Not for the first time and not for the last, Arsenal fans were out in force on Twitter last week with questions being asked, once again, of manager Unai Emery.
The criticism this time wasn’t focused on a less-than-convincing defensive display or the ongoing absence of Mesut Ozil, however. Instead, it was a brilliant Champions League goal from Hakim Ziyech which had the Arsenal fans whimpering.
Not bad for a player who produced a staggering 21 goals and 24 assists as Ajax won the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup double last season, not to mention storming to the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in the 21st century.
And when you consider how over-reliant Arsenal have been on the clinical finishing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang while lacking the cutting edge and creativity that once made them England’s most watchable side in the happier days of Arsene Wenger, Ziyech felt like the sort of player who could be the club’s new Ozil, Cesc Fabregas or Freddie Ljungberg.
But, according to De Telegraaf, Ajax have now tied Ziyech down to a new contract which makes him the best-paid player not just in Amsterdam but in the history of Dutch football. Furthermore, the £25 million release-clause has now been removed, meaning Ajax can demand whatever fee they like for a player who has started 2019/20 in typically mesmerizing fashion.
This feels like an opportunity squandered by Arsenal. Not for the first time either.
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