It will come as no surprise to any Arsenal fan of their team’s desire to part terms with some of their underperforming players. Action is expected to take place in the near future, as the Gunners look to strengthen their squad, producing more competition for places in the starting eleven.
A problem could be on their hands though, as the individuals who find themselves high up in the Emirates wage bill are less than keen on joining another club where their wage demands will not be met.
Last week, Sebastien Squillaci’s talks with newly promoted Bastia broke down as the 31 year old would not budge on his £50,000 a week wages he currently finds himself earning. Similarly, Marouanne Chamakh’s move to Montpellier as part of the deal that saw Olivier Giroud join Arsenal fell through as the Ligue 1 champions also couldn’t afford to employ the striker.
Chief executive Ivan Gazidis recently announced plans to overhaul the Emirates wage bill, as those underperformers were to be shifted. It may prove to be easier said than done, as some players seem to be happy to remain on a high wage even if they do not get first team opportunities.
Whilst there still remains plenty of time for deals to be negotiated and agreed, the early signs will suggest the clearout will not happen easily. Arsenal have been well recognised for their ability to attract talented players for small fees and even smaller wages, but this example of almost the complete opposite could prove costly should some individuals remain more concerned about wages.
The Gunners are still persevering in trying to add quality to their side with their activity in the transfer market, but financially the impact of not being able to budge those big earners will take its toll. Arsenal need to show that they are competitors once more, and illustrating this over the summer could also be what it takes to keep club captain Robin Van Persie in North London.
As competition for trophies becomes even more intense, the seven year wait at the Emirates means that Arsenal will need to strengthen significantly as they finished so far behind other rivals last season. As they are not money laden like other league rivals, their need to slash the wage bill to add quality is paramount, without which they may find themselves settling for a 3rd place battle again.
The greed of the individual may play a big part in Arsenal’s fate in the coming months prior to the start of the new season, something that is entirely out of the hands of the Emirates board. Previous transfer gambles that have not paid off may have done more damage to the club in the long run than was first expected.