Thoughts on Players Due for Contract Renewal at Arsenal
With the international break taking center stage, Arsenal has had its fair share of ambassadors flying their national flags and like every Arsenal fan out there, I’m hopeful that there would be no more further injuries to disrupt the squad in what proves to be a testing month ahead. The Gunners are set to lock horns with Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham pretty soon, so Arsene Wenger will need all the players at his disposal.
Next summer, the contracts of Francis Coquelin, Abou Diaby and Mikel Arteta are due to expire and in the summer of the next European Championships, Tomas Rosicky, Mathieu Flamini, Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott, Ryo Miyaichi (on loan at FC Twente) Joel Campbell and Olivier Giroud will be in the same situation.
Looking at the aforementioned players, I see Francis Coquelin departing in the near future. He’s a player that has reached an age he should be playing consistently and with the Gunners still on the lookout for a new defensive midfielder, it may be in his best interests to look elsewhere. But then again, Arteta and Mathieu Flamini are approaching their twilight years, a little patience wouldn’t be bad thing you know. However, it’s the club that has the final say on Coquelin’s future and if Wenger feels that he can still contribute to the club, I’m pretty sure that he’d have no qualms handing a new deal to the young Frenchman.
Abou Diaby is another player whose contract is due to expire and there have been mixed opinions about the player due to his rather unfortunate injury record. Will Arsenal take the gamble and further extend his career when they know that there’s a high chance of paying more medical bills? Diaby is a player with huge potential and in the games we’ve watched him play he has had his spells of hot and cold outings. However, in my honest opinion I feel that the club has to reach an agreement with the lad to offer him a ‘pay-as-you-play’ contract, if such a thing exists. Just saying.
The last player with his contract expiring in 2015 is our beloved captain, Mikel Arteta. Since his arrival as a transfer deadline day signing in 2011, Arteta signed a four-year deal and in his time at the club, he has risen up the ranks and Arsene Wenger has grown to trust him. With Thomas Vermaelen leaving this summer, Wenger handed the responsibility of leading the club to the Spaniard and with the manager also failing to secure the services of a new DM, it’s more or less an indication that Arteta is going to continue his duties as the team’s primary holding midfielder with Flamini serving as his able deputy.
According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal is set to offer Arteta a 12-month extension on his current deal, which would see his contract expire in 2016. He’d be 34 by then and I’m pretty sure he may not be able to cope with the rigors of the Premier League by then, but then again, what do I know?
For the folks with contracts due to expire in 2016, the end of this season would mean that they have a year left on their contracts and it would put them in a position to act like Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy and move to greener pastures, or like reconsider their futures and sign da ting like Theo Walcott.
Ryo Miyaichi is a player whose Arsenal future is pretty much set away from the club and he’d be hoping to do well enough in FC Twente for them to secure his services on a permanent basis and I’m sure Arsenal would be glad to sell the youngster. Tomas Rosicky has had more extensions that the amount of goals Yaya Sanogo has managed to score for Arsenal but I really doubt if the Gunners would chose to renew his deal when it’s up for expiry in 2016 because Rosicky will be 36 years old and they signal the end of his lovely career with us.
Flamini will be 32 and I’m guessing that with Arteta more or less reaching the tail end of his career with the club, Flamini may be offered an extension to support the new holding midfielder coming in, or Calum Chambers if he begins to ply his trade there.
But in Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell, the Gunners have two players whose futures would hinge on how much game time they get this season. Podolski was rumored to be on his way out this summer but Giroud’s injury forced the Gunners to take a decision on the German’s future and he’s staying. Campbell still has a point to prove and he’d be hoping that he gets his chance as the season progresses but limited game time could make him make a decision to leave.
That leaves us with Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott. The French forward has had a decent goal return since joining from Montpellier and he played a lot of football for the Gunners but with the handsome bloke fracturing his tibia, he’s going to be out for a long spell. The Gunners have done well to sign a more mobile and energetic Danny Welbeck but Giroud is a player that remains integral to the team. Arsenal is bracing up to offer Giroud a two-year extension that would see his contract expire in the next World Cup in Russia when he’d be 32.
As for Walcott, the protracted saga of his contract situation was a thorn in the flesh of everyone connected with Arsenal but I hope that things would be a lot smoother this time. We don’t need another guy to upload a video of ‘Sign da Ting 2’ on YouTube.
I hope the club and these players reach good agreements and Gooner Daily will keep you posted when the contracts are signed.
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