Another day, another media briefing from the upper echelons at the Emirates.
The Telegraph’s Jeremy Wilson reports this afternoon that Arsenal are planning to open contract talks with a host of first team players who are out of contract in July 2019.
The hope is to avoid a repeat of this summer’s clusterf*ck which has seen Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain successfully force a move to Liverpool and Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez enter the final 11 months of their respective deals.
Talks are set to open with Aaron Ramsey, Petr Cech, Danny Welbeck, Nacho Monreal and Theo Walcott, although, it remains to be seen whether they are receptive to new deals. Would you commit your future to the club at the moment?
By our reckoning, Chuba Akpom, Mathieu Debuchy, Joel Campbell and David Ospina also have 23 months left on their current. Speaking frankly, if they are offered new deals we’ll eat our laptops.
The squad is certainly going to need a fair bit of surgery before then though. In addition to the likely departures of Ozil and Sanchez and the sale of some of those players recently loaned out, Per Mertesacker will retire at the end of the current season while Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla could be released.
Right now, it’s quite hard imagining what our squad might look like in two years time, especially with that being the date our manager’s contract runs out.
Speaking of the manager, he’s called on the fans to get behind the squad when they return from the Interlull. The Gunners face Bournemouth on Saturday in a must-win game that could go some way to changing the current depressing narrative.
“People always make their mind up very quickly,” said Wenger. “And the players forget always very quickly how good you are. Much quicker than you think. We have to continue to believe in our strength and as well not to forget.
“To have a successful season we need our fans. And our fans can say. ‘OK we’re not good enough our squad is not good enough’, and think, ‘OK, we have no chance this year.’ That will not work.
“We want our fans to be behind us in this moment, as well. Even if we are very sorry for what we delivered. But to have a successful season we need to have that. And let’s not forget not one and a half months ago we won the community shield, we won the cup and in a very convincing way with the same players.”