Could Uncertainty Over Wenger’s Future Cost Arsenal Alexis Sanchez & Mesut Ozil?


Right now, Arsenal fans are so caught up in getting their daily dose of transfer rumours that they may have forgotten about two of the most important deals the club could pull off this summer. Amid the clamour for new signings, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Arsenal must also try and secure the futures of their current stars. Tying down Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to new contracts could prove to be just as important as any new acquisition.

Alexis and Ozil are both two years from the expiry of their current deals. Over the past 12 months, there have been several stories indicating that an agreement could be imminent, but no official news has been forthcoming. The lack of progress has now become a little distressing.

Speaking in April, an outwardly relaxed Arsene Wenger told Sky Sports:

“These two players have two years to go on their contracts at the end of the season. So that is why we are not in a hurry. The players are very keen to stay and we are talking.”

The problem for Arsenal fans is that they’ve been burnt by this kind of situation before. Wenger talks as if two years is a long time, but realistically he must know that this is the point at which clubs begin to become vulnerable to a player’s whims.

If a player gets to within 12 months of the end of his contract, the club is invariably forced to accept a reduced fee—as has been the case with Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie in the recent past. Within a matter of months, Alexis and Ozil could have Arsenal over a barrel. If they don’t sign up soon, Arsenal could be forced to sell to avoid missing out on massive transfer fees.

Perhaps the uncertainty surrounding several of Arsenal’s stars is related to the doubts over the manager’s own future. Wenger has just 12 months left on his current deal, and it’s possible that players are hesitant to commit to a club where it’s unclear who’ll be in charge in just a year’s time. Maybe the players are reluctant to dedicate themselves to the cause without knowing if Wenger will be at the helm.

This summer could have a major influence on their decision. Much like the Arsenal supporters, they may also be waiting to see how the club’s transfer activity plays about between now and the August deadline. Arsenal’s need for a top-class forward has been clear for years, and they need to deliver a striker that serves as a statement of intent ahead of the new campaign. Ozil and Alexis are top-class players who could command a place with almost any team in the world—they’ll want to be assured that Wenger and the board match their ambition. Transfer activity is the obvious way to do that.

Arsenal must prove to their key players that they’re prepared to do what it takes to deliver success to the club. In the past two years, Alexis and Ozil have won two Copa America titles and a World Cup. Having secured their international legacy, they’ll be determined to experience that kind of success at club level too. The onus is now on Wenger and the board to do everything within their power to convince them they can do that at the Emirates Stadium.


James McNicholas is a London based football-writer. He is Bleacher Report's Arsenal Correspondent, and contributes regularly to The Mirror, CNN, Squawka & ESPN. His blog,, was nominated as the Best Established Blog in 2014 Football Blog Awards.

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4 Comments on “Could Uncertainty Over Wenger’s Future Cost Arsenal Alexis Sanchez & Mesut Ozil?”

  1. Gerry says:

    James, On the face of it, the question you pose is indeed possible.
    However, the uncertainty really lies with the BoD, and they will be the first to know, if they do not know already? what decision Arsene will come to. The BoD, or more precisely, Stan Koenke, has little interest in what players stay or go, as long as Arsenal as a business are still bringing in the profits. Indeed, I am not sure they are even interested in bringing in a ‘high profile’ manager if they are in the market for one at the end of the season? New managers expect a big salary, and a big transfer budget. So unless they have got an agreement in place as to the key players staying at the club are part of the new manager’s contract deal, then a healthy transfer budget could be funded by selling these same two players in your question?

    Like I said above, it helps if you stop thinking of Arsenal as being a Football Club, but more as an asset to the Kroenke Business Empire. Then you will see the only reason why they would want any change regards to playing staff or the managerial position would be if they intend to sell up and move on?
    At the same time, they do not want a further decrease in income, like missing out on the FA Cup and Cl spots, so it means they will make enquiries as to who might be available in case they have to agree a parting of the ways with Arsene..
    Whilst Goonereis is right, the transfer window did close in January, the club can make a pre-contract agreement with players if the selling clubs are willing to sell. But what this ‘uncertainty’ does is preclude Arsenal from any involvement of that type, either buying or selling, so the media speculation is just a tease to the fans that think there might be an immediate positive impact with such a change?
    It is a bit like ‘Brexit’ and ‘Trump=isms’ … the reality may not be the answer they wanted?

  2. Judith Le'Strange says:

    We have a good striker although not officially classed as one, but currently our top scorer, however our main problem currently is our manager is too stubborn to see that he should resign or the good of the team and club, plus the board are too weak to do the right thing and sack him. I know people will say that’s all well and good but who would replace Wenger, well if you look there are younger, more forward thinking bosses out there who would jump at the chance of managing Arsenal and get shot of all the dead wood wre currently have who are paid huge amounts of money but don’t actually play either through continually being injured or just not good enough but the manager still persists.

  3. GoonerEris says:

    “Right now, Arsenal fans are so caught up in getting their daily dose of transfer rumours that they may have forgotten about two of the most important deals the club could pull off this summer”. The only ones “caught up” in anything are the media. Isn’t it the case that the transfer window has closed till January? So, Why would fans agonize over transfers? The club has people tasked with contract extensions and the like. I would allow them do their jobs and suggest the journos do the same.

  4. says:

    Not a hope in hells chance of winning anything unless we get a decent striker

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