Tag Archives: Arsène Wenger

Transfer fees set to become obsolete?

Twelve months ago a lot was being made in the press about the contract is Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.

“1 year left, how have Arsenal got themselves into this position” were the cries at the time.

An interesting interview with Arsene Wenger gave a glimpse into what he believed was the future.

With dramatically increasing transfer fees, the former Arsenal boss was of the opinion that the future would see a lot more players winding down their contract and leaving for no transfer fee.

That clubs would offer shorter term deals to players 2 to 3 years, a player would do his time and move on.

It would provide security to the club – knowing that if a player signed a 3 year deal he was likely to see it out – and security to the player – knowing that if he fell out of favour, he could spend a year away on loan before moving on.

For those scoffing at the opinion, writing it off as a way Wenger justifies the clubs handling of the Ozil and Sanchez contract situations, let’s look at those contracts set to expire within the next 2 years:

Manchester United


David de Gea*, Anthony Martial*, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw, Matteo Darmian*, Antonio Valencia*, Ashley Young, Andreas Pereira


Marcus Rashford*, Nemanja Matic*, Eric Bailly, Marouane Fellaini*, Lee Grant

*Contract contains option for a further year



Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck, Nacho Monreal, Petr Cech, Stephan Lichtsteiner


Laurent Koscielny, Carl Jenkinson

Manchester City


Vincent Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala, Brahim Diaz


Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, Ilkay Gundogan, David Silva, Fernandinho, Fabian Delph, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Phil Foden, Claudio Bravo



Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele, Fernando Llorente, Michel Vorm


Christian Eriksen, Vincent Janssen



Cesc Fabregas, David Luiz, Olivier Giroud, Gary Cahill, Lucas Piazon, Willy Caballero, Robert Green


Eden Hazard, Willian, Cesar Azpilicueta, Pedro, Marco van Ginkel, Ethan Ampadu



James Milner, Daniel Sturridge, Alberto Moreno, Lazar Markovic


Adam Lallana, Joel Matip, Nathaniel Clyne, Divock Origi

If you disregard the guys expiring in. 2020, you could easily build a competitive team with players whose contract expires in 12 months.

De Gea

Alderweireld Kompany Vertonghen

Milner Herrera Fabregas Shaw

Martial Ramsey


I do not think transfer fees will become completely obsolete in the future. Teams will still want to sign players under contract. But what will happen is the majority of transfer will be free, or loan deals, and fees for players under contract will become astronomical.

The future could be upon us.



Wenger GONE… Gazidis GONE… Usmanov GONE…

The fall out from today’s news about Stan Kroenke being set to take full control of Arsenal was as expected. It was overwhelmingly negative.

I have always thought life is too short to be negative about everything, especially about football which for me is a release from the Monday – Friday of work.

When the news first hit, my thoughts were simple.

“I can not wait until Sunday to have a beer with my mates and watch some football”.

You see, football is not just about the 90 minutes. It is about meeting up with friends, old and new, having a few beers and releasing the tension from the working week.

The reality is as Arsenal fans we can do nothing about Kroenke taking full control. Just like we can not do anything about South West Trains having delays every single day, or the Central Line being boiling hot.

Protests, petitions and moaning on Twitter will do nothing.

And what are we protesting? What are we petitioning? What are we moaning about? We do not know Kroenke’s intentions will be as sole owner of Arsenal Football Club. Fans are getting their knickers in the twist based in rumours, based on speculation. Based on the unqualified Arsenal Supporters Trust releasing fake news.

If the deal goes through this week, will it actually affect me, as a match day going fan? No it will not. I will still go Sunday. Meet my mates. Have a few beers before, during and after the game.

In fact, The George shutting will have more of an affect on my life than Kroenke being sole owner of Arsenal.

How about we look at the positives of the situation of Arsenal?

We have long complained about Arsene Wenger’s influence on the club. His 22-year spell at the club went on too long. His autocratic style of leadership centralised power in his office. Wenger is gone. Unai Emery is in charge.

Power has also been further spread around with the appointments of Raul Sanllehi and Sven Mislintat. No longer do we have one single man in charge of the entire football side of the club. Overseeing everything from set up to scouting, transfers to training.

We have seen the effect of the new men this summer. We have spent nearly £70million on some very good signings and moved decisively in the market.

Ivan Gazidis was also holding the club back.

Ignore the fact that he let Wenger remain in charge too long – although he was key in removing the Frenchman and if it was up to him, Wenger would have gone a year earlier.

Gazidis oversees the business side of the club. It is up to him to oversee the commercial team who bring revenue in.

For too long, this commercial team has under performed.

I ma not expecting Arsenal to be up with Manchester United. Their £268million in commercial revenue (and growing) is incredible. Alongside Real Madrid and Barcelona they are a level ahead of every other club in world football when it comes to reach, fan base and brand recognition. And that feeds down to the commercial revenue.

But to be £151million behind them is poor. To have the 5th highest in the Premier League is poor – although Manchester City’s high commercial revenue comes from within.

I do not see why Arsenal, with a motivated and successful commercial revenue team could not be close to £200million a season.

Manchester City have just signed a £50million deal with Puma; Chelsea’s deal with Nike is £60million a year.

Arsenal’s £30million deal with Puma runs out at the end of this season. Taking into account our shirt sales and brand – which are both superior to Chelsea and Manchester City – we should be looking at a minimum £60million a year from Adidas or whoever we do the deal with.

Kit manufacturers do not really care who is “successful”, they care how many units they sell. It is why Liverpool still command high sponsorship revenue despite it being 28 years since they last won the league.

We have recently signed a very good £10million a year deal with Visit Rwanda.

Under Gazidis the commercial revenue team has under performed, leaving us nearly £100million a year short of where we should be.

£100million a year is a lot of money. In very simple terms, it would enable us to buy an additional £80million player on £350,000 a week, every season.

How much better position would we be in if in the last 4 summers, we were able to have purchased 4 £80million players?

The commercial revenue team have held us back for years, and Gazidis is ultimately to blame.

If Josh Kroenke does come in as CEO, as expected, he brings a world of knowledge as president of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids and Colorado Avalanche with him. American sport is the bench mark as to what commercial revenue you can bring in.

Gazidis leaving should be seen as a positive.

Then we have the final change, the biggest. Stan Kroenke buying out Alisher Usmanov.

For too long, Arsenal have been stale, not really moving anywhere, and I am certain the civil war between the two largest share holders was the reason for this.

One had to go for Arsenal to move forward under the vision of a single owner with no restrictions. Whether you think Kroenke or Usmanov was the “better choice” does not really matter. What is important is the Arsenal Civil War 2007-2018 is over. And hopefully Arsenal can move on and rebuild as one unit.

Rather than be negative, and return to protests and divisions on the terraces, lets look at the positives.

Wenger is gone
Gazidis is going
The Arsenal Civil War is over



Arsenal’s pursuit of Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe. Great player. Great performance at the weekend.

It led to a few Arsenal fans saying “we should have signed him last summer”.

Well we tried. And we went big.

We were rumoured to have offered £80m to Monaco last year. A huge sum for an 18 year old. The deal never went through and he joined PSG on loan for a year with an agreement that they will pay over twice that this summer – £166m.

Instead Arsenal signed Alexandre Lacazette and in January Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The pair cost Arsenal a combined fee of just over £100m.

So the money was there to go higher than £80m for Mbappe, but Arsenal didn’t.

Personally, I am more than happy in having Lacazette and Aubameyang instead.

Mbappe might turn out to be better than the pair (he arguably is already better than Lacazette, but not yet on Aubameyang’s level). But we got two instead of one, adding real depth to our striker force.

I honestly think that with the two of them, and Danny Welbeck as 3rd choice striker, Arsenal have the most strength in depth up top in the Premier League.

What a lot of people seem to forget with Mbappe is last summer was not the year we could have got him for a few hundred thousand. That was the year before when he was just 17 years old.

In the summer of 2016 we were very close to signing him. Arsene Wenger even met with his parents. In the end he decided to stay with Monaco – signing a new contract with the French club.

It reminds me a lot of the Ivan Rakitic to Arsenal story that broke recently.

At 16 years old, Rakitic has a trial with Arsenal. He also had interest from Juventus and Chelsea. He decided to remain with Basel as he did not want to be just another young talented kid at a high profile club.

Two years on and he joined Schalke, turning down offers from Barcelona and AC Milan. Again, his decision was based on playing first team football.

Mbappe has already broken into the Monaco first team. In 2016 he decided to stay with the club and play week in week out with them rather than join Arsenal.

At the time had he joined Arsenal he would have been behind Alexis Sanchez in the pecking order.

Role on a year and Arsenal had the £80m interest in him once more. A year older, Wenger now saw him as a Sanchez replacement; rather than a you player with potential.

Sanchez did not leave and Mbappe joined PSG on loan with a huge transfer set to be completed this summer.

“But he is a striker and better than Olivier Giroud” some moan.

You are wrong.

For Monaco he played outwide with Falco in the middle as a focal point. For France he players one side of Giroud (with Antoine Griezmann the other side) and for PSG he plays wide of Edison Cavani.

Mbappe would have come to Arsenal to replace Sanchez, not to play down the middle.

It should also be remembered that Mbappe is a Parisian. A PSG fan born in the French capital.

There is talk this summer that PSG might pull out of a deal to sign Mbappe. I would be very surprised as he is their future.

There will be yearly speculation about Neymar to Real Madrid. In Mbappe they have a Paris born player; the future of France.

If PSG do pull, I think it will be a battle of the Spanish clubs for his signature.

Barcelona need someone having missed out on Griezmann, and Real Madrid need a marque signing if they fail to land Neymar or Eden Hazard.

Mbappe is going to be a brilliant player – he reminds me a lot of Michael Owen’s break through in 1998.

Let’s focus on who we are buying this summer, not who we could have signed 2 years ago.

The future is bright at Arsenal. Let’s embrace it.