The transfer window shut a week ago today and I am already looking towards 2018 with dread.
If you thought the summer 2017 was a disaster, things will be worse in a years time. The clubs lack of action this summer, and policy over contracts is gong to come back and bite it in the arse.
Firstly we have the expiring contracts.
Alexis Sanchez will almost certainly leave in a free transfer. He was so close to leaving this summer. He will go. He will take his dogs with him to lick peanut butter off his nut sack. Mesut Ozil will also be out of the door. Whilst no one was willing to pay for him this summer, a lack of transfer fee will see many Turkish and German clubs be able to offer him a nice big signing on fee to make up for (potentially) lower wages.
Santi Cazorla also has his contract expiring. He would have spent nearly 18 months injured before we see him again this season. He really should have been replaced this summer, but was not. Per Mertesacker will retire, leaving us an experienced centre back short.
Then we have Jack Wilshere. If he get’s fit and stays, he might sign a new deal. But that is unlikely. He will be another out the door for free. The final one who’s contract is expiring is Joel Campbell. Not a disaster him going, but he will take it to 6 players leaving with no fees coming in.
We then have the want-a-way players. Those who tried to leave this summer.
Shkodran Mustafi tried to engineer a move away from the club this summer. The club were seemingly happy to allow him to talk to other sides having decided he was not good enough. Too much water under the bridge. Unlikely to be here for 2018/19.
We also have Hector Bellerin. Another who flirted with leaving. He ended up staying. But such as a mass exodus, it would not be a surprise to see him in a Barcelona shirt next summer.
Arsenal will also still need to ship out some dead wood.
Next summer, Petr Cech will be 36 years old. We will need a new goal keeper. His understudy, David Ospina, is not good enough to be number one. Will he be happy us signing a new first choice keeper? Probably not. He may well leave. That could result in us needing to sign a first choice goal keeper, and a second choice one if Emiliano Martinez does not prove himself.
Lucas Perez, Mathieu Debuchy, Carl Jenkinson and Chuba Akpom were all told this summer to find new clubs. They didn’t, with only Jenkinson leaving on loan. They will still be contracted to Arsenal into next season, and the club will once again try to move the 4 on.
There are also 8 players who have their contracts coming to an end in 2019, meaning if they do not sign a deal throughout this season – and who would sign with so much uncertainty – they will be entering the last year of their deal next summer.
These players include the aforementioned David Ospina, Mathieu Debuchy and Chuba Akpom.
Also on the list is Aaron Ramsey. With his comment about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, maybe he will feel next summer is the right time to leave Arsenal for a new challenge elsewhere. On the flip side, his position is reminiscent to Theo Walcott a few years ago, when other senior players were leaving and he was able to secure himself a bumper new contract, far above his true value. Ramsey could be in a position to negotiate a new 5 year, £200,000 a week deal…
Nacho Monreal is another who could move on next summer. With a year left on his contract, his left back place taken by Sead Kolašinac, and his best mate Santi Cazorla set to leave, he is another who could agitate for a move back to his native Spain.
Will Olivier Giroud be happy with another season as a Plan B? The World Cup will be gone and he will be 32. Like Monreal, he might find it the right time to leave.
Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck are the final two who’s contracts are coming to an end.
If the Class of 2019 do not leave next summer, they will leave for free the summer after.
I can not see Monreal or Giroud wanting new deals – or the club offering them (both will be well into their 30s). And I would be surprised if Danny Welbeck would sign another deal, having continually found himself as a bit part player since his move from Manchester United.
As for Walcott, the club will probably offer him a new deal, but at a reduced wage as he would be on the wain. I can not see him accepting this.
Now for a few side notes.
Are Calum Chambers, Francis Coquelin or Mohamed Elneny good enough? In other circumstance, you would file under dead wood and look to get rid. But with the impending disaster, poor employees will be kept as better employers leave.
Finally we have Laurent Koscielny. On the 10th September 2018 he will be 33. He will be even more injury prone. With his heir-apparent Mustafi set to leave, not only will we be looking to sign a partner for Koscielny, but also potentially a long term replacement if Rob Holding does not develop as expected.
All chucked into a big cooking pot, it looks like it is set to be a tough summer in 2018.
We are already a central midfielder, an attacking midfielder and a centre back short, around 16 key members of the current squad could leave next summer, and another 4 are tittering on the edge. And many of those 16 will eave without a fee coming in.
If disaster hits, we might have to send up signing 20 players!
And the worst of it all is this disaster has been orchestrated by Arsene Wenger, who in 2019, will walk away from the sinking ship, having driving it deliberately into the rocks.