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June 2021

Over 100 PL players entered this season in the last year of their contract, with a total market value of £5bn

by Tony Attwood

First off I thought you would like to know that “Santi Cazorla is unlikely to be involved in first-team matters until the turn of next year.”   That is from

Actually it would be rather worrying if he were involved in first-team matters this year since he is not listed in the “25”.  If that happened Arsenal would be deducted points and fined.

If he is fit to play and is ready for a competitive match he could play in the PL2 team where three over 23 year old players are allowed in each game

Meanwhile, after missing the last two games, Ozil has confirmed that he is back in training following the knee injury.

As for Jack, Mr Wenger has said he is not quite ready to be picked to start in the “bigger games” but I’m sure he is going to be put into the games in a fairly gentle manner.   I suspect that he won’t be getting more than one game a week immediately, which would mean missing West Bromwich Albion at the Ems on Monday but he could I guess be part of the team against BATE Borisov in Belarus on Thursday.

After that it is Brighton and Hove Albion at home on Sunday, and then the international break, so if he really wants to be tested with two games in four days, that would be the couple I would choose.  Mind you I don’t really know how rough the Belarussian league is.

So my guess is the chances are that Jack will start against BATE Borisov, rather than in the Premier League, but he is obviously getting closer by the day.

Mr Wenger added, “In this kind of game, he needs 90 minutes at that intensity, repeated, and then he will soon be back. You see that in his movement, and after that of course, everyone is looking at him. Everyone expects him to come back to his best, I wish for that as well.

“We go game-by-game,” Wenger said. “We play three games next week, on Monday, Thursday and Sunday, before the international break. So I will have to make decisions to balance the team to see who I play and when.

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“I wanted to leave him on to give him 90 minutes, it was the ideal game to give him confidence and fitness, and to see after that how he responds.  I think you have to put this game into perspective as well. It was not exactly the intensity of a Premier League game, but it was important for him to build up gradually.”

Now with the news that over 100 Premier League players went into the season in the last year of their contract, another little fact that was ignored during the window is revealed.  It wasn’t just Arsenal.

According to Transfermarket, Man U, to take one example have Mata, Herrera, Blind, Shaw, Fellaini, Carrick (who is old) and Ibrahimovic, although the last of course just signed a one year contract.

Mr Wenger has also reiterated his view that the football transfer market has to be changed not least with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and Aleksander Ceferin of Uefa suggesting more control of the market.   Ceferin has spoken about a salary cap, along with smaller squads, fewer loan deals and perhaps even a tax on transfers.  He is pretty certain to have the growing number of American owners of PL clubs on board, with ideas like that.

Matters have now been made more complicated by the fact that firms ranging from Google to Amazon are interested in bidding for rights to watch matches on line.  If even more money pours into the game then matters will be even more and more a free for all, following the apparent collapse of Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations this summer.

The view from Mr Wenger and those like him who always backed FFP is that if nothing could be done about Qatar backdating its sponsorship of a non-existent tourism industry by one year, Neymar’s £200 million move to Paris St-Germain and the complete avoidance of the rules by the farcical loan of Mbappe which is as good as a  transfer but not appearing on the books, then the pretence that there is a system should be abandoned.

Mr Wenger said, “something will happen in the next 12 months” to limit rising transfer fees. “You have to go one of two ways,” he said. “Regulate it properly, or leave it completely open. But you cannot be in between. That is where we are at the moment.

“That is only to the advantage of some clubs who can deal with rules in a legal way. The regulation has to be stricter and clearer, or open it completely: you can do what you want, provided you can guarantee you have the money to pay.”

He added that a consequence of current situation is that it has become much harder to sell players, and harder for unhappy players to force a move saying, “You will have more and more players going into the final year of their contract.   You will be in a position where you either extend for money you cannot afford, or you go into the final year of their contract.

“This season there were 107 players in the Premier League who got into the final year of their contract for the first time, and you will see that more. The clubs want too much more for normal players. Because they say if one player  is worth £200 million, then this player is worth £50 million.

“But everybody knows £50 million is too much for that player and they cannot afford it. So what happens? The club cannot sell, and doesn’t extend the contract, so more and more players are going into the final year of their contract.”

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33 comments to Over 100 PL players entered this season in the last year of their contract, with a total market value of £5bn

  • MickHazel

    ‘This season there were 107 players in the Premier League who got into the final year of their contract…’ That’s an average of over 5 players per team.
    If you were to believe the media you could be forgiven for thinking that it was only Arsenal who were stupid enough to allow that to happen.

  • gbenga

    Like I’ve always said, our darling Arsenal is always singled out for the count for everything negative (or even positive) about football. Be it in style of play, players leaving (or even staying), points dropped, signing of players (or even non-signing of players) & even the uniformity of the team’s jersey as to whether it is long sleeve or short. Shows how hypocritical the press is when it comes to our club. We, the fans, only need to be careful & be very vigilant about the forces trying (and very hard too) to bring the club down!

  • ARSENAL 13

    worth 5 billion!!!!!!!……. So next year Premier league will have about 5 billion less to spend on players.

  • colario

    We don’t know how rough the Belarussian league is.

    I am sure Arsene does.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    As it’s been revealed in this article posting, it’s amassing to note how the media kept hammering on Arsenal for letting their 2 star players of Ozil and Sanchez running down their contacts at the club this season without cashing in on them in the last summer window or get them to extend their deals. Thus as if it is only Arsenal the unusual situation has applied to. Whereas the situation also exist at other Premier League clubs such as Man Utd but not highlighted by the media. In fact, if not for this article posting, I wouldn’t have known that Arsenal is not the only PL club that has top quality players running down their contracts this season.

    Nevertheless, it’s not late for Arsenal to get their 2 super star players of Ozil and Sanchez to extend their deals at the club this season as there is still time for the club to get the duo stars extend their deals at the club if the club wants to do the renewals. More especially if the duo players convinced the club by playing a leading role with consistent top performances on the field of play resulting mostly in results of 3 points in the PL for the club which will justified the club giving them a new higher lucrative deals they won’t turn down but accept.

    I think PSG were very clever to not only pull through the transfer of Neymar deal despite the Spanish FA attempt to scuttle the player transfer to PSG which on it’s own did not breach the FFP rules. And they also got the incoming loan transfer deal of Mbappe through as well by outstanding cleverness as they did not break the FFP rules in the process of concluding the loan deal of the player from AS Monaco despite the colossal amount of loan fee charge involved. But surprisingly, Monaco after pocketing the money went harewire saying, they were surprised how PSG escaped FFP rules. But why did they sell to PSG if they suspected FFP rules will catch them? Had PSG been charged for breaching FFP rules, I think Monaco should be charged too for collaborating with PSG to flout the FFP regulations.

  • Josif

    Alexis and Ozil are two best Arsenal players.

    Or, to put it this way:

    How much money Man United will have to spend to replace their players in the final year of the contract? How much money Arsenal will have to spend to replace Alexis and Ozil? Unless we sign Messi on a free transfer, that is…

    When it comes to changes, Arsenal haven’t been able to predict what’s happening next. When we went for a bigger stadium, the match revenues became less important than they used to be thanks to Abramovich’s billions pumped in Chelsea.

    When FFP was introduced, we expected Arsenal to restore our place in the English football. It hasn’t been working and Arsenal even came close to breach the short-term cost control rules imposed by Premier League.

    Decades ago, we didn’t see importance of marketing.

    If the board members are the reason why majority owners don’t invest their own money in the club thus making us disarmed in the money battle against Manchester clubs and Chelsea, never mind PSG, Bayern and Spanish giants, they are a problem and an obstacle that might cost Arsenal very highly in years to come.

    That being said, I completely agree with Arsene’s strategy regarding Alexis and Mesut. Keep them this season so they can restore our CL place and it will be easier to replace them next season. New format of CL will make that competition more like NBA and clubs who stay out of it might suffer much more than they’ve been suffering right now.

  • Menace

    Spuds ‘not offside’ when clearly offside. What a PGMOL farce. Wonder where they hail from?

  • Chris

    This argument about 5 Arsenal players in the last year of their contract reminds me of the ‘only 2 Arsenal players with 10 goals or more’

    Wait until they headline : Arsenal have only 65’000 and something seats at the Emirates…. or Arsenal have won only 13 (FAKE) FA Cups…..

    Not even talking about this Linecker guy and his stupid comments on TV.

    Just hope they get their bleeding nose soon.

    Ah by the way Spurs are now being praised for : 1) having a coach for a longer period, 2) getting youth players into 1st team 3) finding talent in lower leagues
    Doesn’t it sound very familiar ? haven’t we been there, done that and gotten the f…g t-shirt ?

    The british press and TV is just a joke….just sewer ripe. No wonder Brexit was voted an still in on

  • Jax

    ‘Arsenal have only 65’000 and something seats at the Emirates…. or Arsenal have won only 13 (FAKE) FA Cups…..’
    It’s around 4 thousand less. and we’ve won it 13 & a half times

  • Chris


    I stand corrected ;=)

  • Jax

    I couldn’t resist it

  • Gord


    I’ve looked at a few news articles, and none mention a possibility of the spuds being offside on any goal. Which one caught your eye?

  • Chris


    UA is about facts, not fake news, so you we right !

  • Gord

    Marca was talking about recent articles at Der Spiegel – Football Leaks. For those who read German, there are 4 articles in the last 2 days.

  • Gord

    The Arsenal ladies team is in action against Birmingham City tomorrow.

    Lots of pictures in article on Smith and Yankey being inducted into Hall of Fame.

    Back in the EPL, looking for miracles. Come on Crystal Palace, Southampton, Stoke and (later on) Leicester!

  • Jax

    Yeah! But it’s a bit sad (of me) TBH
    Bye the way, you also spelled Lineker wrongly.
    There I go again.?
    No stopping me now.

  • colario
    this is a link to our Thursday opponents. the score is 5-0 to them

  • Brickfields Gunners

    There may be some unpolished gems in that lot!
    Or ones just begging to be played out of position by AW !

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Was there an offside goal among the 3 goals Spurs scored to beat West Ham 2-3 at the London Stadium today’s afternoon? I watched the match live but I didn’t notice any offside goal by Spurs. Maybe I missed it. By the way, who is responsible at the Arsenal football academy school for throwing away the then young Harry Kane from the school and Spurs picked him up and turned him to a King top class striker who is getting very close to becoming a world class striker going by the way he bangs in goals regularly for club and country? And if Spurs didn’t take care, Real Madrid who are currently in trouble with their results in La Liga could poach him from them in the coming January window like Gareth Bale was poached from them some seasons ago.

    With the final result of Liverpool away match to Leicester to come as it has just kicked of on my TV screen live, Arsenal have not potentially gained in the table today as all their 4 top clubs title rivals won their matches today to increase the gap on us. But notwithstanding, Arsenal can close the gap on them to where it was in week 5 on Monday night with a win over WBA.

    Come to think of it, football result can a times become very stupid. If not, how come the same Stoke City at home that beat Arsenal and at home again held Man Utd to a draw game fell woefully at home 0-4 to Chelsea today? No wonder my friend Kassim, RIP, once said to me that the most uncertain outcome in sporting event is the result of a football match and that’s why they use it in pools betting. Leicester 0-2 Liverpool in the ongoing first half of the match at Kings Power Stadium. But Leicester could come back in the 2nd half to snatch a point. And that’ll be good for us.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Looking at the circumstances that led toLeicester pulling a goal back at the death of the first half of this math, even if Okasaki had not footed the ball in, would referee Anthony Taylor not have given a penalty to Leicester as a Red looked to held off a Fox in the box from reaching the ball and the Reds’ keeper was also pulling Okasaki’s shirt in the box to stop him from getting to the ball to score?

  • Menace

    Gord – the first goal appeared off side but it may have been camera angle. I haven’t seen it again so I might be wrong.

  • Redshark

    Kane came back from an offside position on the first goal. More blatant was Aurier swatting the ball away with his arm 30 seconds before the same first goal. That was a clear pelanty….

  • Gord

    Thanks Menace, Redshark

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree Josif, I think Arsenal have been optimistic, bordering naive on some matters, FFP would be one of them. Sadly, in this world, doing the right thing doesn’t always get the desired result against those who use a different methodology.
    But can only respect the club for some of their actions, including holding players to contracts. Wenger talks a lot about values, I suspect they are his own values, and maybe traditional club values, as opposed to those of current and recent shareholders, but the club certainty seem one of the cleaner outfits.
    As for players seeing out contracts, We will undoubtedly lose some, but may gain others

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Amazing…Tottenham was given a red…he probably deserved 3 or 4 yellows. Still…

  • Menace

    Oh Jax! ‘Bye the way, you also spelled Lineker wrongly.’ Shame on you (error in correction).
    By the way is not wishing the way farewell!

  • Jax

    The use of ‘wrongly’ in place of misspelled was intended as an attempt at irony. I don’t know about ‘by the way’, you’ve lost me there.

  • Scuba

    I guess I don’t see the real issue with the media bashing Arsenal for allowing their two most valuable assets to play out the final year of their contract and then leave for nothing. Yes, other clubs have loads of players on the last year of their deals. Some of those players are even semi-useful players, but nobody else is looking at losing a player the caliber of Alexis or Ozil for nothing (sorry Mata and Fellaini fans).

    Of all the PL clubs out there, we are in the worst shape, by far, with the contracts of our most important players. That deserves criticism. Looking at other clubs that are losing some decent-but-not-great players next summer and using it to justify poor contract management is just hurting the club in the long run. We just need to do a better job of managing our squad.

  • Nitram

    And what if both players don’t want to sign? What do you do, put a gun to there head?

    I don’t know, what would you do Scuba?

  • Josif


    The club has signed a new guy for contracts. So there is an attempt to improve things in that area.

  • Scuba


    I’d have started laying the groundwork to sell and replace them about 12 months ago. Letting your best assets leave on a free is terrible mismanagement. No, we can’t force them to re-sign. We can read the tea leaves, though, and work proactively to solve the problem.

  • Nitram


    “We can read the tea leaves”

    Says it all really.

  • Scuba

    Were all the supporters who were predicting this exact scenario 12 months ago wrong then, Nitram? I must have missed where we sorted their contracts or replaced them so that we could get some value out of them.