When Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Arsenal from Southampton last season, a £15,000 a week wage seemed questionable for a relatively unknown 17 year old. Last week, it was revealed that he will now find himself earning a similar wage to the rest of his Arsenal colleagues, and no-one was in the least bit surprised by the news.
Whilst it is obviously the right move to make in keeping Oxlade-Chamberlain at the Emirates as well as meriting his fantastic development, the precedent set is something that can be even more promising for Arsenal fans.
The vast increase in Oxlade-Chamberlain’s wages can be seen as a step in the right direction. Giving those player who are considered ‘valuable’ big wages can keep them in North London. It may seem tragically straight forward but it is something the Gunners have been reluctant to do in the past.
When Patrick Vieira left the club in 2006, after his departure he revealed his disappointment as Arsenal ‘failed to do anything to keep him’. Whilst those circumstances are different to the ones at present, theNorth Londonoutfit have demonstrated their eagerness to keep hold of Oxlade-Chamberlain, and don’t mind offering big wages to ensure it happens.
Recent summers have seen big players move from Arsenal, and their unwillingness to break the bank in order to keep them happy has proven costly, with another disappointing campaign last season. They were even beginning to be referred to as a selling club, an outrageous claim for a team in third place in the Premier League.
It would seem that Ivan Gazidis and Arsene Wenger are now beginning to realise the importance of keeping this young squad together as well adding to it in order to win the club their first trophy in seven years. Next on the list should Robin Van Persie, offering a new contract and closing off any speculation by giving him the big wages such a player deserves.
The Gunners’ may need to follow the examples of their rivals at the top to remain competitors, as others such as City and Chelsea are willing to offer their key players extortionate amounts of money to keep them happy. Arsenal may not be able to compete with either of those clubs financially, but offering sufficient wages to keep key players happy to remain at the Emirates should see them remain competing on the pitch.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s new deal is good news for everyone involved, and the fact that it could be a step in the right direction for his club adds to Arsenal’s impressive efficiency so far this summer.