Arsenal are on a good run of results.
Unbeaten in 2020, the improvement under Mikel Arteta is now turning into wins. There is a positive feeling in Islington right now.
Due to the positivity over The Arsenal, the media have been struggling to find something negative to write about. It is the negative articles that get the most hits. Generates the most advertising revenue.
With results on the pitch going so well, journalists have now looked off the pitch to find their negative Arsenal-related stories. This has led them to speculate on the future of Arsenal players due to their current contract situations.
Both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka’s deals run out in 18 months time. Arsenal’s top scorer and leading creator.
In recent days, Arsenal have been portrayed as a club in crisis. That we are set to lose our two most influential attacking players this summer. It is no more than click bait.
Firstly on Aubameyang.
He turns 31 at the end of the season and is showing no sign of slowing down. He has shown no indication to want to leave the club this summer.
With Champions League now being worth £60m+ a season in comparison to the Europa League, it would make more financial sense for Arsenal to take the risk on his contract.
He runs it down, fires us back into the Champions League in 2021, Arsenal will be financially better off. Aubameyang can then go off to China or America and earn some big bucks as his ability declines.
The question that few are asking about Aubameyang is “were he to leave Arsenal in the summer, where would he go?”
Arsenal would demand a transfer fee in the region of at least £50m (remembering the cost of not making the Champions League).
Aubameyang himself would also demand a nice big contract.
He will have one year left on his ~£200k a week contract. Arsenal will likely offer him at least £250k a week to extend for another 2 years. That means a buying club would have to be willing to commit to a £250k 3-year deal and a £50m transfer fee.
At 31, he would likely see that contract out, and then either retire or move on a free, once again to China or America. the buying club would claw nothing back.
£90milllion (salary + fee) would be a huge investment.
Only Europe’s financial elite would be capable of spending that on a player, knowing they will never get it back. But who of Europe’s financial elite needs a 31-year-striker?
Real Madrid and Barcelona have Karim Benzema (32) and Luis Suarez (33) respectively. They have no need for another ageing striker and would most likely focus their energy on bringing in younger men who can replace their senior men in the long term – think Kylian Mbappe and Lautaro Martinez.
Bayern Munich are in a similar situation. They are no looking to replace Aubameyang’s former Borussia Dortmund teammate Robert Lewandowski (31) anytime soon. They will also be looking at the younger market.
In Italy, Inter Milan have been heavily linked with Aubameyang. But they have only recently spent big money on Romelu Lukaku, who has scored 22 goals in 33 games. They do not need a 1st choice striker.
They might be tempted to sign Aubameyang and play him on the left hand side of Lukaku, but following the flop of Alexis Sanchez, would they be willing to invest heavily in an ageing star?
The left wing is not Aubameyang’s best position, If Inter wanted a winger, there are better, cheaper, younger options out there.
Juventus is the other team in Italy that would be able to offer Aubameyang what he wants. But they have a certain Cristiano Ronaldo (35) up top.
Ronaldo’s contract expires in 2 years. Like the Spanish sides, Juventus will surely be looking for a long term replacement for him.
Add in Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala and they are well stocked for forwards.
That leaves PSG as teams who would able to afford him on the content.
Now there is discussion that Kylian Mbappe could be off to Real Madrid. If that happens, they surely won’t sell Neymar to Barcelona – especially with Edison Cavani having left as well.
If we take Mbappe out of the equation, that leaves them with Neymar, Angel di Maria and Mauro Icari.
Icardi is only on loan from Juventus, but surely signing a 27-year-old for £60m makes more sense than Aubameyang on double the wages?
Money is no object to PSG so they could go for both. But would Aubameyang be happy rotating in and out of the team? And playing second fiddle to Neymar?
That leaves England.
Arsenal would rather lose him Aubameyang on a free in 12 months then see him score the goals that sees Manchester United or Chelsea finish above us.
Aubameyang is going nowhere.
Saka is at the complete other end of his career to Aubameyang.
At 18-years-old he has quickly become one of the most exiting young talents in Europe. There will be no shortage of takers for him.
But the lack of progression with his contract is not a worry once you understand the situation.
On their 17th birthday, players can sign their 1st professional contract. That contract can be no more than 3 years long.
On their 18th birthday, they can negotiate a new deal up to 5 years.
Very few players sign that new deal on their 18th birthday – especially as the rule is their agent can not even negotiate a deal on their behalf prior to them passing legal drinking age.
Saka only turned 18 in September. 5 Months ago.
Some will argue 5 months is more than enough to negotiate a new contract. But a lot has been going on at Arsenal during that time.
The sacking of Unai Emery, Granit Xhaka stripped of captaincy, Freddie Ljungberg as caretaker manager and the appointment of Arteta.
Now things have settled expect a negotiations to continue.
It was not too long ago that the media were reporting similar stories over Reiss Nelson’s future. As expected he signed a new deal.
Almost every 18 year old footballer is at his club with 18 months left on his deal. Yet only one is being written about.
And it is interesting that the press are only speculating on the future of Aubameyang and Saka based on their contract situations. They are not talking about the countless other Premier League players who are also entering the last 18 months of their contract.
Whilst there are stories of Paul Pogba and Leroy Sane, neither of these are being linked away due to their contract situations.
And where is the Sergio Aguero talk? Or Georginio Wijnaldum?
And that is just the list of players in the Premier League.
It is almost like negative Arsenal articles get more hits than any other club. That makes us more newsworthy. More likely to have a click bait article written about us.
Ignore the rubbish about players leaving, about contracts.
Ultimately if players want to leave, they can. We shouldn’t be keeping players who do not want to here here. Whether that be an ageing Aubameyang or academy graduate Saka.
Don’t give those trying to monitise negativity your time.