3rd choice GK.
The club could promote from their reserves and youth ranks – e.g. Damian Martinez, Dejan Iliev etc). There should be new developments here in my opinion (the club have been linked with so many GKs all around Europe, or spreading red-herrings to the media on potential signings, that they might really get some respectable GK who is not in the media’s spotlight, to provide competition/guidance to Szczesny).
A quick one would be Jovetic: he is a 50/50 case. Higuain is currently agent talk. Fabregas … not next season, but could be a possibility in 2014/2015 (just as Reus could be a possibility, pending on the commercial effect of a certain new sponsorship deal in future – that of PUMA). I will recommend everyone to check PUMA’s website, look under “PUMA althetes- football” and you shall see we have Arteta, Rosicky, Giroud, Sagna endorsing their brand. Also King Henry, Fabregas Clichy. Then the international star players like Kun Aguero, Yaya Toure, Falcao, Buffon, Chiellini, Reus, Vidic, Carrick and more all endorsing their sportswear as well.
PUMA could lend a helping hand to the club with the negotiations on Fabregas, Reus, Marco Verratti and Usain Bolt (if he switches to football/soccer 🙂 ). Under Nike, we shall be always in the shadow of MU and Barcelona; under Adidas, in the shadow of Bayern Munich and Chelsea. PUMA shall be a breath of fresh air. (They have also club sponsorship ties with Newcastle, CardiffCity, Dortmund, Stuttgart, Hoffenheim, Bordeaux, Rennes, Feyenoord, Espanyol, Sporting Lisbon CP, Independiente, Botafogo, the national teams of Uruguay, Chile, Austria, CzechRepublic, Italy, Switzerland, Slovakia, Macedonia, Cameroon, Algeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Gabon, Zimbabwe, Bahrain)
The club is likely to be in for 3 obvious signings, if the candidates are available. (We have 3 outs – Squillaci, Arshavin & Fabianski, so expect at least 3 new ins. Any more would depend on further departures of 1st team players). That does not include new signings for our youth ranks and reserves (a.k.a our youth players).
A lot of negotiations done could be related to our commercial partnership deals (e.g. financial agreement with Imperial Bank, related to Kenya, Uganda and African markets, the Emirates* shirt’s sponsorship – they are shirts’ sponsor as well for e.g. PSG, AC Milan, Hamburger SV, Real Madrid, Olympiacos etc) and the club management’s level of comfort when dealing with the player’s agent/agency (which also informs us why we have recruited/negotiated the signing of more players being represented by certain agency/agent and none by others)
*Emirates Group/ Airline are growing aggressively to become one of the top airlines in the world. They managed to get the shirt deal done for most of the top clubs (even Olympiacos is top in Greece) in the top 5 leagues in Europe, less Germany – as Bayern M (T-Home/Deutsche Telekom – German telecommunications company), B. Dortmund (Evonik Industries – one of the world´s leading specialty chemicals companies), B.Leverkusen (SunPower Corporation – owned by Total S.A., one of the six “Supermajor” oil companies in the world.), Schalke (Gazprom – largest extractor of natural gas and one of the largest companies in the world) are sponsored by equally major companies/holdings in their respective markets. The Emirates group would want their “investments” to the respective clubs to be rewarded in return (clubs winning trophies, signing “marquee” players), in terms of boosting market branding for the company.
As an example, the Emirates group/airline presence as a sponsor might have helped smooth-en the signings of Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic from AC Milan to PSG, during the negotiating rounds between both clubs, agents/agencies, players (where of course the formalities of transfer fees, player wages and contract, agent’s takings are all agreed upon).
I could add on of the club and management direction for investing on more English youths and the shift from recruiting and promoting French youths to Spanish (Miquel, Bellarin, Toral) and German youth players (Eisfeld, Gnabry, Gedion Zelalem, Leander Siemann) for our academy. Taking a look at our 1st team, we are left with 5 and a half French players (Giroud, Koscielny, Sagna, Coquelin, Squillaci, 1/2 of Diaby), where Squillaci is leaving, Sagna and Coquelin are question marks next season, Diaby is out till next year (and likely to run down his contract). At the end of next season, we could be left with only 2 in our 1st team.
Perhaps our new manager after AW could be Spanish? Or German? As the new generation of Spanish, German and English players from our academy go into our 1st team. That is a debate for the future.
With regards to our players’ agency/agents, I would like to add that a number of them share similar agency/agent. (which has been in similar cases with other clubs if we look into the clients/players list under the agency/agent)
Our English lads on “long term contract”:
– Wilshere, Ramsey
Base Soccer Agency Ltd
(Location: 33 Great Portland Street, LondonW1W 8QF)
(which also has Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Aaron Lennon, Tom Huddlestone, Allan McGregor, Bobby Zamora, Joe Ledley, Kyle Naughton, Angel Rangel, Luke Wilkshire, Chris Gunter among their clients list)
– The Ox
Mondial Sport Management & Consulting Sarl
(Location: Bahnstrasse 17, Kelkheim-Taunus D-65779, France)
(which also has Edinson Cavani, Axel Witsel, Ramires, Fernando Llorente, Iker Muniain, Isco, Raphael Varane, Lacina Traore, Lucas, Victor Moses, Eduardo Salvio, Younes Belhanda, Hatem Ben Arfa, Sofiane Feghouli, Ganso, Dimitri Payet, Adrian, Mathieu Debuchy, Luuk de Jong, Moussa Sissoko, Marvin Martin, Rodrigo, Cristian Tello, Lisandro Lopez, Coutinho, Luciano Narsingh, Filip Djuricic, Romulo, Miralem Sulejmani, Geoffrey Kondogbia among their clients list)
SEM Group plc (The Sport Entertainment & Media Group Ltd)
(Location: 98 Cockfosters Road, Barnet, Hertfordshire EN4 0DP)
(which also has John Obi Mikel, Micah Richards, Joseph Yobo, Nick Powell, Steven Davis, Eduardo, Rio Ferdinand, David Bentley, Liam Ridgewell, “King” Thierry Henry among their clients list)
– Giroud, Cazorla, Jenkinson, J.Campbell (who is on loan)
(Location: La Rambla, Barcelona 08002)
(which also has Juan Mata, Alan Dzagoev, Keisuke Honda, Igor Akinfeev, Kyle Walker, Joe Allen, Mbark Boussoufa, Jose Enrique, Jonny Evans, Tom Cleverley, Yuri Zhirkov, Raheem Sterling, Lorenzo Insigne, Martin Montoya, Benat Etxebarria, Mario Suarez, Koke, Oriol Romeu, Shane Long, Barry Bannan, Ross Barkley, Cristian Zapata among their many clients list)
Our protracted negotiation with Walcott’s agency/agents
Key Sports Managment Ltd.
(Location: 1st Floor & 6th floor, 35 Soho Square, London, W1D 3QX)
(which also has Phil Jones, Jordan Henderson, James Morrison, Chris Brunt, Ryan Bertrand among their clients list)
on our latest signing:
(Location: C/Marques de la Ensenada 16 of.25, Madrid 28009)
(which also has Javi Martinez, Pedro, Fernando Torres, Jesus Navas, Cesar Azpilicueta, Michu, Alvaro Dominguez, Raul Garcia, Dani Parejo, Ignacio Camacho among their clients list)
And the 3 players mentioned in “the Impenetrable Triangle”:
Soccer and more Ltd.
(Location: Alte-Kelter-StraBe 8a, 66130 Saarbrucken, Deutschland)
(which also has Papiss Cisse and Philipp Wollscheid among their clients list)
(Location: Las Croses, TheGRA46500, France)
Stellar Football Ltd
(Location: 16 Stanhope Place, Paddington, London W2 2HH.)
(Location: Yorkshire House, 18 Chapel Street, LiverpoolUK-L3 9AG)
(which also has Gareth Bale, Joe Hart, Rafael, Fabio, Darren Bent, Glen Johnson, Phil Jagielka, Ashley Cole, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Scott Sinclair, Steven Caulker, Jack Butland, Lee Cattermole, Shay Given among their client list)
These are who and what our management shall have to negotiate with in order to tie down our better players, release fringe players, recruit new signings etc. (Of course, players may change their agency/agents throughout their career as and when situations benefit them).
We choose to deal with some agents/agencies and their solicitors while not with others who offer unfavourable terms to the club (e.g. involvement of 3rd or more parties in securing the ownership of the player, dealing with “super” agents who shall command a high agent fee etc), which is one of the many reasons why some world class or quality players will never play at Arsenal FC. This, our supporters shall have to understand, before ranting.
Written by: JM.