Mikel Arteta questions the wisdom of Arsenal’s contract extension of older players. Did Arsene Wenger get it right with his senior players?
Arsenal under Arsene Wenger has made it a habit of offering just one-year contracts to players over the age of 30. Mikel Arteta, 32, one of the senior player’s in the Arsenal squad, questions the wisdom behind this approach.
Arsenal’s policy of offering one-year contract extension to senior pros back fired many times as senior players who had given their peak years to the club often left Arsene Wenger’s side. The player’s future remains bleak in that case and their experience is undervalued by the Arsenal Management. Arsenal Right Back, Barcary Sagna is set to join the list of players leaving the club due to this policy. Barcary Sagna is Arsenal’s number 1 right back with years of experience in Premier League and in Champions League, but he feels his experience and performance is not valued enough in the Arsenal think tank as he looks to bid adieu and the French professor is targeting young right back Sergie Aurier to fill in his boots.
This peculiar situation is created by Arsene Wenger’s adamant policy of handing only one-year rolling contract to senior players. Veteran midfielder Mikel Arteta questions the logic behind Arsenal’s adamant policies. Arsenal’s inability to win titles after the invincibles can also be attributed to lack of leaders in the dressing room. Thierry Henry and Co. could have helped them in achieving their targets if Arsenal had a more sensible policy.
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal’s midfield lynchpin, who joined the gunners from Everton in 2011 was handed a deal till 2015. As his deal is set to expire next summer, his future remains in the dark as he is past the 30 year barrier. Mikel Arteta’s 123 Premier League appearances and 15 goals in Arsenal colours does not value much against their strict policies.
Mikel Arteta has expressed his views clearly in the media:
“I don’t value players by age. Whether it is [Tomas] Rosicky or Jack Wilshere, I analyse many other things before age. Age can be an asset for the club. For me, a much bigger asset is someone who has played 125 games in three years compared to someone who has played 25, if he is 20 years old. That’s my opinion.”
“I understand the club point of view: ‘Mikel [Arteta] is not a £25m player because he is not 22 any more.’ But I know what else I can give. So it’s to find the right balance between mentalities. We need to analyse and talk about it.”
Mikel Arteta is making himself clear before sitting down with Arsene Wenger for contract talks.
“I know the history of this club with players over 30 and I don’t know if they are planning to change it or maintain it. I will give them my opinion. I will talk to them this summer and see what they want to do. I am only going to stay if they really want me to stay and I feel productive. The day I feel like I can’t perform, I will be the first one to say: ‘Listen, you have kids here, 20, 25, who are much better than me. It’s my time to move on.’ They’re not going to have a problem with me with that.”
Should Arsenal and Arsene Wenger revise their policy of 30+ to retain key players like Mikel Arteta? The squad rebuilding pegs them back every now and then, Is this policy one of the reasons behind Arsenal’s trophy drought?