With all the drama surrounding Theo Walcott whose contract expires next summer, there are also some other first teamers with deals set to expire in June 2013.
Emmanuel Frimpong is one name the Gunners will want to tie down to a new deal this year before his terms expire this coming summer. Finally returning to the first team fold after his loan spell away ended prematurely last season due to a serious knee injury, he will wanting to earn a spot in Wenger’s first team plans and with it a new contract in North London.
Name [Position, Age] – Market Value (Transfermrkt.co.uk)
Theo Walcott [Striker, 23 Years] – £16.m
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Andrey Arshavin [Striker, 31 Years] £7.9m
Lukasz Fabianski [Goalkeeper, 27 Years] £2.2m
Sébastien Squillaci [Defence, 32 Years] £1.3m
Emmanuel Frimpong [Midfield, 20 Years] £1.3m
Bacary Sagna [Defence, 29 Years] £16.5m
Wojciech Szczesny [Goalkeeper, 22 Years] £12.5m
Marouane Chamakh [Striker, 28 Years] £4.8m
Kieran Gibbs [Defence, 23 Years] £4.4m
Tomás Rosicky [Midfield, 31 Years] £3.1m
Vito Mannone [Goalkeeper, 24 Years] £0.65m
Gooners will be happy to see the end of Squillaci at the Emirates next summer after Arsenal failed for the second consecutive summer to offload the Frenchman who is earning way to much for a sixth choice defender. It is also difficult to see Arshavin extending his stay with Arsenal which begs the question as to why he was not sold in the summer whatever the price tag. There were offers in for the little Russian, but perhaps Wenger preferred to keep the experienced 31 year old and utilize him on the odd occasion such as Capital One Cup matches rather than selling him in a cut-price deal in the past window.
Fabianski is another interesting situation. The Poland international has slipped behind compatriot Szczesny in the pecking order for club and country, and with it an unfortunate string of injuries that has prevented him for filling in when the opportunity has arisen. Will he extend his terms with the Gunners? It seems unlikely. He will probably leave on a free transfer next summer as he seeks to be a permanent number one to boost his chances on the international stage, and he will not be doing that playing second fiddle to his main competition Szczner.
Walcott and Frimpong will sort new deals this year, there is no way the latter will leave as he lives and breathes Arsenal and will be eager to repay the faith Wenger has in him this season when the opportunity arises. Walcott will surely sign as well, especially after his latest comments suggesting he is more concerned with sorting out his future role as a centre-forward under Wenger than money which seems to be the main stumbling block.
There are some big names that require contract renewals this season with Sagna, Gibbs and Szczesny almost definite’s for Wenger’s future plans. Mannone too should stay especially after his extended run in the first team recently, however Rosicky and Chamakh will be up to how they perform this season.
Sagna is probably the least likely of the 2014 expiry selection to sign a new deal this season if the Gunners fail to win a trophy, he admitted his frustration at seeing RvP and Song leave over the summer but Wenger believes all is well and the Frenchman loves the club. He has been attracting interest from Inter at present, and if he does not sign a new deal this season then he may well be the next high profile star to leave the Emirates next summer before he enters his final year.
Despite this though I am quietly confident that Sagna, Walcott and Frimpong will sign new deals and next summer we will not see any high profile players leave Arsenal. The side is looking strong this season and this should be the year to end our trophy drought!
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