After a rollercoaster ride of “will they, won’t they?” over the last few months regarding new contract deals for Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez, reports are now saying that Özil would like to stay at Arsenal – but only if Arsene Wenger does as well.
And one would imagine that the Chilean ace is of the same mindset as the German creator. Now that poses a problem. Do we want to see Arsène depart along with our two best players, or should they all stay and continue as a happy-ish family?
For a while now Gunners fans have been divided over Arsene. Some want the father of our modern era out after failing to pick up serious silverware for over ten years. Others believe that he is still the best man for the job and have faith that his philosophy will yield results again. Either way, his contract is up for renewal in the summer, and his future at the Emirates is still unclear.
As with everything, there are of course pros and cons to keeping the Frenchman around. But in Arsene’s favour, since the financial situation at the club has improved he has made serious buys in the transfer market and nearly all of his signings have improved the squad. Given time and continued funding, the three-time Premier League winner could build one of the most attractive teams in Europe. At present, though, if the board are waiting on the outcome of the current campaign to decide on Wenger’s fate, things don’t look too bright. Bookies have almost written off our title hopes, with Betway placing the Gunners at 14/1 to lift the trophy.
Two of Wenger’s greatest additions have been the big-money acquisitions of Özil and Sanchez. But there is a strong risk of losing the two stars if they don’t pen new contract deals in the near future. Both are holding out for wages in excess of £200,000-a-week, but Özil’s recent interview n the German magazine Kicker has revealed that Arsène staying will be the deciding factor for the playmaker. The former Real Madrid midfielder hinted that playing for Wenger is more important than the wage increase. Not that anyone believed him.
Özil is target of oil money
Özil is one of the best attacking midfielders in England’s top flight and is sought after by many of our main rivals. Losing the German would be bad enough, but to another title contender would pose a significant double blow. The same can be said about Sanchez, who is a primary target of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. The Catalan took Sanchez to Barcelona and gave him the opportunity to get worldwide recognition for his skills. But it has been at the Emirates where the fantastic forward has become a real world-beater.
Özil and Sanchez are both at the prime footballing age of 28. This is the age where talented stars can turn into footballing legends. They have the maturity, skill, and expertise required to take their game to the uppermost levels. After giving them a stage upon which to shine, it should be Arsenal that reaps the rewards of their development.
But it all goes back to that old footballing viewpoint that no player is bigger than the club. There will always be other amazing players to purchase. It seems a waste to say goodbye to the pair who could be core players for many years to come. To some, the pair are two compelling reasons for keeping the longest-serving Premier League manager in his post.