Arsenal have always had a poor record when it comes to players’ contracts. How many times have we seen the Gunners’ best players leave the club when they enter the final year of their deals?
Arsenal’s management of contracts has been terrible in recent years
Robin van Persie, arguably the Premier League’s best player then, left the Gunners for Manchester United for £24 million (BBC), a bargain fee for the Red Devils who won the league title with him in his very first season.
Alexis Sanchez moved to Old Trafford as well and although things didn’t quite work out for him, Arsenal were the big losers considering they didn’t get any money for him.
Aaron Ramsey was allowed to leave for free and the list can go on and on. Arsenal’s problems are not just with their best players. The Gunners have sold quite a few youngsters for very little fee and the same players’ value have gone up drastically since their move.
Ismael Bennacer left the Gunners for just £900,000 and the Algerian was later sold by Empoli to AC Milan for £14.5 million. (Tribuna) Now, the former Gunners midfielder is reportedly worth a whopping £45 million and is on the radar of PSG and Manchester City. (Foot Mercato)
Donyell Malen is another player whose value shot up after Arsenal sold him. The Gunners parted ways with him for just £500,000 and he is now reportedly worth £50 million. (Mirror)
Are Arsenal making the same mistake again?
Goal have claimed today that the Gunners are set to make the same mistake again. It is claimed that young sensation Folarin Balogun has been told by the Gunners that he is free to leave this summer.
The young striker, still only 18, has rejected Arsenal’s contract offer and with just a year left on his current deal, the club will look to sell him on this summer to avoid losing him for free.
Arsenal fans have been raging on Twitter as a result but is it really the club’s fault this time?
Yes, Balogun is a phenomenal talent having scored 10 times in 15 appearances in the Premier League 2. Yes, he can be a top player in the future and yes, his value will shoot up just like the other youngsters Arsenal have let go over the years.
On paper, it certainly looks like Arsenal are messing up and they will regret it in the very near future. However, there is very little that the Gunners can do at the moment.
Balogun wants a chance with the first team. If given a chance, he might well prove himself but the Gunners need to look at the bigger picture.
Arsenal are doing the right thing this time
Arsenal’s top three strikers at the moment are Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah. The Gunners also have Gabriel Martinelli who has thrived in that position this season.
Young Tyreece John-Jules has also been very impressive for the youth teams, as well as for Lincoln City on loan before he picked up an unfortunate injury.
All of the above-mentioned players are ahead of Balogun in the pecking order and that is unlikely to change any time soon.
Arsenal cannot just guarantee first-team opportunities for the teenager when they have five other more established players in the same position in their ranks.
If Balogun refuses to extend his deal because of that, Arsenal have no choice but to make some money off of him while they still can, even if it means that he will possibly be worth a lot more in the very near future.
Balogun, under the right manager, will be a top player in the coming years. Arsenal might even regret their decision in five years time but at this moment, they are right to stand their ground and let him leave this summer.