Arsenal: To Keep Alexis, Ozil, Ox

And The Others (Gibbs, Wilshere and Szczesny) Who Only Have One Year Remaining on Their Contracts?

Should we or shouldn’t we? Hmmm…

I wrote a post about Alexis Sanchez and why I believe it is in the best interest of Arsenal to sell him this summer.  I have shelved it.

Until we do sell him–or, better phrased–until Alexis forces us to sell him, who am I to try and stop Gooners from believing we should pull out ALL the stops to try and keep him? The same could be said for other players who are down to just one season remaining on their current contracts: Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere and Wojciech Szczesny.

The interesting thing, I think, is that many Arsenalistas–or at least the ones who’ve been around the block a time or two–seem just as concerned about keeping our current players as they do about bringing new ones in during this transfer window.  It speaks to the idea that, even with all the angst surrounding the manager AND the fact that we’re coming off our lowest finish in the league in 20+ years–and facing Europa instead of Champions League football–we’re not that far off.

That last bit, not being able to offer Champions League football, is, in my opinion at least, a problem.  Great players want several things.  Big contracts are important, of course, but being able to play at the highest level–and having a legitimate chance at winning in those competitions–means something too.  Being loved by the supporters, as much as we’d like to believe it’s important, probably ranks as a lower priority.  The next club will have supporters too, and hey, at Arsenal, Gooners may have already booed our guys a time or three.  God forbid if players google themselves after a disappointing result.

All things being equal (in terms of contracts on offer), playing CL football, I think we must admit, could tip the scales.  Alexis to Bayern Munich, Szczesny to Juventus or even Ox to Liverpool could have plenty of fire to match the smoke, I fear.

Of course, being under contract–even if it’s just for one last year–gives Arsenal the final say.  In my next post I’ll try and examine the Bosman rule and what that might mean to our club regarding these same players.  Be forewarned, it’s not a good thing.  One of the most successful Bosman transfers–and one that caused the supporters of a certain club a LOT of anguish–was that of Sol Campbell from Tottenham Hotspur to Arsenal.  Being on the wrong end of a Bosman may not suit too many Gooners.

There’s a money element as well.  Good players demand big salaries and/or long contracts, which can take away from Arsenal’s cash reserves.  Incoming transfers, although they mean payments to other clubs, can represent a jump in level–and salary–for players coming our way and actually yield savings when amortized over the length of a contract (or if a player is re-sold).  In other words, we might have to put on our green eyeshades and do a little accounting.

But that can wait.  For the moment, I want to hear what folks think about trying to keep our players nearing the end of their contracts.

I have to admit, I’m (mostly) a sentimentalist when it comes to our current players.  I tend to look at them as human beings–with all their strengths and frailties–and emphasize the good over the bad.  Maybe I just fear change and tend to believe that things could get worse instead of better and that we ought to appreciate what we’ve got at our club.

That doesn’t sound like your average Gooner, of course, but we’re an optimistic bunch (generally) here at Bergkampesque–even if said optimism means an ever smaller circle of regular participants in the comments section.  If you clicked on the headline (and are still reading), please chime in.

And, if there’s ever a season meant for dreaming, it’s summer.  (Beyond hopes for building a winning squad at our club, I’m currently dreaming that I fit into my swim-shorts just a little bit better…)

So, let’s be having your dreams.   Who should we we be buying–always the topic that brings the most fun–in addition to the (only slightly…) more mundane questions about who should stay and who should go?  Sorry, no dreams about Wenger out.  Surely–barring vile chants being realized–he’ll be the one leading his squad onto the pitch, at least for the early games of the upcoming campaign.  Let’s talk about first 11s (and the deeper squad) and how far we might go next season.  Trophies?  Higher placings?  Top goal-scorers?  What else?

It ALL seems better than me trying to spin my (harsh) “realities” into positives. (Next time, perhaps…)

So, who are we keeping and why?  Who must go?

Who should we buy?  For whom would you break the bank?

First 11?  2nd 11 or other important squad players?

What do you see Arsenal able to accomplish in 2017-18?  How high can we finish in the Premier League?  Cups?  Can we defend the FA Cup or maybe use our youth & squad depth to go far in the League Cup and get through the group stages of the Europa League?  Can we win either of those?  Etc., etc., etc…

It’s time to share your hopes and predictions for the summer & the season to come.  In other words: Don’t Worry, Be Happy.


Go on then…

by 17 highburyterrace

9 thoughts on “Arsenal: To Keep Alexis, Ozil, Ox

  • It does not make sense to let a world class player like Alexis to go and try to sign someone new. The only reason Alexis wants to depart is he is underpaid. Players way below his standing make twice as much elsewhere, so Arsenal has to make the needed adjustment and keep him. On the other hand let other players like: Gibbs, Wilshire, szchezny, Theo, Ramsey, Ox go to other clubs and try their chances. Wenger should not think twice when it comes to Alexis. He is one such player you want to retire at Arsenal and build the team around him.

  • Hi all.. Hi 17ht.. Nice post.. Really something good to discuss..

    First I want to make it clear about our Salaries structure.. It’s not as bad as people though.. I don’t know the real statistic.. Maybe Waldo or TA can help me about that..

  • I think there will be a significant difference between what Arsenal will do in term of recruitment and retention and what Arsenal arguably should do on that front.

    In terms of what I think Arsenal will do:

    – Szczesny (driven by the player)
    – Ospina (driven by the player)
    – Debuchy (mutually agreeable)
    – Ox (driven by the player)
    – Perez (driven by the player)
    – Akpom (driven by the club)

    – Mahrez
    – Lacazette

    The remaining members of the current squad (including Jenkinson, Wilshere, Alexis, Ozil and Giroud) will stay for next season, whether their contracts are extended or not.

    In terms of what I think Arsenal should do:

    – Ospina
    – Jenkinson
    – Wilshere
    – Elneny
    – Coquelin
    – Perez
    – Welbeck

    Loan out:
    – Martinez
    – Chambers
    – Holding
    – Maitland-Niles
    – Toral
    – Jeff
    – Iwobi

    – One of Pereira or Sabaly
    – Perrin
    – Two of Gonalons, Fabinho, Demme and/or Illarramendi
    – One of Vazquez or Gomez
    – One of Lukaku, Dzeko, Benteke or Modeste

    The remaining members of the current squad (including Alexis, Ozil and Giroud) should be retained for next season, whether their contracts are extended or not.

  • Hi all.. Hi 17ht.. Nice post.. Really something good to discuss..

    First I want to make it clear about our Salaries structure.. It’s not as bad as people thought.. I don’t know the real statistic.. Maybe Waldo or TA can help me about that..
    If we compare to Munchen.. Not so difference.. And we are also better than Juventus.. I don’t want to talk about Barca and Madrid or silly PSG.. Hehehe

    And in PL only two Manchester club are bigger salaries than us.. Chelsea only with 2 or 3 players (Fabregas, Costa and Hazzard) who is bigger than Ozil and Sanchez.
    But soon two of them will gone.. Hehehe

    I agree we must raise up Sanchez salaries.. And 20% won’t be enough.. 180k is very cheap for top level players like him.. 200k at least IMHO..
    But our Sanchez is a very scared players.. Salary isn’t his priority.. Playing time and trophies are his most points..
    He loved his time with us.. Wenger always give him enough time to play.. Even when he is not in a good condition..
    What Wenger need to do is to give him a reason to believe that we will fighting for trophies.. By bringing players who will support him playing at his best..

    So, assume that we will continue playing 3-4-3 or 3-4-2-1 formation.. Then we need to bring a great CF.. Someone we already talk last post..
    What kind of CF that we need..??
    I thought Giroud is a good CF for Sanchez.. So if we need to replace Giroud, than the players must have at least his qualities in heading and holding ball.. And at the same time he also need Walcott qualities in speed and assist.. Hehehe..

    We all soon will miss Walcott speed, goals and assist, sad to saying this, but the fact that he can’t compete with Ox and Bellerin as our RWB.. he isn’t good enough in defense.. So Walcott will leave.. Wilshere, Gibbs.. Szechney also if Ospina stay..
    But Ramsey and Welbeck will still in our team.. Maybe not as a starter.

  • HT,
    Clever post. Everything on earth can be discussed.

    I have a simple rule. If any player wants to go AND THE PRICE IS GOOD, I will cash in and let him go. SELL WELL AND BUY WELL IS MY MOTTO . if you give me £400M for Messi I will sell and build a World XI less Messi.

    CL is important to players particularly the already established top players. But if it’s that critical the world’s most expensive player Paul Pogba would not have gone to Manu last season and Chls would have experienced a mass exudous of players. Our missing the CL for the coming season is not as if it has been proclaimed that we would miss it for the coming 5 seasons. Arsenal has got a lot more charm than we the fans think. Check out this CV

    Highest No.of FA cups 13 ————————Arsenal
    Most consecutive wins EPL 14 —————– Arsenal
    Undefeated run EPL 49 —————————Arsenal
    Longest CL qualification unbroken sequence–Real with Arsenal 2nd at 20.
    Value of club (position in the world) ————-6th/7th.
    Total wage Bill (position in the world) ———–6th/7th
    Style of football —————————————charming.

    Talk about charm talk about Arsenal.

    Bayern lost Toni Kroos and gained Xavi Alonso from Real and vice versa and neither team experienced any ripples. At Arsenal we like making a mountain out of a molehill.

  • Waldo.. I like Dzeko.. And still do..
    I wish we had him before.. But better late than never isn’t it..?? Hehehe..

    Demme or Fabinho will be great.. But to get both of them is almost impossible.. But still I want Nainggolan.. Hehehe

  • Hi 17tino, nice read, been busy so a quick comment.

    To me, all this contract nonsense should not be an issue, not if the management do their jobs properly.
    When a player gets to 2 years and it’s a player you want to retain, it should be club policy to extend their contract. If they or their agent fanny about, then alarm bells, make an ultimatum and if they still procrastinate, move them on, never mind who they are.

    The fact that this issue happens so often at Arsenal can only be because people are reluctant to force the issue, be it Gazides or Wenger.

    Tbh having so many players running down their contracts should be a sackable offence.

  • Thanks for the responses… Always interesting to hear what others are thinking…

    I’m a little surprised that many believe the club will keep so many of our important players even if they could be lost on a Bosman at the end of the season. Like I say in the post, that’s a subject I hope to explore more in a later post. I’m a busy guy over the next 10 days or so, so it might have to wait. Ideally, we could get some solid news (actual signings…) sooner than later, so that we don’t have to fret so much about these sorts of things…

    Good point, PE re: CL football & Pogba and the Chav players…

    The other part of PE’s comment & Akev’s are strong. If the player wants to go–or even if he’s just trying to run down his contract to improve his negotiating position–we should sell… Overall, I think such a stance is probably true but it doesn’t align with the (extreme, IMO) pressure for results at Arsenal. We all (or most fans…) believe that new signings will hit the ground running (see Waldo and, to a slightly lesser extent, Henry’s call for more than a handful of new players…) but that’s not always (or even often) the case, in my experience. In addition, the club must pay two ways–fees & salaries–when new players come in. It’s less exciting, but there’s a reason Arsenal’s policy has always been about trying to keep our best players. Now–again, just in my opinion–we’re up against it with our two best players (and other good ones) going into their final year. Should we have played hard-ball with those guys and shipped them out earlier? Maybe… That option is gone now, however… AND the pressures on the club (and its much maligned manager) have never been greater. Overall, I’d like to not worry (and be happy…) but I do…

  • New Post…

    Today was the best time to get out Pony Eye’s exploration of why it’s likely Alexis will stay at Arsenal… Ozil too…

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