Not only does Arsene Wenger claim he’s not worried about the status of Mesut Ozil’s current contract, which is set to expire next summer, but the Arsenal manager sees this very situation becoming a “usual” occurrence “in the next 10 years.”
In short, the bloated transfer fees being paid for the world’s top players (and plenty of non-top players as well) has upset the market to a point where players will be forced, if not prefer, to play into the final 12 months of their contracts — quotes from the Guardian:
“I think in the future, you will see it more and more. Why? Because the transfers are so high, even for normal players. You will see more and more players going into the final year of the contract, because no club will want to pay the amount demanded. I’m convinced, in the next 10 years, it will become usual.
“It’s not an issue. I think it’s an ideal situation. Why? Because everyone has to perform. When you’re a football player, you perform until the last day of your contract. Whether you have two or one year left, it doesn’t change. You want to play and do well. Do you really think they sit in the dressing room and think: ‘Oh, I have one year to go, I will not play well today.’ When you are a football player, you want to play well. What does that have to do with the length of your contract? It’s amazing.”
“I am amazed that you are surprised by that. It looks normal to me.”
It’s tough to see the above quotes as anything other than Wenger preemptively spinning — as he’s known to do — what increasingly appears to be an untenable situation for the club. On the other hand, if you’ve not moved from one club to another (and received the accompanying, typically massive wage increase) by the time all the money in the world has been spent, waiting for your contract to expire and enjoying the freedom of picking your next club is the clear next-best option.