The Tough Call-
After failing to qualify for the Champions League this season, Arsenal were looking to keep hold of their star players rather than sell them to other clubs, though they knew the fact that they would lose them for free next summer. The main incentive is to focus on getting back into Europe’s top-flight competition without losing any stars in the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
With Chilean Sanchez and Germany’s Ozil entering the last few months of their contracts, club manager Arsene Wenger decided not to cash-in on them but instead build a team around them for the progress of the club.
When questioned about the gains and losses of players’ contract running out, Wenger said this in a recent interview, “It is a financial sacrifice [to run down their contracts]. It is a sacrifice that you have to calculate, how much it costs. If you let the player go [for a transfer fee] and you buy somebody you spend maybe more than you lose [by keeping them].
“And as well if you extend the contracts it costs you maybe more than you lose when you keep the player. So you have to consider the length of the contract as well that the players want. So all that goes into consideration, the financial sacrifice is not as heavy as it looks.”
Chamberlain was another player on the radar of league rivals Liverpool and Chelsea but after making a bold statement of not being a selling club, he eventually did join the Reds, though has not been able to make any sort of impact since his move to Anfield.
Wenger himself penned a two year deal to remain at the Emirates and the Gunners boss was seemingly looking on the bright side of things, the Frenchman also spoke about a potential contract extension for his stars if they continue playing for the club.
The French manager had further stated back then, “Look, let’s not be wrong, it’s not an ideal situation on the financial side and it demands some sacrifice. But first of all it doesn’t mean the players who are in the final year of their contract will not extend their contract. You have still that possibility and we work on that as well.”
Editor’s View: Was It Wise To Retain?
Though the French manager did do a good thing of retaining some of his key players, it is still not certain whether it was the best thing to do or not, with regards to the long-term future of the club. The north London giants missed out on some key players, as they did not express the desire to buy more strongly.
Some of these stars could have been really beneficial to the Gunners in the long run and though the club will try their best to retain their two main play-makers, it will be really tough for them to keep hold of both Ozil and Sanchez, at the end of the present term.
If Wenger is able to make the duo re-sign new deals and remain at Arsenal, it will be a huge achievement in itself for the club and the highly experienced manager.